Stirling Fast-Track launched

25 October 2022

The City of Stirling has launched an innovative online service to modernise, simplify and streamline the assessment and determination of small-scale residential development applications.

The City hosted an industry showcase event attended by the Minister for Housing, Lands, Homelessness, and Local Government, Hon John Carey MLA, as well as representatives from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and the Master Builders Association (MBA); whose support has been crucial in delivering this project.

Stirling Fast-Track enables applicants to use a new digital assessment tool on the City’s website, providing faster turnaround times. Applications are guaranteed to be determined within 28 days, or within 50 days for applications requiring referral advice from external agencies.

Stirling Fast-Track is available for most residential development applications, ranging from patios, single houses and up to two grouped dwellings. It is expected to cover over 65 per cent of development applications received by the City each year.

Mayor Mark Irwin said the online tool would allow residents and customers to receive faster approvals and potentially commence construction on their project sooner.

“We understand that renovating a house or undertaking a development project is not easy and can be time consuming,” he said.

“This innovative service will improve our processes to better meet the needs of our residents, and the wider development industry, by reducing lodgement times significantly.

“Stirling Fast-Track will provide several firsts within Western Australia including a pre-lodgement process, an innovative online assessment tool for applicants and Fast-Track applicant accreditation — which will enable residents to easily identify and engage with accredited Fast-Track applicants.

“The City appreciates the support of key stakeholders, including the Housing Industry Association and Master Builders Association, whose role in the design and development of this tool has enabled us to improve our service to the development industry.”

Minister for Housing, Lands, Homelessness, and Local Government Hon John Carey MLA helped launch the WA-first and said he hoped more local governments would follow the City of Stirling’s lead with fast-tracking development approvals.

“The McGowan Government made a clear commitment with our reform agenda to cut red tape and it’s great to see our largest local government also putting this into action,” he said.

Housing Industry Association (HIA) Executive Director WA Michael McGowan said the win-win Fast-Track process should alleviate assessment bottlenecks for both applicants and the City.

“The City of Stirling should be celebrated for bringing innovative reform to the DA approvals process,” he said.

“Straight-forward assessment pathways for residential development instils confidence within the community and encourages better outcomes from applicants and for communities alike.”

Master Builders Association WA Executive Director John Gelavis said the Master Builders commended the City of Stirling on the Fast Track initiative.

“Our Association has long advocated for streamlining of planning processes, reducing red tape where possible and achieving greater levels of consistency,” he said.

“Most importantly, this initiative through effective communication and online service delivery, will greatly reduce timeframes benefiting both industry and the public.

“This project demonstrates what can be achieved with collaboration from key stakeholders with a clear goal, positive outcomes that deliver on industry and community expectations.”

To submit a Stirling Fast-Track development application, applicants must lodge an Expression of Interest via the City’s website.

Applicants can then lodge applications through the City’s e-Lodgement portal. The tool will assist applicants by pre-populating important information relating to the property into the assessment sheet, including an environmental, site and verge assessment, R-coding setbacks and open space requirements.

In January 2019, the City of Stirling was one of only two local governments selected by the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) to participate in – and the first to complete – a pilot Small Business Friendly Approvals Project, which simplified and streamlined the approvals process for small businesses. This built on earlier innovations such the online self-help service, the Address and Application Assistant (AAA), which provides businesses and residents information about the approvals they need.

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