The Victorian Government has identified Victoria’s building and construction sector as a key mechanism to revitalise Victoria’s economy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Builders, constructors and developers are grappling with unseen conditions in delivering projects that would otherwise have run to schedule and without disruption.
Building Victoria’s recovery taskforce (the taskforce) has been charged with ensuring Victoria’s priority projects continue, are expedited where necessary and can overcome these unprecedented circumstances.
Fast-tracking priority projects
Building Victoria's Recovery Taskforce is seeking to identify significant building and construction projects of state and regional significance across Victoria that are shovel-ready, and to investigate planning and investment opportunities.
These projects will provide immediate benefits to Victoria's economy, keeping Victorians in work and priority social and economic infrastructure on track for completion. Projects currently being prioritised through the Taskforce include those with an existing application for planning approval and be required to commence within six - 12 months of approval.
The taskforce is triaging submissions received for projects that meet the priority project criteria, including those that may be awaiting determination by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal or a local council.
The criteria prioritise job protection and creation and economic recovery and stimulus, as well as alignment to broader Victorian Government policy objectives including affordable and social housing and emissions reduction. Project proponents will be required to demonstrate demand and commercial viability in the current economic context.
The Project Fast-Track Team
The Project Fast-Track Team (made up of multi-disciplinary experts including planners, from across the Victorian Government with specialists brought in as required) will facilitate and assess projects for fast-tracking, including planning permits and planning scheme amendments.
The Taskforce may refer projects for ministerial intervention where it determines they may have experienced an exceptional delay in the planning approval process or have faced unforeseen impediments as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The principles underpinning Victoria's planning system and statutory planning processes, including probity and confidentiality, will be followed but processes will be streamlined wherever possible to fast-track suitable projects.
The taskforce will recommend priority projects to the Minister for Planning in order to expedite planning processes under either the Planning and Environment Act 1987 or the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998.
Applications for priority project fast-tracking in the Taskforce's pilot phase closed on Friday 5 June, 2020.
The Taskforce received 290 applications for assessment of projects to be considered for fast-tracking. These assessments are now underway.
Priority project criteria
The project fast-track team will assess applications and determine priority projects that meet the criteria that the taskforce can recommend for fast-tracking to the Minister for Planning.
Projects will be triaged and assessed for how well they align with Victorian Government policy, are properly funded and shovel-ready, provide wider benefits to the community and factor in the views of relevant stakeholders. The project eligibility criteria and process for assessment are below:
Building Victoria's Recovery Taskforce has also received written stakeholder submissions unrelated to priority project applications, including from businesses, local councils, peak bodies, unions and individuals wishing to put forward their ideas and suggestions relating to the Taskforce's terms of reference
The Taskforce received around 40 written submissions from stakeholders from across Victoria, which are being reviewed and considered by the Taskforce in the course of preparing recommendations to the Victorian Government.
Written submissions to the Taskforce closed on 31st May, 2020.
All enquiries to the Taskforce can be made via email to submissions.BVRT@delwp.vic.gov.au.
Page last updated: 30/06/20