THE Queensland Government last week announced that new amendments that aim to cut red tape and result in substantial time and cost savings for applicants for development approvals have come into effect.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said amendments to the Sustainable Planning Regulation would remove a range of triggers requiring referral of development applications to State agencies.
Mr Seeney said removing these triggers will mean 1500 fewer referrals per year in the Integrated Development Assessment System, adding that such referrals were mostly for State agencies to provide advice only and were adding to the regulatory and cost burden for all involved.
"Add to that, many of the referrals applied to applications that would not otherwise have needed referral, so the potential time and cost savings from removing them are even greater," Mr Seeney said.
According to the government, referral triggers to be removed include:
- Advice referrals for conservation estate areas, cultural heritage premises, and wetlands - Department of Environment and Heritage Protection;
- Advice referral for premises affected by acid sulfate soils - Department of Natural Resources and Mines;
- Concurrence referral for particular applications for preliminary approval -Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning; and
- Concurrence referrals for purposes of community uses, places of worship, and education-care service premises-child care centres - Department of Transport and Main Roads.
Mr Seeney said the regulation also included an important reform that would streamline the way leases were given for housing in Indigenous communities.
"Under the new amendments, social housing tenants will be able to convert their tenancy to a long term lease without triggering the need for a development application," he said.
"This will put them on par with people purchasing dwellings on freehold land where development approvals are not triggered by sales."