Albanese promises to tackle planning bottlenecks

Presenting an annual oration hosted by public-private partnership lobby group Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Albanese said that while major infrastructure projects were complex operations that took time to build, there was much room to streamline the current approval process system.He said a number of planning problems had been highlighted during a recent national audit undertaken by Infrastructure Australia – the body created by federal Labor last year to develop a national infrastructure priority list.“[IA] found that across all levels of government, planning was generally poorly coordinated; decisions were based on administrative boundaries, not areas of need; and there was a general failure to take a long-term view of infrastructure challenges,” he said. “For example, Infrastructure Australia found examples of planning decisions where infrastructure corridors in cities were not adequately identified and protected, resulting in urban encroachment and other land uses taking precedence. “They also found examples of developments being approved, such as residential land development, without due regard for the services that will be required to support them.” Albanese said project proponents were often required to address the same issue separately for state and federal regulators. He said it would make more sense to tackle these issues at the same time. “Simplifying the approvals process for major infrastructure development is not about cutting corners, it’s about applying the common sense rule,” he said.“That’s why I have tasked IA and the Infrastructure Working Group of COAG to provide me by the middle of this year with options on how we can improve the efficiency and consistency of approval processes for major national infrastructure. “The report will look at how we can reduce time, cost and complexity in approvals processes [and] will also include proposals to provide greater transparency and certainty to major infrastructure providers, and to make government processes more efficient.”

Send this to a friend