Media Release: Red Tape Review delivers progress for urban development industry and Victoria’s liveability

24 Oct 2019

, Media

UDIA Victoria Media Release

The Victorian Division of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA Victoria) congratulates Better Regulation Victoria on their discussion paper, released today, which examines the planning and building system and identifies how processes can be improved.

“Red tape has compromised industry’s capacity to deliver homes, and the public’s ability to buy them,” said chief executive of the UDIA Victoria Danni Hunter.

“Increasing demands on the planning system and successive reforms have resulted in a regime that no longer operates efficiently or effectively,” she said.

The discussion paper is the result of a significant review of the planning and building approval system, with a focus on red tape. It was led by the Commissioner for Better Regulation, Anna Cronin as directed by the Victorian Treasurer and Minister of Planning.

“The vast majority of the recommendations represent big wins for everyone who interacts with the planning and building system – from councils navigating their way through legislative frameworks, to the development industry that’s been at the mercy of costly delays. Ultimately, our communities are the big winners, because red tape has a dramatic impact on liveability,” said Ms Hunter.

UDIA Victoria commends the Victorian Government on the initiative, which is the first step in providing much needed certainty to the development industry.

“Building activity has slowed far more than this state can afford. UDIA Victoria’s research says the last financial year will produce about 20% less homes than the previous year. This at a time when population growth has increased. UDIA has been warning a housing undersupply for a while now; the RBA has forecast one too. The Commissioner has just handed down a very strong set of recommendations that will work wonders in preventing a long-term housing shortage,” said Ms Hunter.

“We need to build around 68,000 new homes each year in Victoria to keep pace with population growth and to make sure house prices don’t run away from what people can afford. This means there is a big job to do for government, the urban development industry and even for the community. The planning system is the framework we use to manage population growth and protects and enhances our city’s liveability.

“Melbourne prices are already rebounding from the market correction that’s occurred in the last year. We’ve got less homes coming to market than we need, and the right policy levers are not being pulled to address that. We’re staring down the barrel of skyrocketing prices and a rental squeeze that simply isn’t fair on Victorians. This is Government’s chance to fix these issues in a really sensible and meaningful way.”

The discussion paper was formed in consultation with industry.

“UDIA Victoria is proud to have gone above and beyond to ensure the Commissioner and her team were well-briefed on the realities of what the development industry is dealing with,” said Ms Hunter.

“Too often we see policy that makes sense in theory, but fails to translate into meaningful on-the-ground change. The results of this review indicate something very different.”

Consultation for the discussion paper is open until 15 November 2019 ahead of a final report which will be prepared for the Treasurer and Minister of Planning in the coming months.

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Hyatt Nidam

Engagement and Communications Manager, UDIA Victoria


T: 03 9832 9600

M: 0478 415 105