​Reform ​Benefit

Survey Approvals Online

Private industry surveyors are able to lodge their plans and receive approvals online through the Survey Approvals Online gateway (SAO).

The SAO gateway provides electronic notification to the Land Titles Office and provides the ability for development applications to be tracked from application lodgement to title issue. Accepting the lodgement of documents digitally also improves the efficiency of the development process and reduces the amount of data that needs to be entered. The Survey Approvals Online gateway streamlines the land development process with the removal of duplication of effort and paperwork and provides a more efficient capture of re-usable spatial information which is of benefit to all. Streamlining of the approval process will cut construction industry red tape and provides significant benefits for both Government and private sector organisations.

Owner: Department of Business

Construction and Development Advisory Council review of red tape

Review of red tape in the construction and development sector completed. Final report provided to government in July 2015 with arrange of recommendations including to: progress long term strategic planning, reform certification, development single point of entry, greater consistency in decision making.

Owner: Department of Business

Streamlining planning processes

The Planning Legislation Amendment Bill passed by Parliament in the June sittings has assigned some functions to the Planning Commission that were previously held by the Development Consent Authority as the reporting body

The Planning Commission conducts extensive community consultation to guarantee local knowledge and insights are properly considered. Given this extensive community consultation undertaken in developing the strategic plans and policies incorporated in the planning scheme, the Planning Commission is the most appropriate body to report on submissions regarding proposals that do not fit into the parameters set by the planning scheme.

Owner: Department of Lands, Planning and Environment

Reduced red tape for Indigenous essential services

The Planning Legislation Amendment Bill, passed during the June sittings of Parliament, allows leases over Aboriginal land to Indigenous Essential Services Pty Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Power and Water Corporation) to be exempted from planning approval processes

This removes red tape, saves time, and allows for secure tenure over essential services infrastructure.

Owner: Department of Lands, Planning and Environment

​Survey Approvals Online (SAO) system

​The first stage of the new Survey Approvals Online system is now open. Private industry surveyors will now be able to apply for survey data allocation (lot numbers and survey reference number) either through the Development Assessment Online or SAO. The new system saves the private sector time in data entry and reduces duplication of information.

Owner: Department of Lands, Planning and Environment

​Removal of NT WorkSafe as a reporting authority

​Amendments to the Building Regulations, effective on 1 November 2015, removes NT WorkSafe as a reporting authority for building certifiers. Schedule 2 of the Building Regulations sets out the authorities that a building certifier must contact and seek a report. The amendment means that certifiers are no longer required to seek a report from NT WorkSafe prior to deciding on an application for a building or occupancy permit.

Owner: Department of Business

​Removal of 90m height limits in Darwin City

​Amendments to the NT Planning Scheme removes the 90m height limit on buildings in Darwin City. Restrictions remain on buildings on The Esplanade and the south-western side of Mitchell Street.

Owner: Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment

​Development guidelines for Northern Territory Controlled Roads

​The Department of Transport has developed new guidelines that make it easier for developers to identify and understand obligations and requirements where construction and development may impact the Territory’s road network, including physical infrastructure, traffic, operation, management, capacity and safety.

Owner: Department of Transport

​Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) applications now online

​Applications for an Authority Certificate are now available to download online from the AAPA website. Making it easier to find information and save time, the website provides links to fact sheets and application forms to help people and organisations proposing development on Aboriginal sacred sites.

Owner: Department of Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA)

Improving frontline services to ensure the AAPA is responsible and relevant to users of its services and information

Ensure that the organisation is responsive and relevant to the public, custodians and government departments, and other industry groups that use its services by providing consistent high quality information through fact sheets, online information and verbal advice provided by staff.

Owner: Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority

Development of new external website​

Provides high quality up to date information and application forms online.

Owner: Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority

Development Consent Authority (DCA) meeting agendas now online - greater transparency in planning processes

Allows the public access to DCA meeting agendas online. Previously, agendas were only available in hardcopy two days prior to meeting at DCA offices in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs. Now that the agendas are online, more people are able to know what development is happening around them.

It is important that the public are given every opportunity to engage in the planning process to ensure good development and faith in Territory planning processes.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Building approvals can now be lodged online

Building Approvals Online allows certifiers to lodge building permits and occupancy permits electronically at any time. Removes the need to lodge paperwork. First in Australia and saves certifiers time - no longer have to attend a government office.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Abolished vendor disclosure requirements for house sales

Enabled more Territorians access to affordable housing by removing requirement on sellers and agents to provide certain information to vendors.

Owner: Department of Attorney-General and Justice

Introduced flexibility to White Card (General Construction Induction) training and centralised databases of card holders

Allows the mandated face to face course to be completed more quickly, saving businesses and employees time and money. Easier to obtain new and replacement White Cards through the Territory Business Centres.

Owner: Department of Business

Moved to nationally consistent water efficiency labelling and standards

Businesses and individuals operating across jurisdictions only need to be aware of, and comply with, one regulatory framework, instead of several.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Allowed concurrent (rather than requiring sequential) assessment of planning scheme amendments (for example, rezoning applications) and development assessments

Shaves up to three months off approval times.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Established the Planning Commission (Planning Act)

Independent planning body, ensuring faster land release, reducing cost of living, identifying land and getting it developed.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

One Stop Shop for development applications allowing developers and the public to access information online about the application process and current applications

Processes have been improved to speed up assessment times and allow developers and the general public to access information about both the development application process and current applications.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Land Titles Office now accepts copies of pool fencing certificates rather than requiring evidence of original

Time saving, as the pool fencing certificate doesn’t need to be reissued each time the property is sold. Land Titles Office can now accept copies rather than requiring evidence of the original.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Planning Scheme now allows 300 square metre lots in Multiple Dwelling Zones

Provides wider housing choice.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Deregulated independent dwellings (aka granny flats) and increased the size of permitted units in rural areas

Allows for affordable living alternatives.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Improved the Survey Plan approval process

Lodging surveyor now require to ensure technical correctness and all statutory approvals are obtained prior to lodgement. Shortens departmental approval time to a few days.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Streamlined the Unit Titling Subdivision process - amended to require only a single clearance from service authorities

Significantly streamlines the process for developers, service authorities and government. Applies only for new (non-staged) developments, for example, with the construction of the development approved after September 2014. Previously, developers were required to obtain clearances from service authorities twice for the same development, for example, once for the development itself, and then a second time when it is subdivided to unit title the development.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Accelerated the release of land

More than 800 units in the CBD in 2014. Greenfield release plan for 2014 is expected to yield about 2,000 dwellings across the Territory. An audit of Crown land has identified more than 70 parcels of land suitable for infill development that could yield up to 2,700 dwellings.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

​Reform ​Benefit
Implementation of the Construction and Development Advisory Council (CDAC) report recommendations

Reforms which create:

  • Long term strategic planning to provide regulatory certainty about where and how development can take place.
  • Greater consistency in decision making
  • Customer focused service delivery

See the CDAC report for more information (pdf 4MB)

Owner: Department of Business

Building Certifiers Panel

A Building Certifiers Panel has been established to recommend improvements to the building certification process and the accreditation and evaluation of certifiers.The focus is on reducing delays, improving consistency, reducing or removing duplication of certification roles and increasing confidence in the certification work performed. The review of building certification system and processes is expected to reduce inconsistency in advice on compliance with code at the completion of construction.

Owner: Department of Business

Review of Residential Building Cover Scheme​.

Currently under consideration by government.​

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Electronic Conveyancing - enable documents to be lodged and processed electronically

Streamlining property conveyancing to electronic form - conveyancing would be able to done electronically as opposed to needing physical attendance at settlements. Saves time and money.

Owner: Department of Attorney-General and Justice

Post Moratorium Building reforms

It’s government’s intent to introduce reforms to the Building Act to provide alternative pathways to building certification, increase capacity within the certification industry and encourage a culture of compliance.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Development of Uniform Subdivision Guidelines

Provides more certainty and transparency to development approval and infrastructure process.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Development of new Bonding Arrangements to enable early titling

Enables earlier titling of developments.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Consolidation of spatial information systems, data and services

Provides expanded spatial datasets and combined information into single source data through a shared services model.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Digitalising historic building files

Allows delivery of all buildings files information online.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Planning Land Use tables refined - Consent to Permitted

Allows more uses permitted without requiring Development Consent approval. Will reduce regulatory burden.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

Examining exemption categories for minor structures

Streamlines approval processes.

Owner: Department of Lands Planning and the Environment

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