Planning report card casts doubt on Big Australia

By Rob O’Brien

Kevin Rudd’s vision for a Big Australia will be hampered without improvements to development assessment processes, according to new research from the Residential Development Council (RDC) and the Property Council of Australia (PCA).

The RDC/PCA’s Development Assessment Forum (DAF) Reform Implementation Report Card reveals that Australia underperforms in the delivery of efficient, fair and consistent planning and development assessment systems.

The Report Card found progress on development assessment reform across the states as required by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), but RDC executive director Caryn Kakas said that more needed to be done by the states to fast-track development assessment implementation.

“The announcement of planning reform through COAG has provided us with a path to improving systems nationally,” she said.

“However, we need to ensure these announcements are carried through and the next steps are already being considered if we are to achieve the necessary reform.

“Australia’s planning system has long struggled to pass the test, but there is still hope for it to top the class.”

PCA chief executive, Peter Verwer, said: “Over the last 30 years, users of the planning system have experienced growing complexity and delays in development assessment processes have increased dramatically.

“It is imperative that planning systems can effectively underpin the strategies of major cities across the country. If cities are to be the powerhouses of the economy, than the frameworks they operate within must operate efficiently.”

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