Development Approvals

Everything you need to know about Development Approvals in Victoria.

How to prepare, lodge and even fast track your DA in Victoria. All you need to know will appear here shortly but in the meantime read below for details on Victoria’s moves to accelerate approvals: (taken from http://archive.premier.vic.gov.au/your-voice/statement-of-government-intentions/victorias-plan-to-accelerate-development.html)

The Government is improving the way planning assessments are conducted to ensure decisions are made in a more timely way. Both proponents and objectors to developments benefit if the process is open, transparent and prompt.

The overall goal is to manage Victoria’s growth while protecting its liveability.

3.1 Major Transport Projects
Historically, the planning and environmental approvals regime has proven to be complex in the context of major transport projects, in some cases resulting in delays and increased project costs.

In 2009, the Government will introduce the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Bill to respond to community interest in seeing transport projects delivered faster, while continuing to allow interested parties to have their say. By having different processes running in parallel, the overall time taken to approve projects will be reduced.

The Government will also consult with stakeholders about the similar problems that arise for other major projects and will identify opportunities to streamline these approval processes.

Main elements:

facilitate faster delivery of major transport projects, including a suite of appropriate delivery powers;
establish a separate one-stop-shop assessment and approval regime for major transport projects in Victoria, with appropriate planning and environmental safeguards; and
reduce duplication of approval processes to reduce delays, provide greater time and cost certainty, and reduce risk for investors, developers and government while maintaining regulatory standards.
Responsible Ministers: Public Transport; Roads and Ports; Planning; Environment and Climate Change; Major Projects.

3.2 Planning Legislation Reform
The Government’s review of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 focuses on administrative measures and simplifying procedures. In the past 20 years, there have been significant social, environmental and economic changes that have implications for the planning system. The Government wants to ensure the Act responds to contemporary planning issues and simplifies the current laws and language.

The review of this Act is part of the Government’s broader agenda to manage growth and protect liveability. The review also responds to the recommendation in the Cutting Red Tape in Planning report to restructure the State Planning Policy Framework.

An expert panel appointed in October 2008 will work closely with Government agencies and stakeholders. A discussion paper developed with ideas and options for the amendment of the Act will form the basis of ongoing development.

Main elements:

improvement of the system to provide greater certainty and efficiency in planning processes;
improvement of the Act to more effectively meet Victoria’s planning challenges into the future;
modernisation of the language in the Act; and
issues arising from the Blueprint for Regional Growth concerning planning for regional areas (see section 13.3).

Related process:

The release of the discussion paper will be followed by consultation with stakeholders, including the planning profession, local government, the development industry and the broader community.

Existing legislation in this area:

Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Responsible Ministers: Planning; Community Development.

3.3 Property Law Reform
The system for creating, registering and transferring interests in land is a fundamental part of Victoria’s economic and social infrastructure. The Property Law Act 1958 and the Transfer of Land Act 1958 govern land ownership in Victoria. However, parts of the Acts are now outdated, redundant or unnecessarily complex.

The Government will simplify and modernise these laws to benefit all in the community who are affected, including homeowners, property developers, investors and financial institutions. In 2009 the Government will review the legislation, consult with the community and identify options for reform.

Victoria is the only State with an operational electronic conveyancing system. During 2009, Victoria will support the efforts of COAG to deliver a national system to maximise the benefits for the property and banking industries.

Responsible Ministers: Attorney-General; Environment and Climate Change.

3.4 VCEC Inquiry on Environmental Regulation
The Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) is expected to deliver its final report on environmental regulation in mid 2009. As part of this inquiry, VCEC will identify opportunities for Victoria to maintain its leadership in this area and will consider ways in which the regulations can be improved to meet the future challenges of environmental sustainability and a carbon-constrained economy. The Government will consider further reforms to environmental regulation in response to the report.

Responsible Ministers: Treasurer; Environment and Climate Change.

3.5 National Environmental and Development Approvals Reform
COAG has reached a series of agreements on streamlining environmental assessments and development approvals. As a result, the Victorian Government will review the environmental assessment and approvals processes under the Environment Protection Act 1970, the Heritage Act 1995, and Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 to start implementing these agreements.

Greater certainty and efficiency for the development and construction sector will be provided by reducing regulatory burdens and delays. Amendments will be made to development legislation where necessary to implement these COAG agreements.

Responsible Ministers: Planning; Environment and Climate Change.

Please let us know your feedback on the 2009 Statement of Government Intentions.