Important announcement:

The Minister for Planning has established a twelve-month Development Facilitation program within the department to accelerate and determine priority projects. To see if your project meets the eligibility criteria, visit the Development Facilitation Program page.

Priority projects

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.

Since April 2020 Building Victoria’s recovery taskforce (the taskforce) has been charged with ensuring Victoria’s priority building and construction projects continue, are expedited where necessary and can overcome these unprecedented circumstances.

Fast-tracking priority projects

Since April 2020 Building Victoria's Recovery Taskforce has sought to identify:

  • shovel-ready building and construction projects of Victorian State and Regional significance and,
  • 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.

Applications for priority project fast-tracking in the Taskforce's pilot phase closed on Friday 5 June, 2020.

The Taskforce received 295 applications for assessment of projects to be considered for fast-tracking. The Taskforce has now triaged all 295 applications and is on track to complete detailed assessments of eligible projects by 31 August 2020.

The service has proven popular with developers, project proponents and local governments. Applications submitted from across Victoria represent a diversity of projects, including:

  • commercial and mixed-use
  • hotels
  • residential dwellings
  • apartments
  • social and affordable housing and build - to – rent
  • retirement living and aged care
  • retail and industrial land.

Projects currently being prioritised through the Taskforce include those with an existing application for planning approval that meets the priority project criteria and will be required to commence within 6 - 12 months of approval.

These projects include those that may be awaiting determination by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal or a local council.

Almost half the applications were unsuccessful at triage. They did not meet the criteria for a fast track as they were not considered to:
  • raise issues of fairness or the public interest, issues of urgency and the public interest would result in immediate action.
  • be of State or Regional significance.
  • raise a major issue of policy and determination may have a large effect on the achievement or development of planning objectives.
  • deliver public value e.g. public or social housing or environmental sustainability.
  • have been unreasonably delayed.
  • provide economic benefits including jobs, capital value, innovation
  • Prove project feasibility. Including proof of funding, demand is evident, supply factors mitigated and shovel ready

The Project Fast-Track Team facilitate and assess projects for fast-tracking including planning permits and planning scheme amendments.

The Project Fast-Track Team is made up of multi-disciplinary experts including:

  • planners, from across the Victorian Government
  • specialists brought in as required.

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.

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 by the following:

  • how well they align with Victorian Government policy
  • are they properly funded and shovel-ready?
  • do they provide benefits to the community?
  • do they factor in the views of relevant stakeholders?

The project eligibility criteria and process for assessment are below:

The Taskforce has also received around 40 written stakeholder submissions unrelated to priority project applications from across Victoria. These involved stakeholders ideas and suggestions relating to the Taskforce's terms of references.

The submissions came from:

  • business
  • local councils
  • peak bodies
  • unions
  • individuals

The Taskforce reviewed and considered submissions to prepare recommendations to the Victorian Government.

Written submissions to the Taskforce closed on 31 May 2020.

Page last updated: 26/10/20