The Northern has topped the class with its development assessment processes, according to new research from the Residential Development Council and the Property Council of Australia.
The Development Assessment Forum (DAF) Reform Implementation Report Card identifies progress by each State and Territory on reforming development assessment.
The Northern Territory’s good result is due to a combination of reforms already in place, in particular the collation in 2007 of numerous and varied plans and policies into a single planning scheme.
“The fact that the Northern Territory Government is the single authority for statutory planning places the Northern Territory at a significant advantage,” said Karen White NT Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia.
“In the states, local councils add additional levels of complexity and delay into the planning system that we can all do without”.
“Darwin City Council representatives already make up 40% of the membership of the Darwin Development Consent Authority, and that is more than adequate,” said Ms White.
The following report card grades each state based on their current performance against each of the 10 DAF principles:
||Current System Score out of 10|
“However, the Northern Territory cannot afford to sit on its laurels, there is still plenty of room for improvement,” said Ms White.
Governments around Australia have committed to significant reform of their development assessment processes, and if these commitments are implemented the Northern Territory will be knocked off the top of the scorecard by South Australia.
The following report card grades states on their future potential. It is based on the planning reform announcements and commitments by governments that have not yet been implemented:
||Score if Government Announcements Implemented|
The Northern Territory must act by improving:
- Long term strategic planning. The Northern Territory Government is working on separate plans for land use, transport, climate change and infrastructure. These plans need to be completed and integrated into the Strategic Planning Framework.
- Objective development assessment. Development assessment criteria should be written as rules and tests that can be objectively assessed by the Development Consent Authority. Membership of a Development Consent Authority should be based on expertise rather than local council representation. Assessment of applications for projects in the CBD should be undertaken by a separate Development Consent Authority with specific expertise and commercial experience.
- Resourcing of Development Assessment. As the level of development activity picks up again, additional resourcing of Development Assessment Services will be required to improve the efficiency of assessment.
For more information contact:
Karen White, NT Executive Director, Property Council of Australia on 0438 822 952
*A copy of the full report card can be downloaded from the link below.