Mayor Jamieson - More applications,quicker approvals
  • Saturday 10 May 2014

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the increase in development applications and approvals – and rightly so, these are good signs for confidence, our economy and jobs.

What hasn’t received as much attention in this space, but I think is just as important, is the dramatic improvement in turnaround times for development approvals.

I don’t like to use too many stats but I think these numbers tell a really interesting story.

In the last quarter 96% of Material Change of Use, Reconfiguring a Lot and Operational works applications were decided within the regulatory timeframe of 40 days. An overwhelming majority of those (83%) were decided within 20 days.

This follows the introduction of the Fast Track processing system six months ago to provide streamlined timelines for low risk applications – the turnaround is now just 10 days.

All this has been done while maintaining the high standards and close scrutiny that everyone rightly expects.

It must be acknowledged that not everyone is happy with every decision – but that is inevitable in any situation where you have opposing views.

The most important thing is for a process which is clear, consistent and engenders confidence.

I think that is happening – and now faster than ever before.

This provides me with a great deal of personal satisfaction as improving the approval process was one of the things I was elected to do.

Councilllors and council staff have worked together to get to this stage and it’s a credit to everyone involved that we are starting to see the results.

The Fast Track processing system covers a range of low risk, code assessable developments – and more than half of applications are now lodged this way.

In fact, the change has been so successful that we have now extended the type of applications covered by Fast Track.

The success of Fast Track is one among a suite of changes which council has introduced to improve the processing of development applications.

The other major initiative, Council’s free application pre-lodgement service continues to be well received by development customers.

There was a record 30 meeting appointments in February 2014 – the most since it started last year.

Finally this week I’d love to send out a cheerio to all those mums out there ahead of Mother’s Day on Sunday.

I hope you are all spoilt and get to spend the day with your families.