The Institute Responds to the Victorian Government’s Announcement of More Major Projects to Build Our Economic Recovery

The Australian Institute of Architects welcomes the recent economic recovery announcement by the Victorian Government. The announcement detailed plans for $933 million of accelerated planning approvals for building and development projects to help save businesses and jobs in Victoria’s construction industry.

The Institute asked the Government for streamlined planning approvals in our COVID-19 Economic Stimulus statement released in April, as well as funding for construction projects such as schools and affordable housing.

Looking at economic recovery plans across Australia, Victoria has already established a $180 million planning and establishment fund to assist streamlining. This was part of its previous announcement of $2.7 billion funding towards large and small shovel-ready projects in May this year.

The Institute hopes that Premier Andrews’ announcement of these planning approvals is just the start. NSW has similarly established a Planning System Acceleration Program with a Delivery Unit focused on unblocking programs caught up in the planning approval the system. So far, 49 projects have been approved in NSW.

At present, Victorians are waiting until they reach the green traffic light before many small-scale domestic renovations and alterations can commence. Architects need restrictions to be fine-tuned to allow COVID Safe brief visits by Architects to clients’ premises during the yellow ‘restricted’ phase that enables critical design and planning to commence. Construction contractors and tradespersons will then be better placed, as soon as the green level of restrictions commences, to deliver a pipeline of construction work to kick start the Victorian economy and save people’s jobs and livelihoods.

“We welcome all steps being taken to kickstart the sector and acknowledge the work done in this space to date. The Institute is ever mindful of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our community and everyone’s responsibility to live and work in a COVID Safe way. ” Said Julia Cambage, CEO of the Australian Institute of Architects.