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Fast-tracking priority projects – threshold and assessment criteria released

May 18, 2020

The Victorian Governments Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce has released the ‘Priority Projects Eligibility Criteria’. Through this process, the Taskforce are calling for submissions for building and construction projects of state and regional significance that are shovel ready, which can now be fast-tracked through planning approvals on the recommendation of the Project Fast-Track Team.

Consideration will be given to providing projects with fast-tracked development assistance, including planning permits, planning scheme amendments and precinct structure plans. This includes projects that are currently waiting for the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hearings or approval from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) or council.

The eligibility criteria features a detailed list of criterion for the two tiered approach, with the key features summarised as follows:

Stage 1 - Threshold criteria for taskforce triage

  • On its face the matter warrants Ministerial intervention:

  • The matter raises issues of fairness or public interest

  • The application is of state or regional significance

  • The matters would deliver public value i.e. public and social housing and contribute to a diversity of projects across sectors and across Victoria

  • Preliminary review of available information indicates the matter meets assessment criteria

Stage 2 – Priority projects assessment criteria:

  • Economic benefits including jobs, capital value and innovation

  • Net community benefit i.e. social affordable housing and environmental sustainability

  • Policy alignment with government policies and priorities 

  • Stakeholder views are known or can be ascertained in an expedited manner  

  • Project complexity and speed of delivery

  • Project feasibility i.e. demand is evident and genuinely shovel ready 

  • Probity can be assured 

An application form needs to be completed for each project and submitted to the Project Fast-Track Team. For a request to be recommended by the Project Fast-Track Team to the Minister for Planning for approval, projects must meet the criteria within both the threshold and assessment stages. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate the demand and commercial viability of the project in the current economic context.

As in previous economic crises, the housing industry has effectively kept the economy moving with the assistance of programs aimed at supporting housing supply and generating demand. This fast-tracked process for priority projects will provide immediate benefits to Victoria’s economy, through providing jobs for Victorians and keeping priority infrastructure projects on track.

HIA was appointed to the Taskforce when it was established a number of weeks ago and continues to work with the Government to implement measures to keep the States residential building industry open during this time. The work of this Taskforce will be critical in the coming months to assist in stabilising home building activity in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Further information, including application details and the full list of the threshold and assessment criteria, can be access here.

If you wish to discuss this matter further please contact Teresa Davis via email or 03 9280 8230.