Planning departments need cultural change: David Crisafulli

AMBITIOUS plans to slash development project waiting times by 86-98% throughout regional Queensland can only occur if council planning departments are "king".

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli said planning departments needed cultural change so decisions could be turned around in a matter of days instead of months or a year.

He told a breakfast conference in Brisbane this morning that $250,000 funding would go towards investigating ways to improve development processes in places like Mackay, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Fraser Coast, Gympie and the Whitsundays.

"In the long run we'll make more efficient councils and therefore lowering costs," he said.

"It will improve the ability for councils to meet challenges and growth trends.

"It will establish strong partnerships with the private sector rather than adversaries.

"Overall it send a message that councils can facilitate growth without growing the bureaucracy."

Mr Crisafulli said the funding, including $50,000 from the Local Government Association of Queensland, would enable councils to "have a look inside" and set a benchmark to reflect cultural change.

He said he unashamedly sought more efficient planning departments "What I want is that the planning department is king, that they have the ability to take in all the information from different areas and turn it around quickly," he said.

"If it's yes, how do we get it out the door as quickly as we can?" he said.

"If it's no, how can we get that message back as quickly as we can?"

Mr Crisafulli said he had received good feedback about streamlining development processes at a state level and wanted to ensure it filtered through to the local government level.

He said decisions would be swifter and fairer.

"It was you who bore the brunt of Department of X wanting this and Department of Y wanting 180-degrees the other way," he told a room of development and council representatives.

"All you wanted was somebody to tell you yes or no.

"In many case, you spent months or years as dancing bears going between both.

"There will be one authority that takes control and there must be one authority that balances the views.

"There are some times when the environmental view is so strong that something can't occur.

"There will be times when the need for infrastructure is so paramount that 's going to be the number one priority."


LGAQ development approval/rejection timeline reductions aims.

  • subdivisions (20 or more lots) - from an average 364 days down to 60 days
  • private low-risk or public operational works from 88 days down to two days
  • residential developments from an average 93 days to 5 for low risk