The Victorian Government has set up a dedicated taskforce to help keep the state’s building and development industry running through the COVID-19 crisis, while announcing the approval of four new projects worth more than AU$1.5 billion dollars.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne and Treasurer Tim Pallas will oversee the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce, which will investigate planning and investment opportunities to boost Victoria’s building and development industry over the short, medium and long term.
Minister Wynne has also approved four new building projects located at 118 City Road, Southbank, 555 Collins St, 52-60 Collins St and 550 Epsom Road Flemington – creating thousands of Victorian jobs at a time when they are needed most.
The Taskforce will advise the Government on issues impacting the industry, helping to remove barriers to building and development works, vital for supporting Victorian jobs, housing and infrastructure. It will also work with industry and unions to review existing major building and development projects, ensuring workers stay safe and healthy while we deliver the infrastructure Victoria needs.
The Taskforce will initially focus on overseeing the fast-tracking of planning approvals using Ministerial powers, where decisions have been delayed due to COVID-19-related impacts on the Victorian Planning System.
The Government will also seek the Taskforce’s advice on a pipeline of building and development projects over the longer term.
The co-chairs of the Taskforce — Roger Teale, Jude Munro AO and Stan Krpan – bring a depth of leadership experience in the private and public sectors. Roger Teale was a former President of the Property Council (Vic) and Senior Executive at LendLease, Jude Munro AO is chair of the Victorian Planning Authority and Stan Krpan is a Victorian Public Service CEO.
The Taskforce will receive advice from three Industry Working Groups and be guided by a Steering Committee, involving representatives from industry peak bodies and unions.
Commenting on the initiative, Minister Wynne said: “This taskforce will help ensure the building and development industry is a driving force for Victoria’s economy through this pandemic and beyond. It will help deliver existing projects more efficiently and assist new projects to get off the ground faster.”
Minister Pallas added: “We’re planning and delivering the major projects Victoria needs – supporting jobs and doing what we can to help businesses survive to the other side of this crisis. Given the economic challenges caused by COVID-19, it’s more important than ever that we support our building and development industry and the thousands of people it employs.”