VIC: Red tape reduction on its way
We've all heard the horror stories about people wanting to complete straightforward tasks involving a tradesperson - perhaps lopping an encroaching tree-branch or adding a small extension to their property - but are cut off at the pass by local council legislation.
Resource consent, permits, regulations and zoning - they all contribute to a large and unwieldy phenomenon that some like to call Red Tape.
It can be the bane of a tradie's life - not to mention the havoc it can cause homeowners and business operators who just want to be able to complete their relatively simple project and move on.
For Victorians, however, it seem that the road to a red-tape reduction may be well on the way, with the state planning minister Matthew Guy releasing details about the government initiative that aims to slash red tape in the public sector by 25 per cent.
The Victorian Planning System Ministerial Advisory Committee suggested a series of reforms to Mr Guy, taking a long-term approach to sorting out the state's planning system - and the minister announced this morning (May 11) that he will immediately move forward with their key recommendations.
"Too often mums and dads become mired in red tape for simple things like a council permit for a home extension, a new front fence, or lopping a tree. That's not good enough.
"Red tape in the planning system has led to complex, inconsistent and onerous decision making processes that have slowed down business in Victoria. We have to get business moving again, so that we can create new jobs," Mr Guy said.
So how does this affect tradespeople?
Well, the key reforms will include changing the rezoning process to reduce the length of time involved, simplifying low-impact permit applications as well as complex and lengthy regulations and an increase in performance accountability for local councils and state referral authorities.
The recommendations of the committee were drawn up in collaboration with individuals, groups, associations, peak bodies and local councils throughout 2011 - all in all, 547 written submissions were received and considered and 130 meetings were held to discuss the specifics.
"Red tape is stifling the economy in Victoria, particularly in the construction industry," Mr Guy explained.
"Increasing productivity in the Victorian economy is a must, to provide more jobs."