Decades of ever-increasing layers of approvals and complexity in our planning systems have left the residential building industry heavily over-regulated. During my 35-plus years in the industry I have lost count of the number of new state planning Acts and instruments that have been introduced across the country, let alone the much more numerous new local government planning schemes and amendments. No doubt all of these were introduced with the best of intent: to deal with population growth, and environmental, planning or infrastructure issues.
The great majority of these new planning laws and regulations have complicated and slowed the approval process with substantial negative impacts on affordability for consumers. As costs go up due to approval delays, fees and taxes we have no choice other than to pass these costs, plus a margin, on to the consumer; otherwise projects will not proceed. The biggest impact on profitability in a development project is usually time. The lengthier the delays, the less profitable the project becomes. End prices have to increase to maintain the viability of the project.
Some potential solutions already exist.