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Miles government passes new housing legislation

The Queensland government has passed new legislation through the Parliament to fast-track affordable housing development.

The Miles government has announced the passing of the Housing Availability and Affordability (Planning and Other Legislation Amendment) Bill 2023 through State Parliament on 16 April.

According to the state government, the bill will aim to support more homes being built faster through the development of the State Facilitated Development team, which will fast-track the assessment of development applications for infill housing developments to deliver affordable and diverse housing.

With the development of the new team, applications can be assessed within a minimum of 75 business days.

Furthermore, the bill removes barriers and empowers the planning minister to help deliver essential infrastructure for housing. The legislation allows the minister to condition social and affordable housing on development applications, the Queensland government confirmed.

In addition, the new legislation will aim to address critical infrastructure challenges that “often stall large-scale residential projects”.

The state government explained that in situations where infrastructure like water, power, and roads need to pass through multiple land parcels, the new bill will empower the planning minister to acquire land or create easements, thus unlocking well-located and underutilised land for housing.

This legislation works complimentary to other initiatives outlined in the state government’s $3.1 billion Homes for Queenslanders plan such as inclusionary planning pilots, ground lease trials on government land, and the $350 million incentive funding for infill developments.

Commenting on the new bill, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning Meaghan Scanlon said: “Our bill slashes planning barriers, speeds up infrastructure delivery, and fuels housing construction. More homes, faster – plain and simple.

“Industry tells us that other states already take too much time to approve housing developments, this bill will allow us to approve projects much quicker.

“We need to plan well and plan ahead by pulling new levers in the planning space and unlock supply for more homes faster. The passing of this bill allows this to occur.”

The bill’s passing has resulted in a number of amendments to the Planning Regulation 2017, Minister’s Guidelines and Rules (MGR), and Development Assessment (DA), which are being progressed to guide how the new powers will operate.

Consultations from the public on the Planning Regulation and the proposed amended instruments will be undertaken from 18 April to 20 May 2024, the Queensland government confirmed.

[RELATED: Qld government introduces new laws to support home delivery]

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