13/06/2012 - 15:02

Government moves to fast-track building approvals

13/06/2012 - 15:02

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Government moves to fast-track building approvals

Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien has introduced temporary measures to ease backlogs in building approvals, in an attempt to kick-start the struggling residential building sector.

Mr O’Brien announced today that builders would be allowed to start work pending approvals for applications lodged after January 1 and prior to June 30.

“This temporary measure will assist builders in avoiding protracted delays before starting construction, but will not remove the industry’s obligation to meet all necessary standards,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien also introduced a series of regulatory amendments designed to simplify the approvals process, including redesigned standard forms and processing checklists.

He said the government was now working with industry to identify long-term measures that would ensure the health of the industry.

Master Builders Australia WA executive director, Michael McLean, said the measures announced today would help to restore builders’ cash flow and more normal levels of construction activity.

“We are hopeful that these changes will kick start housing activity, although we expect it to be several months before normal workflows are restored”, Mr McLean said.

“While these fast track changes will have immediate impact, there are a number of other measures which need further examination over the longer term.

 “It’s in the interest of builders, home owners and local government to have an efficient building approvals system. That is what we all want at the end of the day.”

A working group including representatives from the MBA, the Housing Industry Association, the Building Surveyors Institute and local and state governments will meet tomorrow to identify possible changes to the legislation.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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