Jane Frances-Kelly and Paul Donegan, formerly and currently of the Grattan Institute respectively, had an excellent book published earlier this month called City Limits, which argues strongly for cutting red tape from town planning processes, introducing congestion charging for roads, and replacing stamp duty with a more comprehensive land tax. These would all be good policy reforms.
These paragraphs from p.85 of the book are damning of our complex planning regulations in Queensland:
In a 2011 report, the Productivity Commission found ‘the regulations and agencies involved in planning, zoning and development assessments constitute one of the most complex regulatory regimes operating in Australia’. Examples of this complexity are not hard to find…The land use planning rules set by Queensland local councils include confusing jargon such as zones, precincts, precinct classes, area classifications, domains, constraint codes, use codes and planning areas…
…Decisions about how land is used can also be referred to specialist government agencies. These include bodies charged to conserve a state’s heritage or protect the environment…In Queensland, fifty-five different situations can trigger a proposal to be referred to a specialist agency.
I would highly recommend City Limits to anyone with an interest in housing, transport and taxation policies.
Previous posts on this blog on these topics include: