Libs vow to aid councils
A SPECIALIST planning team will be set up to help regional councils deal with issues and fast-track projects in country Victoria.
If elected in November, the Coalition is pledging to reintroduce the Council Planning Flying Squad program to take pressure off rural councils, which are dealing with rising costs and skill shortages.
Nationals leader and spokesman for regional Victoria Peter Walsh said the move would speed up planning projects and encourage more business and investment in regional areas.
“These flying squads will take the pressure off councils by giving them expert resources, when they need it, to make the most of development and new investment opportunities in country Victoria,” Mr Walsh said. “The Liberal Nationals have a decentralisation vision to turn Victoria into a state of cities, not just a city state, and that is underpinned by better planning.”
The flying squad program was axed in 2015.
An independent review found the flying squads had a cost-benefit ratio of 1:3, with the program cited as leading practice by the Australian Productivity Commission.