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Call for ‘mega’ project fast-track to be applied to across the board

Australia’s leading property advocate has called for the fast-tracking of approvals for nation-building infrastructure projects to be adopted across the board by all levels of government involved in planning and construction approvals.

The Property Council of Australia welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment of additional funding to get new local infrastructure projects out of the ground and accelerate approvals for ‘mega’ projects to help stimulate growth and support tens of thousands of jobs, but Chief Executive Ken Morrison said more was needed to deliver real economic stimulus and productivity gains for Australia.

“We need to invest in new infrastructure, we need the productivity gains it can deliver, and we need the jobs and economic stimulus these projects bring,” Mr Morrison said.

“We can’t afford for these nation-building, growth-enabling projects to be entangled in protracted and inefficient approvals processes.

“However, it’s not just the blockbuster projects which get held up unnecessarily by red tape and multiple layers of review by different agencies across different levels of government.”

Mr Morrison said modelling done for the Property Council shows the economy could get a $3 billion annual boost just through more efficient planning approvals processes.

“There are residential and commercial projects in every town and city which are subjected to lengthy planning approvals and referrals across different agencies,” he said.

“Better coordination of the process across different levels of government and between agencies doesn’t mean taking short cuts or not doing the job properly ā€“ it’s just common sense.”

The Property Council urged all levels of government to focus on getting the economy moving through more efficient planning and approvals for smaller projects, which are just as important in supporting jobs and growth.

“We need to build on the momentum that the Commonwealth, state and territory leaders are bringing to major projects, and commit to improved planning approval processes across the board,” Mr Morrison said.

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