Shake up of development services to meet community needs
  • Friday 05 November 2010

The development services Sunshine Coast Council provides to the community and industry are set to improve with the launch of the new BRIDGE program.

BRIDGE—Building Relationships, Improving Development, Growing Economy—addresses the findings of a review of council’s development services that made clear changes need to happen in the area.

The BRIDGE program will re-engineer front end customer services and internal processes with the aim of delivering more accessible information, shorter assessment times, electronic processes, and consistent advice.

It will also improve connections and relationships with industry and the community by partnering with them through the change.

Speaking at an industry briefing today, council’s Director of Development Services, Julie Edwards, said that BRIDGE program focuses on making the transactions between council and its clients a faster and smoother process.

“A research and analysis project was run earlier this year and highlighted areas we can offer the greatest improvements to development processing and the front end customer service for developers and our community,” said Ms Edwards.

“We are implementing key strategies which impact positively on all aspects of how the community and developers deal with council on development matters.”

These strategies include:

  • re-engineering of lodgement, assessment and payment processes aimed at reducing the time it takes to get an approval for development and making these processes electronic
  • a dedicated development call centre for advice, information and queries from the community and developers
  • more complete, flexible and interactive development information and pages on council’s website
  • and a defined relationship management practice to improve working relationships between council and all types of developers.

Ms Edwards said that council is committed to delivering new and improved service to meet the community and industry needs.

“Our research has spelt out very clearly to us that recent years have not been smooth sailing,” Ms Edwards said.

“There’s been an economic boom, council amalgamations, and then the global financial crisis—these factors have created a new world in which we operate.

“Our challenge now is to create new and positive ways to operate to deliver on community expectations and facilitate sustainable development for the Sunshine Coast—it’s a challenge we are determined to meet.”

The program will be implemented over the next 18 months, and will involve half yearly industry briefings, regular e-newsletters and a consistent flow of information between council, the community and industry.