Mulder aims to streamline infrastructure projects

Roads minister introduces bill to kick-start East-West Link and Port of Hastings developments and streamline administrative processes governing transport projects

By Brad Gardner | June 14, 2013

The process governing transport projects in Victoria will be streamlined under proposed legislation that will also give the go-ahead for big-ticket infrastructure items.

State Roads Minister Terry Mulder yesterday introduced a bill into Parliament to amend Victoria’s Major Projects Facilitation Act, which covers the assessment, approval and delivery of major transport projects.

Mulder says the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Amendment (East West Link and Other Projects) Bill simplifies administrative processes and introduces a statutory duty on state agencies to act and make decisions quickly to avoid delay.

"This Bill makes significant cuts to timeframes for decisions in the assessment and approval process. Timeframes for decisions around pathways, scoping, release of key documents and approvals have all been halved or more than halved," he says.

"Put simply, this Bill will deliver much needed infrastructure sooner and at a lower cost."

Mulder says the Bill will allow early works on projects such as the 18km East-West Link, which will provide an alternative to the congested M1 corridor to improve travel times and freight efficiency.

"Subject to the premier’s approval the legislation will also enable the Port of Hastings development to be delivered. This project is essential for Victoria’s future and the Government has provided $110 million in the Budget to kick-start the development," he says.

The Bill will also extend to councils, with Mulder saying a provision will be slotted into the Act making it clear local governments cannot try and stall a project once the minister for planning has approved it.

"Every week a project is tied up in administration is another week of congestion on our transport system. Congestion increases business costs and decreases the amount of time we all get to spend with our families," Mulder says.

Debate on the Bill has been adjourned.

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