Builders peak body welcomes Victorian zone reforms
Leading construction body Master Builders Association has acknowledged the Napthine Government’s recent announcement of commercial and industrial zone reforms across Victoria, saying it will cut red tape for builders in the state.
On May 6, Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy released sweeping reforms to Victoria's existing business and industrial zones designed to drive employment, productivity growth and respond to challenges the state will face in the future.
One of the main changes include merging five existing building zones into two new commercial zones. One zone will provide for diverse mixed uses including retail, office and residential while the other will be a flexible employment-only zone.
"These reforms untangle the complex web of business zones in Victoria, replacing them with a common sense approach to our commercial areas," Guy says.
Master Builders' Executive Director Brian Welch agrees and says Victoria's overly-complex planning system often acts to stifle investment aimed at building better communities.
"Today's reforms will simplify planning zones and support investment in both commercial and industrial buildings across the state," he says.
"Construction jobs will be supported by these reforms, allowing our industry to be better placed to build the offices, retail centres, bulky goods zones and workplaces that will provide long-term employment opportunities for all Victorians."
According to data released by Victoria's Building Commission, the value of commercial building permits have declined 34 per cent between 2008 and 2012.
"Cutting red tape will create more opportunities to drive investment in commercial building and stimulate activity," Welch says.
He adds the zoning changes will also support Victoria's manufacturing industry which is one of the state's largest providers of full-time jobs.
"Master Builders encourages the Napthine Government to continue efforts that will reduce regulatory burdens that strangle our industry, both through its forthcoming Metropolitan Planning Strategy and beyond," he says.
Under the reform, industrial zones will no longer restrict office space and permit limited commercial development in some areas.
The body also strongly endorses the government's concept of creating a 20-minute city which it says will enshrine the state's status as one of the world's most liveable communities for years to come.
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