Potentially 10,000 jobs tied up in outstanding DA’s
What’s the difference between a 10 storey building and a swimming pool? Or, what is the difference between a complex project and a simple one?
According to Central Coast Council there is no difference at all.
The development assessment process does not differentiate between a swimming pool, a renovation or a garage and a major project such as a high-rise residential building, a factory or anything in between.
The fact is that Council’s Planning Director, Dr Alice Howe, appointed only a few months ago, is living with the legacy of a failed amalgamation process, a shortage of skilled staff, large numbers of development applications (including for minor projects such as swimming pools and garages) commensurate with the second largest council in NSW, and a new digital State Government Planning Portal designed to speed up the process that is not working.
The number of DA’s in Council’s system at the end of July 2022 was 980 and continues to increase with no apparent plan in sight to get it down. The number of DA’s Determined is not keeping up with applications entering the system, indicating that the situation is worsening.
Some builders say they are allowing twelve months to get a DA.
Biodiversity is also a major issue with council taking a hard-line approach to protect individual species such as Tasmania’s Swift Parrot and the Squirrel Glider just to name two
And then there are so called threatened species such as Somersby Mint Bush, the Warnervale Orchid and other obscure species that are being introduced to totally stop a development.
The construction industry on the Central Coast directly employs around 12,000 people plus those engaged in supporting the industry.
To say that over 10,000 jobs are tied up due to Central Coast Council and the Department of Planning’s paralysis is not to overstate the issue.