Media release: Fast-tracked Assessment Program
What the report is about
This report examines the effectiveness of the Fast-tracked Assessment Program, administered by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) between April 2020 and October 2020.
The program aimed to support the construction industry during the COVID-19 crisis by accelerating the final assessment stages for planning proposals and development applications.
DPIE selected projects and planning proposals for fast tracked assessment that demonstrated the potential to:
- deliver jobs
- progress to the next stage of development within six months of determination
- deliver public benefit.
The audit assessed whether the Fast-tracked Assessment Program achieved its objectives while complying with planning controls.
What we found
Through tranches three to six of the program, DPIE successfully accelerated the final stages of 53 assessments. DPIE reported that 89 per cent of these proceeded to the next stage of development within six months.
Assessment of projects and planning proposals was compliant with legislation and other requirements. However, the audit found gaps in DPIE's management of conflicts of interest.
DPIE has not evaluated or costed the program and is not able to demonstrate the extent to which it provided support to the construction industry during COVID-19.
Aspects of the program have been incorporated into longer term reforms to create a new level of transparency over the progress and status of planning assessments.
What we recommended
- strengthen controls over conflicts of interest
- evaluate the Fast-tracked Assessment Program.
Construction industry support
The program aimed at providing immediate support to the construction industry during the COVID-19 crisis
59 fast-tracked projects
59 projects and 42 planning proposals projects were assessed in six tranches
of all fast-tracked assessments in tranches three to six progressed to the next stage of the planning process within six months of determination
Please contact Ian Goodwin, Deputy Auditor-General on 9275 7347 or by email.