Councils to slash timeframes to deliver significant savings

21 / Aug / 2012 | News

A joint initiative from the Council of Mayors (SEQ) and the Local Government Association of Queensland is set to deliver savings of more than $17 million per annum to Queensland’s struggling property and construction sector.

The Development Assessment Process Reform – Operational Works and Large Subdivisions (DAPR-OWLS) project streamlines the residential development assessment process to slash council decision timeframes by a minimum of 25 per cent.

LGAQ President Councillor Paul Bell said the DAPR-OWLS project is delivering a more flexible and efficient local government assessment process to cater for the post-GFC environment now facing the Queensland development industry.

“The Development Partnership Process created through the DAPR-OWLS project allows councils and developers to collaborate during the application drafting stage to resolve key issues that may impact the proposed development or neighbouring communities.

“Working cooperatively ensures a speedier assessment for developers while allowing councils to contribute to the overall design of a development and deliver quality outcomes for the community,” Councillor Bell said.

Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chairman Councillor Graham Quirk added that unnecessary development holding costs were one of the key contributors to Queensland’s housing affordability woes.

“As the first of the developments approved through the Development Partnership Process emerge, we’re starting to see some significant time and cost savings for both councils and developers.

“These are savings that can be passed onto home buyers and boost economic development.

“Prior to this project, the average assessment timeframe for a large subdivision among the participating councils was around 360 business days. Under this project, a pilot development has just been assessed in less than 50 business days, that’s a saving of approximately $2 million through a reduction in holding costs.

“Compared to the current assessment process, the Development Partnership Process is also a more cost effective use of council resources. This process represents a win-win for industry, councils and the community,” Councillor Quirk said.

Initial funding for the DAPR-OWLS project was provided by the Queensland Government. As a key election commitment for the Newman Government, the Council of Mayors (SEQ) and the LGAQ are keen to continue to work with the State to deliver further planning reforms.

Brisbane, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Mackay, Moreton Bay, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Townsville councils are participating in the DAPR-OWLS project.