The State Government has committed to tackle housing affordability via a new report on development application hold-ups.
Deputy Premier Paul Lucas announced this week that the first annual report will be published in the second half of 2010, showing how high-growth councils, State Government departments and developers performed against legal timeframes for processing development applications.
“The Government is committed to doing absolutely everything in its power to cut red tape that adds cost to homes,” said Mr Lucas.
“My government agrees with the development industry that delays in council and State Government decision-making on development applications increase the costs of new housing.
“Some delays are also due to developers failing to provide information or meet the requirements of the development assessment system.
“The development industry estimates each month a development application is delayed adds $1,000 to the price of a new home.
“This report will show exactly who can do what better, to cut the price Queenslanders pay for their homes.
“It will ensure that the State continues to improve the efficiency of its planning and development assessment system.
“I call on everyone involved in the development assessment process to get behind this, housing affordability affects us all.
“The Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA) has timeframes for each stage of assessment however there is no requirement to report compliance with these timeframes.
“Queensland currently has no single and reliable source of data on how many development applications are in the pipeline under local government planning schemes or as concurrence and referral agencies; or how these applications are progressing.
“Cabinet has therefore agreed to introduce an annual monitoring program to provide publicly reportable information on the performance of the State’s planning and development system.
“This will make it very clear where any bottlenecks are and allow us to work with assessment agencies and developers to improve the situation.
High growth councils include Brisbane, Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast, Logan, Ipswich, Redland, Toowoomba, Fraser Coast, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Mackay.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Paul Lucas said the annual reporting program will ultimately be made possible under the new Smart eDA system.
“Smart eDA is an electronic development assessment system that will be in place in high growth local government areas across the State by mid 2010,” said Mr Lucas.
“Redlands City Council is already using Smart eDA and State government is currently working with a number of local governments to extend its operation across the State.
“It is the way of the future and another way the Bligh Government is working on housing affordability.
“This new information highway will allow applicants to prepare, lodge and transact their IDAS applications online in an efficient and consistent manner.
“It will not only enable development applications to be made electronically but will allow councils, state agencies and developers to undertake their responsibilities in a more efficient, transparent and consistent manner under IDAS.
“I want to make it clear we will not create another level of red tape, the report will not apply to the more common building applications that can be assessed by local councils or certifiers.
“The types of things we’ll be looking at include land use, subdivision and construction works to create subdivision estates plus clearing of remnant vegetation, roads issues and heritage protection.”
The Property Council has welcomed the announcement.