About RiskSmart

Fast Track Council Development Approvals for Low Risk Town Planning Applications with BCC RiskSMART Development Assessment.

Council has established BCC RiskSMART Development Assessment process as part of its initiatives to reduce regulation within the development industry. The program that commenced in July 2007 and after the 2nd round of accreditation in June 2008, now involves over 30 BCC accredited town planning consultants that can submit RiskSmart development applications.

BCC RiskSMART Development Assessment reduces the time for Council development approvals to a target of 5 working days giving greater control and certainty over development projects as well as saving time and money.

The categories that an application could be eligible for RiskSmart include:

  • House Extensions in a Demolition Control Precinct,
  • New house in a Demolition Control Precinct,
  • 6 Multi-Unit Dwellings or less,
  • 6 Single-Unit Dwellings or less,
  • 6 Lot Subdivision,
  • Shops and Offices or Centre Activity in a Centre,
  • Industry in an Industry area.

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said ”The program not only fast tracked applications but also give customers 25% reduction fee for all RiskSmart applications resulting in instant cost savings for the applicant. The applications are still assessed with the same level of rigour as more complex developments, especially if they occur in character pre-war housing areas. However, specially trained and accredited planning consultants can rapidly check straight forward applications against Council’s set regulations accelerating the process for millions of dollars of development across Brisbane each year.”

Mr Ian Adams accredited consultant town planer said “The BCC RiskSmart (DA) process is the greatest improvement he has seen to assessment of development applications in the 18 years he has been a Town Planner. There is a lot of expertise within the private sector, former Council managers, team leaders; etc. that could be better utilised with development assessment applications. With RiskSmart Development Assessment applications we are required to not only prepare but also assess the applications This involves completing many tasks including ensuring plans are of adequate standard and detail, and identifying the need and inclusion of technical reports in the approval, eg flood studies/ecological reports. Greater responsibility is placed on the accredited planner for applications o be a high quality and meet Council RiskSmart (DA) standard for acceptance.”

Just because a development falls into one of the RiskSmart categories does not automatically mean it qualifies as a RiskSmart development application. The application largely needs to comply with City Plan acceptable solutions for each of the relevant codes and policies to qualify. For example, if units are proposed to be 3 storey in a 2 storey area or a new house in a Character Residential Area is proposed with a single skillion roof or wire balustrading visible from the road it is unlikely to qualify for RiskSmart.

There are 3 main milestones: confirmation the development qualifies for RiskSmart development assessment, development application report submitted to the Local Councillor and development application lodged with Council including the recommended conditions package generated with Council’s online RiskSmart tool by accredited consultants.

Both code assessment and impact assessment applications are being assessed under the BCC RiskSmart Development Assessment process. The IDAS process in the Integrated Planning Act is still required to be met. Each stage of IDAS is required to be completed. For impact assessment applications, therefore, the 5 day target turnaround of the approval is after receiving any Referral Agency response and the public notification compliance notice.

Mr Ian Adams observed timeframes for code assessment applications that typically took 2 ½ – 4 months and impact assessment applications typically took 7-9 months, have been slashed to 1 week and 2 months respectively. This is a major improvement to development assessment timeframes. With the improved service we are able to provide to our clients has led us to establish a new business unit at The Planning Place being AA Fast DA Approvals. At we provide a fast check with a 24-hour response to any development queries to see if the project qualifies for RiskSmart.

BCC RiskSmart Development Assessment process has been well received by house builders. Mr Rob Woods of Home Solutions said “to have the house (in a DCP) approved so quickly dramatically reduces land holding costs, and ever increasing construction costs. The speed in which the application was approved gives us confidence about future project timeframes and outcomes. We highly recommend The Planning Place and the Brisbane City Council RiskSmart system.”

For the month of October the BCC RiskSmart team received 68 applications and approved a total of 75 applications. To date, the RiskSmart team has decided approximately 200 applications for this financial year and is on track to achieve target 800 – approving 800 applications in the 08-09 financial year!

To contact an accredited consultant or find out more about RiskSmart, visit the Brisbane City Council webpage.