A new development application system covering 21 councils in south east Queensland will go live this week following a series of successful pilots throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Provided by InfoMaster, the technology will be available to 2.4 million ratepayers, and is the result of a $9.7 million grant from the federal government's Regulation Reduction Incentive Funding (RRIF) program.
The InfoMaster system has now been tried and tested in 60 local councils across Australia and New Zealand.
Hornsby council mayor, Nick Berman, said within six weeks of implementing the development application enquiry system, calls for development application assistance dropped more than 50 percent.
"This has made council staff much more productive allowing them to spend less time answering queries and more time processing the development applications," he said.
Councils that will be live over the next week include Beaudesert, Boonah, Brisbane, Caboolture, Caloundra, Eidsvold, Esk, Gatton, Gayndah, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Kilcoy, Laidley, Logan, Maroochy, Mundubbera, Noosa, Pine Rivers, Redcliffe, Redland, and Toowoomba..
Council of Mayors (SEQ) chairman, Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said growth of the region is dependent upon the success of local business.
"This new system will save businesses and councils time and money. Queensland is the only state where councils have collaborated in this way leading local government reform," Newman said.
The net annual value of property development in Australia is $40 billion. If the processing time from application to approval can be reduced by 10 percent, this equates to a national saving of $4 billion per annum. according to Infomaster sales director, Marie Eedy.
"We are in an exciting time where technological advances are breaking down barriers to important information," she said.
"We will be making better use of the Internet to reach and service the needs of residents and businesses, including more Web-based information." Eedy said.
The project is powered by InfoMaster's MasterPlan and MasterView suite of products with development assessment timeframes expected to drop from weeks to days.
The faster turnaround is expected to save the region about $80 million.