So far this year, much of our effort has been spent dealing with the frustrating issues associated with the ACT Government bureaucracy. I am sure most of our members would have recent experiences of Government delays processing development applications, unit titling applications or obtaining operational acceptance. Or maybe you have been surprised by some of the recent increase in DA fees, licensing fees, or new levies such as the waste levy. These frustrations are not limited to the ACT Government, with Evoenergy inspections, fees and delays also the cause of many members phone calls to our office.
Dealing with Government is hard work, but recently it has been much harder than it should be in the ACT. Hence, much of our effort has been working with Government to speed up DA processing. A short-term solution currently being investigated is the establishment of a fast track process to deal with ‘simple’ applications such as projects less than $1 million in value.
We have also been working with Access Canberra and EPSDD on the new building reforms. While the objective of these reforms is strongly supported by the MBA, the level of engagement by Government with industry has been poor to non-existent during the reform development. Little consideration has been paid to how these major reforms will be implemented. These issues will put greater pressure on industry at a time when the more pressing issue of renewing PI insurance policies is being experienced by building surveyors and other building industry professionals.
Rest assured that we understand that these issues are causing uncertainty, adding cost, and making running a business in the ACT more difficult, the MBA is committed to working with government and our members to make improvements as the opportunity arises.