Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Councils granted power to slash building costs

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Councils granted power to slash building costs

    Councils will be given the final say on whether to introduce new regulations to streamline two residence duplex development applications and save Queenslanders thousands of dollars in associated fees.

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe today announced Cabinet had decided on regulations which ensure councils have the chance to decide to adopt the new system or continue with the old procedure and associated fees.

    “The whole intent of the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 is to make it cheaper and easier for councils and to approve homes in residential areas,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “We have created a streamlined yet stringent development application system popular with a number of councils.

    “This change means that ultimately councils will have the final say on whether to adopt changes which mean less red tape or lower costs.''

    Mr Hinchliffe said at the moment a home, or a two-residence duplex no larger than a single residential home, is assessed first by a certified builder and then by council at costs of up to $6500.

    The change means councils will decide if they wish to adopt the new regulations. If council adopts the system, the second council assessment will be replaced by a checklist to be filled out by the owner and returned to council for final approval.

    If council have any concerns they can either refuse the application, and therefore the duplex, or order a council assessment with all the associated fees.

    “The reality is, if councils wish to have a greater level of control over this, we are making that available,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “But if councils want to cut the costs associated with the current assessment system, they can do that too.

    “Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Southern Downs and Toowoomba Regional Councils have already set their own processes and safeguards to save money and protect the community while Cairns, Gold Coast and Cassowary Coast Regional Councils are looking at passing resolutions as well.

    “However, there are councils that still want both a planning approval and separate building approval for duplexes in residential areas in all cases.

    “That’s why I propose to amend the regulations by the end of March to allow councils to decide on opting into the simplified approval process only for duplexes, by passing a resolution in open council.’’

    “Building applications are typically processed five to 10 times faster than planning applications and cost less than planning applications.”

    Media: 3227 8425.