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WA Government moves to fast-track construction
The Western Australia Government has responded quickly to bad news from the building industry by introducing legislative changes that will allow developers to begin construction more quickly, commerce minister Simon O’Brien has announced.
Following introduction of the WA Building Act in April of this year, both building applications and approvals fell by almost half, a fact of which the government is aware, Mr O’Brien said.
The 46.7 per cent drop in April, recorded by the ABS, prompted the move to allow construction to begin pending approval so as to encourage an upturn in building that would immediately relieve the construction industry.
“This temporary measure will assist builders in avoiding protracted delays before starting construction, but will not remove the industry’s obligation to meet all necessary standards,” Mr O’Brien said.
$80m to fuel regional ‘SuperTowns’
$80 million has been pledged by the WA Government to fuel growth in specified regional areas through multiple strategies, with nine ‘SuperTowns’ set to benefit from funding under the ‘Royalties for Regions’ program.
Boddington, Collie, Esperance, Jurien Bay, Katanning, Manjimup, Margaret River, Morawa and Northam are the towns nominated to receive the funding. Small business development will be given a boost at Boddington, Esperance and Manjimup, where infrastructure upgrades will also be put in place, with the aim of enabling housing development.
“It is expected that the projects being funded under this scheme will not only boost amenities in the towns but also attract future investment from government and public and private companies in regional Western Australia,” said Premier Colin Barnett.
Regional development minister Brendon Grylls said the Super Towns would provide an alternative to living in Perth.
“With the population of the state set to more than double by 2050, Super Towns will benefit from an increased population and help to ease pressure on the metropolitan area,” Mr Grylls said.