The Queensland government has introduced legislation into parliament as part of its sweeping planning reforms to streamline the state's complicated planning process.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Jeff Seeney, introduced the Planning and Development Bill 2014 and the Planning and Environment Court Bill 2014 into parliament last week and said the focus was on delivering economic growth and offering greater development opportunities.
“Clearer, less complicated planning laws will reduce the regulatory burden for Queenslanders and help to build on the renewed vigour we have seen in the construction sector and provide new jobs,” he said.
The government was spurred to replace the current legislation after the 2012 Development Assessment Report Card rated Queensland’s planning system as the worst in mainland Australia, said executive director of Queensland's Property Council, Chris Mountford.
When coupled with other government initiatives such as the State Assessment and Referral Agency, the legislation could significantly simplify Queensland’s “cumbersome planning system”, Mr Mountford said.
Mr Seeney said the Planning and Development Bill 2014 would significantly simplify Queensland’s planning and development system and improve upon the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 in various ways, including:
- Simplifying plan-making arrangements to ensure time and costs are reduced for proponents
- Reducing red tape by halving the number of state planning instruments from four to two
- Removing prescriptive detail and obsolete and redundant provisions
- Adjusting the balance of responsibilities between state and local governments.