Local council call for electronic DA funding

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) wants the federal government to foot the bill for a national rollout of platforms to support electronic development applications.

ALGA is asking for $A200 million over four years to be allocated in the 2011/12 federal budget.

According to a statement, it wants “ Commonwealth investment to assist councils to re-engineer their 'back of office' systems to accommodate e-business processing [to] further enable councils to deliver more efficient and less costly services to their communities, such as application lodgement, referrals, online tracking of matters and notifications

“More interactive business systems that allow citizens and small businesses to monitor and track progress of their matter through the council decision-making process is consistent with the global drive to promote more citizen-centric service delivery at all levels of government.”

ALGA believes that eDAs can “make a significant contribution to microeconomic reform by: providing immediate access to all information and documents associated with a development application; facilitating good governance because citizens and applicants will have enhanced opportunity to accurately assess the efficiency of the assessment process and implement ongoing process improvements; improving document management and enabling standardisation of processes; significantly reducing communication time between stakeholders and planning officers more specifically; and reducing paper volumes.”