Construction approvals in south east Queensland will happen quicker and the process will be easier under the Water Supply Services Legislation Amendment Bill that was introduced to parliament today.
Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said the Bill would enable growth and productivity in construction, delivering on the election promise to grow the sector as one of the four pillars of the economy.
“The change will deliver simpler, faster and more cost effective approvals for all scales of development from a new house to a large subdivision,” Mr McArdle said.
“It will streamline the water and sewerage connections, cutting un-necessary red tape and delivering better and more affordable planning outcomes.
“This is in stark contrast to the former Labor Government which spent 20 years bogging the industry down in regulation and red tape.”
Mr McArdle said SEQ councils currently issued development approvals with water and sewerage components on behalf of their distributor-retailer.
“Under the new ‘utility model’, applications would be considered and approved directly by council-owned distributor-retailers, Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) and Unitywater,” he said.
“For more complicated approvals, the use of third party certification will mean a reduction in design times and holding costs for developers.
Mr McArdle said QUU and Unitywater were already starting to work with the development industry to ensure that connection approvals could be considered and approved quickly.
“In addition, across Queensland, the current range of mandatory management plans relating to asset management, drought management, and water conservation would be replaced with a simple, proven approach based on transparent annual reporting,” he said.
“The requirements for producing recycled water for lower risk uses such as irrigation or dust suppression will also be simplified delivering major business savings, a change industry wanted.
Mr McArdle encouraged all interested parties, especially councils, their water businesses and plumbers to make representations to the State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Committee, which will now seek public consultation and consider the Bill in a very detailed way.