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6 May 2020

Taskforce to Accelerate Development Approvals and Jobs

Readers will be aware of the announcement of the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce from our recent newsletter edition.

To be led by Jude Munro AO, Roger Teale, and Stan Krpan, the establishment of the Taskforce is a key initiative of the Victorian Government to ensuring the development industry is not only kept running well but to also take up opportunities to remove barriers and streamline projects delivering much needed jobs, housing and infrastructure.    

In the immediate future, a key focus of the Taskforce is to fast-track planning approvals of major projects using Ministerial powers in circumstances where decisions have been delayed by the COVID-19 crisis.

To date we have come to learn that the following ‘eligibility’ criterion will apply:

  • Developments must be ‘shovel ready’ with demonstrated funding so as to create employment and stimulus in the economic recovery period.    
  • A variety of projects will be considered from both statutory and strategic realms – for example ranging from mixed use developments in the middle suburbs to high-rise towers in central city areas, as well as precinct structure planning and master planning approvals.
  • Projects should be valued at $100M or more, although discussion within the industry that that it is worthwhile for projects below this value to apply, particularly where on-going economic benefits can be demonstrated. This is a significant change in direction from the State Government in recent days.
  • The minimum project value will be ‘relaxed’ for certain types of developments – for example projects that are located in regional centres, that achieve outstanding environmental sustainability, have long term economic benefits such as employment, and / or that comprise a significant contribution towards affordable / social housing outcomes.
  • Matters that are currently before VCAT will form part of the scope of the Taskforce.
  • A high standard of information must be submitted including architectural drawings and accompanying technical reports, akin to a planning permit application.

The Taskforce will be aiming to deliver the approval of approximately 30-50 projects in the next three months, which reflects the high value threshold that has been established. We also understand that third party rights are not likely to be suspended during this crisis period.

We anticipate the release of further information on the Taskforce from DELWP in the near future. Should you wish to discuss your current or future project and the prospect of fast-tracking by the Taskforce, please get in touch with your existing contact at Ratio or Robbie McKenzie, Director Planning.         


Author: Robbie McKenzie, Director: Planning


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