The Victorian Government is committed to streamlining the assessment and determination of projects that inject investment into the Victorian economy and keep people in jobs. The planning system continues to be an important means to support investment and job growth and drive economic recovery in Victoria.

The Minister for Planning established the Development Facilitation Program (DFP) to make faster decisions for priority projects that experienced delays due to COVID-19.

The program identifies and case manages development projects with the potential to:

  • deliver investment into the Victorian economy
  • keep people in jobs
  • provide a substantial public benefit
  • and continue to support our State’s economic recovery

The DFP is now focussed on new medium-term development projects in priority sectors. The program will still consider projects that are already in the planning system and facing undue delays.

Project selection

Projects considered for the program and case management include:

  • Planning permit applications
  • Planning Scheme Amendments
  • Section 96A combined planning scheme amendments and permit applications

Projects not eligible for the program:

  • Local development applications – these should be submitted to the appropriate Council
  • Subdivision applications
  • Where the Minister for Planning is currently the responsible authority
  • Where the Minister for Planning has authorised or directed the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) to prepare or implement a plan for an identified precinct
  • Proposals to subdivide green wedge land into more lots or into smaller lots than allowed for by the relevant planning scheme
  • Proposals for land in an Urban Growth Zone where a Precinct Structure Plan has not been prepared
  • Very complex or high impact proposals such as those that require concurrent approvals under several Acts in addition to the Planning and Environment Act 1987, as they will not be suitable for the expedited timelines of this pathway. For example, projects that require an Environment Effects Statement (EES) to be prepared, or projects assessed under the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act.

Eligibility criteria

Projects must meet DFP eligibility criteria, or be declared by the Minister for Planning as a priority project to qualify for accelerated assessment and determination.

Qualifying for assessment under this program does not guarantee a project will be approved. All applications are assessed on merit, alignment with the Planning and Environment Act 1987, the objectives of planning in Victoria, the state and local provisions of the planning scheme and other relevant state policy.

DFP criteria

A project must be “shovel ready” – meaning:

  • it has investment certainty
  • It can demonstrate it is ready to commence within twelve months following approval
  • It has capacity to secure funding for the project, including capitalisation and financial capacity

A project must include a priority sector that represents at least 60% of the proposed overall use and development. The overall use and development of a project may comprise less than 60% if the project is:

  • State funded;
  • a regional and/or employment project; or
  • provides greater than 20% affordable housing.
Sector Land usesLocationThreshold/Criteria
Advanced manufacturing and defence Industry
Research centre
Research and development centre
Education centre (if connected to a university)
Office
Regional $10 million CIV*
Metropolitan $20 million CIV*
Agriculture and Rural industry Agriculture
Aquaculture
Animal Production
Timber Production
Industry
Regional $10 million CIV*
Metropolitan $20 million CIV*
Digital technologies Data centre
Telecommunications facility
Utility installation
Regional $10 million CIV*
Metropolitan $20 million CIV*
Education centre Education centre excluding primary or secondary schools Regional $20 million DC**
Metropolitan $30 million DC**
Health (private hospitals and day procedure centres) Hospital
Medical centre
Regional $10 million CIV*
Metropolitan $30 million CIV*
Manufacturing Industry Regional $10 million CIV*
Metropolitan $30 million CIV*
Medical technology Office
Research centre
Research and development centre
Education centre
Industry
Regional $10 million CIV*
Metropolitan $20 million CIV*
Mining and extractive industry Earth and energy resources industry Extractive industry
Geothermal energy exploration
Geothermal energy extraction
Greenhouse gas sequestration
Greenhouse gas sequestration exploration
Mining
Mineral exploration
State $30 million CIV*
Large mixed-use sites within a Metropolitan, Major or Regional Activity Centre   State Land > 1 hectare
Must meet at least 1 eligibility sector threshold
Professional Services Office Regional 5,000 sqm GFA
Metropolitan 10,000 sqm GFA
Retail Retail premises Regional $20 million DC**
Metropolitan $100 million DC**
Regional housing and employment project   Regional
  • The general locality has less than five years of residential supply or a locality has experienced a significant increase in demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Will provide at least 50 lots.
  • The provision of civil infrastructure and services is demonstrated as being readily achievable and supported by servicing agencies.
  • The council’s planning resources do not have capacity to progress the proposal in a timely manner.
  • The land is within a defined ‘settlement boundary’, or where a settlement boundary is not present it is a logical extension of adjacent urban zonings, and is supported by state, regional and local policy.
Visitor economy
Arts and recreation facilities
Motor racing track
Outdoor recreation facility
Residential hotel
Caravan and Camping
Group accommodation
Restaurant
Hotel
Leisure and Recreation
Exhibition Centre
Function Centre
Recreational Boat facility
Winery
Place of assembly
Major sports and recreation facility
Minor sports and recreation facility
Outdoor recreation facility
Film/television media studio (innominate use)
Other innominate uses related to media and creative industries
Regional $10 million DC**
Metropolitan $20 million DC**
Warehouse & logistics Warehouse
Store
Regional $10 million CIV*
Metropolitan$30 million CIV*

* CIV - Capital Investment Value: Capital investment value of a development or project includes all costs necessary to establish and operate the project, including the design and construction of buildings, structures, associated infrastructure and fixed or mobile plant and equipment.

** DC - Development Cost: Development cost includes:
(a) the construction or exterior alteration or exterior decoration of a building; and
(b) the demolition or removal of a building or works; and
(c) the construction or carrying out of works; and
(d) the subdivision or consolidation of land, including buildings or airspace; and
(e) the placing or relocation of a building or works on land; and
(f) the construction or putting up for display of signs or hoardings.

How to apply

If your project meets the above DFP eligibility criteria, you can apply for Ministerial intervention via the Development Facilitation Portal.

Submit an application

Development Facilitation portal help

Selection process and case management

Projects are selected based on compliance with the DFP criteria.

Initial assessment occurs within 14 business days following submission, if all required information has been provided. If the project is deemed to meet the eligibility criteria financial information will be requested to verify the project’s feasibility.

Applications are subject to comprehensive assessment with the opportunity for public notice and independent review by an independent Advisory Committee appointed by the Minister for Planning, as relevant, dependant on the scale and impacts of the project.

Councils and other government agencies are an integral part of the process and are involved from pre-application, preliminary assessment to conditions of approval, where applicable.

If a project is referred and the Minister decides not to intervene, the applicant is immediately notified in writing of the decision and the project will be required to continue down the usual statutory application process. There is no review of decisions by the Minister to decline a request for intervention.

DFP Preassessment workflow process

Select image to enlarge.

  1. A pre-application meeting is held with the proponent to discuss the proposal. Following the meeting, a preliminary assessment is undertaken. Advice is then provided to the proponent on the depth and quality of information required for an application.
  2. The proponent lodges the Priority Project application via the portal.
  3. The project is allocated a case manager.
  4. The project is assessed against the eligibility criteria, State and other relevant planning policy.
  5. The case manager engages with key stakeholders, seeking the views of Council and relevant government departments and agencies through informal consultation and briefings.
  6. If a project is considered to meet the eligibility criteria and is consistent with planning policy, financial information is requested from the applicant for independent feasibility and probity assessment by Invest Victoria.
  7. A consolidated assessment by the Development Facilitation team and Invest Victoria is presented to the Development Facilitation Program Standing Advisory Committee to recommend either an accelerated assessment and determination, or reversion to the standard planning process, i.e., council planning process.
  8. If a project is chosen to progress to Phase 2 of the program, the case manager will work with the proponent to agree timeframes, assessment pathways and outcomes.

DFP Assessment workflow process

Select image to enlarge.

  1. Recommended project is referred to the relevant statutory planning team within DELWP for a detailed merits assessment.
  2. The case manager will continue to provide oversight of the project and assistance to the statutory planning team where required.
  3. A formal consultation process is undertaken including notification to the relevant council, government agencies and bodies, key stakeholders and neighbouring owners and occupiers as required.
  4. If required, the project may be referred to the Priority Projects Standing Advisory Committee (PPSAC), to hear submissions and provide independent advice to the Minister for Planning.
  5. A final assessment is undertaken having regard to consultation findings, PPSAC recommendations before final decision by the Minister for Planning.

Governance

The department uses a case management approach to identify and manage projects in the DFP. A dedicated facilitation team has been established within DELWP to oversee the program and an independent probity advisor was engaged to ensure a robust and transparent process is maintained.

All projects will be considered under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 including probity and confidentiality and will be subject to the same level of rigorous assessment and opportunity for consultation as per the standard assessment process.

The Minister for Planning appointed the Development Facilitation Standing Advisory Committee (DFPSAC), comprising Victorian Government executives, to review and oversee all requests that come through the program.

The DFPSAC will monitor the program via regular reporting. It will also monitor all reporting on DELWP’s business as usual statutory planning functions, such as planning scheme amendments and planning permits. This will ensure all statutory decisions where the Minister for Planning is responsible are made in a timely manner.

More information

For all enquiries please contact:

☎  Phone: 1800 950 088
✉  Email: development.facilitation@delwp.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 31/05/22