11/04/2006 - 22:00

A faster development process

11/04/2006 - 22:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

The state government’s announcement of a new state-wide land and redevelopment agency is welcome news for those in the industry who believe local governments have stifled development in parts of Western Australia.

A faster development process

The state government’s announcement of a new state-wide land and redevelopment agency is welcome news for those in the industry who believe local governments have stifled development in parts of Western Australia.

Incorporating the activities of LandCorp, East Perth (EPRA) and Subiaco (SRA) redevelopment authorities, the new authority will be deployed across the state on key government projects.

Property Council of Australia WA executive director Joe Lenzo said local governments hadn’t been able to make decisions in a timely manner and the holding costs to developers while waiting for a red or green light was huge.

“When developers put a proposal forward they want certainty, but instead they are stalled. Developers would prefer a no, rather than a maybe,” he told WA Business News.

“The planning system has failed; had it worked better, this wouldn’t be needed. The authority will only be called in on certain hampered projects but I expect those developers will get a yes or no within 12 months.”

Mr Lenzo cited Coogee Beach as an example of a long-running disagreement between local governments.

He said a redevelopment authority would be useful in helping reach a decision over the future of this decaying site.

“Coogee Beach is a blight on our coastline and disputes between the various shires involved are not helping the project to move forward,” he said.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said that, in future, when the state and local community wanted to revitalise a degraded area, project boards would be set up under the umbrella of the new authority.

“These boards will be similar in composition to existing redevelopment authority boards and will exercise local planning powers,” she said.

Ms MacTiernan said the new authority would build on the success of redevelopment authorities, which were first established in the 1980s and were now widespread across Australia.

Redevelopment authorities have a good track record in WA, giving new life to degraded and under-utilised areas in Northbridge, East Perth, Subiaco and Midland.

The EPRA in particular is rejuvenating portions of a wide arc of former industrial land to the immediate north of the Perth CBD, from Northbridge to the Causeway and Claisebrook in the east.

Urban Development Institute of Australia WA president Darren Cooper said institute members were involved in the industry consultation phase of the new authority.

“We’re supportive of the decision and believe the consolidation of skills into one agency is good,” he said.

However, Mr Cooper remains wary of the consequences of a government playing a greater role in planning and development and said the institute did not want the government to play “private developer” too much.

“LandCorp does a good job of outsourcing and we would hope the new authority will continue in this tradition,” Mr Cooper said.

As yet, the government has not announced a chief executive to run the authority, although a search is believed to be well under way.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options