Wynne reveals $35m planning portal for Victoria

Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne in Melbourne. Picture: David Geraghty

Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne has laid down a plan to build the most efficient planning regime in the nation, announcing the $35 million Smart Planning package to create a digital platform and transform the application process.

The minister, who has earned a reputation for taking a hard line on development, has revealed the Andrews Labor government will invest $25.5 million in building an online platform that allows clear interaction between planners and the community.

The new system is expected to create about 2000 jobs and is forecast to save the state, property owners and investors more than $155 million annually by cutting red tape and boosting efficiency through an easily navigable digital application and approvals system.

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“Our planning system will be a game-changer which sets Victoria state apart as the most efficient and transparent place for national and international investment,” Wynne says.

“Homeowners will have ready access to clear, easy-to-understand information about what can be built in their neighbourhood and how they can modify their properties.”

Having a more straightforward system will make Victoria more attractive to more job-creating development

The system will also extend to major land subdivisions and inner city planning decisions.

Amid rising concern over poor planning outcomes and an apartment oversupply, Wynne has earned a reputation for taking a more considered approach to large-scale planning applications, and a preference to work with developers to negotiate outcomes that will boost housing and commercial facilities.

Smart Planning is the most significant step in the process.

“About $24 billion of proposed economic investment in Victoria passed through the planning system in 2014-15 through more than 57,000 planning permit applications,” Wynne notes.

“Having a more straightforward system will make Victoria more attractive to more job-creating development.”

Key changes include improving zone controls to ensure consistency, reduce duplication and increase investment certainty.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.