NSW councils use online ePlanning portal to avoid approval delays
NSW councils use online ePlanning portal to avoid approval delays

$46m planning portal cuts DA delays by 300 per cent

The NSW Government is spending $45.83 million to move the planning process online and cut the delays and red tape that frustrate homeowners, builders and developers.

A table of councils that have started to use the new system in the last five months shows that dealing with applications from lodgement to determination was up to three times quicker.

Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said: "This is only the beginning. These are small samples but the efficiencies both at a government and council level are tremendous."

Tania Ruiz at her Box Hill home. She used the online planning portal for building approvals. Picture: Richard Dobson.
Tania Ruiz at her Box Hill home. She used the online planning portal for building approvals. Picture: Richard Dobson.

Blacktown City Council has been using the new e-planning system for a quarter of its development applications over the last five months and has seen planning times slashed from 74 business days to just 20 - a 54 day saving.

"These councils are digital pioneers and should be highly commended for leading the way with the new system," Mr Dominello said.

It comes as developers complain constructions is being strangled by red tape and a new report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that even in full COVID lockdown approval for dwellings in Victoria grew by 1.8 per cent while approvals in virtually lockdown free NSW fell by 14.2 per cent.

 

Mr Dominello said moving planning processes online was just part of a move to speed up approvals by integrating 36 state agencies - such as Sydney Water - and councils into a single process.

The $45.83 million to be announced today is part of the $1.6 billion set aside for that digital revamp of all government services.

There are 76 councils using the ePlanning Digital Services. "These councils are digital pioneers and should be highly commended for leading the way with the new system," Mr Dominello said.

NSW Minister Victor Dominello. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles
NSW Minister Victor Dominello. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian Gilles

The remaining 52 councils across NSW will be online by the middle of next year.

"This is about the government fitting around your life, not you fitting around the government," he said.

"You can lodge a DA from your laptop on the beach. Gone are the days of circling around trying to find a car park between 9-5 to do the paperwork. Plus it's Covid safe.

"As well as speed, it's a huge shift to transparency allowing everyone to see what's happening in their own streets," he said. "This is a nation-leading system worthy of a 21st century State."

Nurse Tania Ruiz and fiance Andrew Romano used the new ePlanning portal for their new home in Box Hill during the coronavirus pandemic. "We got engaged last year and the next thing was to build a home," Ms Ruiz said. "The new system worked really well for us and was quicker than expected."

 

Originally published as $46m planning portal cuts DA delays by 300 per cent


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