Shadow Planning Minister Tim Nicholls today introduced new Bills to simplify planning processes across Queensland, boosting economic activity and balancing environmental outcomes.

Mr Nicholls said the Bills represented the culmination of three years of hard-work and would ensure property and construction remained one of Queensland’s economic pillars.

“Consultation on reviewing the Sustainable Planning Act started in 2012,” he said.

“That consultation found the current act is long, complex and unresponsive, resulting in an over-regulated system that stifles, instead of facilitates development.

“Councils and developers have had to navigate this complicated and often contradictory legislative framework when trying to prepare planning schemes or deliver developments.

“The Bills I introduced today will simplify that process and provide certainty for councils and developers, saving them time and money.

“They will enhance economic activity and boost job creation across the state, with approximately one in 10 people employed in the construction sector.”

Mr Nicholls said today’s reforms built on the progress of the last three years.

“When in government the LNP delivered significant achievements in planning, with the introduction of the State Planning Policy and the award-winning State Assessment and Referral Agency,” he said.

“The progress seen in the last three years was acknowledged today in the Property Council of Australia’s Development Assessment Report Card.

“That report shows Queensland made the most significant progress of any state over the last three years, thanks largely to the LNP’s reforms.

“According to Property Council of Australia Queensland Executive Director Chris Mountford, ‘Queensland is now well positioned to achieve the aim of having the best planning and development assessment system in the country in the coming years’.”

“The report also shows the job is not yet done and that ongoing momentum is needed and the three Bills I introduced to the House today keep that momentum up.

“Seasonally adjusted building approvals are now almost 60 per cent higher than they were in March 2012. 

“Yesterday’s State Final Demand figures showed growth in dwelling investment of 15.7% over the year, with investment in new dwellings going up by 26%.”

Mr Nicholls said the LNP Opposition wanted to work constructively with the government and other affected parties to ensure the best outcomes were achieved for all Queenslanders.

“It’s important to note that stakeholders and other interested parties all had the chance to provide feedback to a draft exposure of the Bill last year, and this feedback has been incorporated into today’s Bills,” he said.

“We also look forward to engaging with stakeholders, third parties and the Labor Government as a part of the committee process.

“Just last week the Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning outlined her commitment to planning reform.

“The LNP looks forward to working constructively with the government to ensure we get the best possible outcome for the people of Queensland, so we can foster economic growth and enhance the liveability of our communities.”