Media Release


Victoria Cannot Afford to Miss Planning Reform Opportunity



Victoria cannot afford to miss the window of opportunity of planning reform being undertaken by the Victorian Government if the State is to retain and strengthen its economic base, employment opportunities and build sustainable communities in the future, the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Victoria said today. 


Tony De Domenico
Executive Director

Executive Director of the UDIA (VIC) Tony De Domenico said, "In the current financial climate where we have building starts at a 16 year low, according to the HIA, and a need to urgently build back confidence in the housing and development industry, Certainty in Planning must be a major focus of all levels of Government.

"The reality is Victoria and the community cannot afford the current planning system, which in many circumstances has no certainty and can see millions of dollars and years wasted on processes that impacts on housing affordability, is a major disincentive to investment and a waste of local government and government resources."

Mr De Domenico said the reforms being undertaken by the Victorian Government will provide a more transparent approach to planning and importantly will provide certainty for the industry in relation to what can be developed and where, through reforms to Victoria's residential, commercial, industrial and rural planning zones.

"The changes in these zones do not dramatically change many of the existing uses, however, they do assemble the guidelines and processes in a far more modern and sensible order with new timelines that frame a more efficient future planning system across Victoria cutting red tape and promoting effective decision making.

"The property industry in Victoria directly employs around 310,000 full time employees, contributes around 12 per cent of the state's gross domestic product and $4.6 billion in taxes to all tiers of government."

Mr De Domenico said the importance of ensuring this industry and the community has an efficient planning system to operate within should not be underestimated as the outcome has a major impact on housing affordability, employment and provision of sustainable development.

"The planning reforms will be fundamental in modernising a planning system which will need to cope with an average forecast population growth of 3 per cent between 2011 and 2031 seeing Victoria's population grow from 5.6 million to 7.3 million," Mr De Domenico said.

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, UDIA (VIC) - Mobile: 0417 329 201