TWO top-tier firms have advised the Victorian Government on its new transport legislation.
Allens Arthur Robinsons’ Melbourne office and Freehills provided the Victorian Government with advice prior to the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act 2009 (Vic) being put to Parliament.
Allens partner, Chris Schulz, was part of the advising team and said the new legislation would facilitate the building of transport projects in the state. Other advisers from his firm included Melbourne partner Paul Kenny, senior associate Emily Gerrard and law graduate Elizabeth Sheargold.
“The main implications (of the legislation) are in terms of the time it takes to get projects approved and built,” said Schulz.
“The approach of the Victorian government to speed the process up.”
The new legislation is aimed at streamlining the separate planning, environment and heritage approvals processes by creating a 'one-stop shop' for assessing major transport projects. Under the bill, the planning minister can grant a broad range of planning, environment and heritage approvals that may be required for the project under Victorian law at the end of a single assessment process.
Schulz said that while the new legislation won’t make getting a permit easier, “it will make the time frame for approval more predictable.”
The new legislation was approved by Parliament on September 17, but is yet to be formally made into an act.
The Victorian Government is implementing a range of legislation to fast-track development approvals for the Victorian Transport Plan. The final piece of legislation, the Transport Integration Bill, is planned to be introduced into Parliament later this year.
Freehills declined to comment on its work regarding the legislation.