Planning and Building Approvals Process Review

Review into Victoria’s building and planning approvals processes and early building works infrastructure.

The Treasurer and the Minister for Planning have asked the Red Tape Commissioner, Anna Cronin, to undertake a review of State and local government processes surrounding building and planning approvals, and early building works infrastructure approvals and to identify opportunities to streamline processes and reduce delays. The Commissioner will be supported in this work by an Advisory Board comprising:

  • Bill Kusznirczuk, Managing Director of Clement-Stone Town Planners, Deputy Chairman of the Victorian Planning Authority, Advisory Board Member of the Office of Projects Victoria and former Chairman and Chief Commissioner of the Victorian Building Authority;

  • Kate Roffey, Director at the City of Wyndham and former CEO of the Committee for Melbourne; and

  • Radley de Silva, former CEO of the Master Builders Association of Victoria.

The review is be completed within 9 months with a draft report provided to the Treasurer and Minister for Planning within 6 months.

Status update

Earlier this year the Treasurer requested that the Red Tape Commissioner undertake a review of planning and building approval processes and the process for early building works approvals. Please refer to the Terms of Reference (DOCX 93kb) for further information.

In the initial few months of the review, consultation with stakeholders has been the primary focus. Consultation has been extensive and has included:

  • Monthly meetings with our Advisory Board;
  • Close consultation with major industry associations;
  • Discussions and meetings with industry stakeholders and regulators; and
  • Direct consultation with and visits to a number of Local Councils.

In addition to the targeted consultations, stakeholders can complete a short survey or lodge a written submissions via the Commissioner’s website up until 16 August 2019.

The Terms of Reference calls for the mapping of approval processes at a select number of Councils. This activity has commenced – with PricewaterhouseCoopers engaged to assist. It is expected that up to 13 councils will be participating in this activity which will enable a deeper understanding of the issues and potential options for improvement.

With a substantial amount of consultation and desktop research now completed, the review team intends to focus on potential recommendations through July and August leading into the draft report which is to be submitted by September. We would value stakeholders’ input during this stage of the review, and so as always welcome further feedback and contributions.

If you have any queries about the review please contact the Project Director, Mike Pottenger on 03 9092 5800.

A joint Treasurer and Minister for Planning terms of reference direct the review to:

1. Map a select number of council planning permit approval processes in the building and planning systems, with a particular focus on the internal and external referral processes, that impact on the development of land and construction of dwellings (freestanding houses, townhouses, apartments) and commercial buildings including offices, factories and warehouses. This mapping exercise will cover State and local government processes, institutional arrangements and their interactions.

2. Draw on the findings and outcomes of previous reviews and studies as required, including from other jurisdictions, such as the Queensland central referrals process.

3. Undertake consultation with:
a. industry associations
b. relevant State Government departments and agencies
c. MAV, VLGA an Victorian local government, and
d. relevant planning and building experts.

4. Identify early and medium-term opportunities to streamline these processes to reduce delays and costs without compromising the public interest.

5. With respect to early building works approvals and utilities, the Review will:

  • Examine work previously undertaken by the Essential Services Commission with regards to electricity connections and identify if issues still persist.
  • Identify other utilities that are having connection issues.
  • Identify other areas of early building works that are prone to delays.
  • Identify early and medium-term opportunities to streamline these processes to reduce delays and costs without compromising the public interest (including safety).
  • Feed findings into other relevant reviews.

Terms of Reference

Planning and Building Approval Process Review - Terms of Reference (DOCX 93kb)

Have your say 

We invite you provide feedback on your experience with the system to assist us with this work by: 

  • completing the online survey, and/or
  • making a written submission on issues consistent with the review’s Terms of Reference and emailing your submission to by 16 August 2019.