Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

$4.75mn for South-East Queensland Councils To Improve Development Approval Times

Joint Media Release with:

  • Campbell Newman, Brisbane Lord Mayor
  • Ron Clarke, Gold Coast Mayor

The Council of Mayors (SEQ) will streamline development approvals across Councils in the south east with the assistance of $4.75 million in funding from the Rudd Government’s Housing Affordability Fund.

The $3.65 million Target Five Days Project and the $1.1 million Next Generation Planning Project respond to the need to reform development assessment processes regionally and will address development approval turnaround times.

Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chairman and Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman welcomed the Federal Government’s support for the initiative.

Cr Newman said Councils aim, through Target Five Days, to cut processing times for straight forward, low risk applications to five days which in turn will affect housing affordability.

“Potentially millions of dollars could be saved each year in holding costs on residential developments when processing times are reduced,” Cr Newman said.

“Target Five Days will focus on improving the quality of applications, information requests and clarity of Council requirements. A well-made application will mean a faster decision by Council.

“The Next Generation Planning initiative will look at ways to make it simpler for developers to operate across Council boundaries by standardising residential housing codes and policies across the SEQ region.

“We aim to review code provisions addressing accessibility and environmental criteria to encourage better design outcomes and more affordable housing.

“Up to 95 per cent of residential development applications currently going to Councils will be affected by the Target 5 Days initiative.”

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke said faster development assessment processes and creating affordable housing codes would reduce costs for new homebuyers. He said Gold Coast City Council’s RiskSmart program was already turning around low-risk applications in five business days.

“It will make it easier, faster and simpler for people to get approvals to add a new room to their house or build a unit development, for example. This is an innovative solution by councils to help solve the current housing shortfall and affordability issues across the region” Cr Clarke said.

Federal  Tanya Plibersek said the Housing Affordability Fund is a $512 million initiative reducing planning and infrastructure costs of building new housing developments.

“The Housing Affordability Fund has been set up to reduce planning and infrastructure costs of building new housing developments across the country,” Ms Plibersek said.