SA leading the field to reduce development application times
South Australia is one of the first states and territories to sign an agreement with the Commonwealth for assistance to get property subdivision applications happening via the internet, in a bid to increase housing affordability.
Federal Tanya Plibersek has announced that SA’s Local Government Association in partnership with the SA Government would receive $1.79 million to speed up online processes. The LGA has appointed a project officer to assist Councils with the electronic development application (eDA program) roll out.
Minister Plibersek said all three levels of government are responding to concerns about the impact of lengthy application processes on development holding costs, which are almost invariably passed onto homebuyers.
“I have been particularly impressed at how South Australian State and Local Governments have been able to work together on these issues and this collaborative approach has meant that the Rudd Government could roll out this funding,” Ms Plibersek said.
“Speeding up development approval processes is important because it means that new housing gets to market quicker – this will lower costs for builders and developers and, in turn, help home buyers.”
SA Urban Development and Planning Minister Paul Holloway said Local Government in SA had been enthusiastic about using electronic systems to speed processes and the State was keen to ensure its own electronic systems could support Councils.
“The program will allow us to work with SA Water as a lead referral agency so that its involvement in approvals in new subdivisions can be integrated online with Planning SA and Councils.”
LGA Acting President Mayor Kym McHugh said the funding would help SA to accelerate electronic systems related to development approvals via the electronic Development Assessment Interoperability Specification (eDAIS) Land Division Pilot Project.
“The Development System is a complex one which involves both State and Local Governments and we think online electronic systems present an opportunity to simplify processes,” Mr McHugh said.
“This funding will accelerate development to the point where an application could be lodged and tracked online, referred to SA Water and other agencies for their part in the process and then finalised by the Council, all electronically” he said.
“The eDAIS Land Division Pilot Project, once on-line should save people making subdivision applications quite considerable time and at the least, we will remove postal times from the process and we also aim to re-engineer processes to gain other benefits.”
Mayor McHugh said that while some Councils could already receive development applications online and the State managed subdivision applications online, other systems such as referrals to State agencies could not be managed online yet.
The project will be managed in stages to be completed by the end of 2009. Funding to other States might also assist SA Councils where they use software from vendors which is also used in other States.