The Victorian government has established a taskforce to help keep the state’s building and development industry continue to operate during the coronavirus pandemic.
The creation of the group coincides with the approval of four new building projects worth more than $1.5 billion, located in Southbank, Collins St, and Flemington.
The Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce will be co-chaired by Solar Victoria CEO Stan Krpan, as well as Lautaret boss Roger Teale, and Victorian Planning Authority chair Jude Munro.
Prior to joining Solar Victoria, Krpan headed Sustainability Victoria for more than seven years. Teale was formerly president of the Property Council of Victoria and senior executive at LendLease, while Munro was CEO of Brisbane City Council for 10 years.
The taskforce will investigate planning and investment opportunities to “boost Victoria’s building and development industry over the short, medium and long term”.
Initially, the taskforce will oversee the fast-tracking of planning approvals using ministerial powers, where decisions have been delayed due to coronavirus related impacts on the state planning system.
It will advise government on building and development projects over the longer term — including initiatives that further expand social housing options — and issues impacting the industry. It will also give advice on financial incentives and current revenue measures, such as land tax, developer contributions, fees and rates.
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.
The taskforce will run for an initial period of three months before reporting back to the government with recommendations.
Planning minister Richard Wynne and treasurer Tim Pallas will oversee the taskforce. They argued the group would help the state’s economy make it through the coronavirus pandemic by supporting the building and development industry.
“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,” Pallas noted.
“Given the economic challenges caused by coronavirus, it’s more important than ever that we support our building and development industry and the thousands of people it employs.”