_Cutting the Red Tape in time for Christmas

Planning scheme amendment VC180 (Amdt VC180) was approved recently and implements permanent planning controls for the development of non-government schools, to fast track the assessment process.

The key changes made by Amdt VC180 are to exempt from public notice a planning permit application for the development of a non-government school and to make the Minister for Planning the responsible authority for larger projects with an estimated development cost of $3 million and above.

Collie welcomes the introduction of Amdt VC180, but ponders:

  • why is red tape so easy to remove when the Government wants to do so (yes, a somewhat rhetorical question)?
  • is this in fact a reflection on the unreasonable extent of red tape, third party rights and/or time delays in our planning system?
  • for example, if a planning decision was guaranteed by Council within say three months, would such initiatives be so necessary?

Planning scheme amendment VC190 (Amdt VC190) was also approved recently and exempts the development of social and affordable housing from a planning permit and assessment by Council / the Minister for Planning if the development is funded under Victoria’s Big Housing Build and is supported by the Director of Housing.

Again, Amdt VC190 is welcomed and is much needed on the back of a severe shortage in public housing and in order to support the efficient delivery of the Victoria’s Big Housing Build project.  We however, ponder this amendment in the light of the same questions above and pose the following additional questions.

  • Given there will be no ‘independent assessing umpire’, would more details about the internal assessment process by the Department of Health and Human Services provide transparency in terms of the planning related matters that are to be considered?
  • Similarly, if a planning decision was guaranteed by Council / the Minister for Planning within say three months, would there be such a need to exempt the development from a planning permit, even if it was to be exempt from third party review provisions?
public housing collingwood victoria
Public housing estate, Collingwood, Victoria