The Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act 2016) represents the blueprint for South Australia’s new planning system.
The Act came into operation on 1 April 2017, with a number of sections suspended from operation to provide for a smooth transition from the Development Act to the new Act. The Statutes Amendment (Planning, Development and Infrastructure) Act 2017 (also operational in part from 1 April 2017) helps to support the transfer of processes and rights granted under the current system, as each stage of the new system goes live.
After passing through Parliament, the Act will now be introduced in stages over the next 3 years.
The Act promises to change the way planning decisions are made in SA, including:
Act provisions commencing from 1 April 2017
The following provisions commenced operation on 1 April 2017:
- objects, principles, and general responsibilities under the Act
- the establishment of the new State Planning Commission, which will be established to act as the state’s principal planning advisory and development assessment body
- the framework to develop a new Community Engagement Charter, which is the first of its kind in Australia, putting consultation and participation at the forefront of the planning process
- establishment of the Minister’s statutory Advisory Committees, to support the implementation of the new system
- commencement of basic Infrastructure Scheme provisions and pilot general scheme provisions to provide new tools to ensure new infrastructure can be funded and delivered in-line with development
- the Environment Food Production Areas (EFPAs) to preserve our vital food and agricultural lands and ensure our growth is sustainable and supports better service delivery
- capacity for multiple councils to establish joint planning agreements
- the first stage of ePlanning via the SA Planning Portal to provide better information that is accessible 24/7.
Two sets of Regulations were made on 1 April 2017 relating to Act provisions that commenced on that day:
- prescribe that public notices under the PDI Act can be published through the SA Planning Portal or newspapers
- set out requirements for the annual reports of the State Planning Commission and Joint Planning Boards
- requirements for the certification of statutory instruments on the portal
- prescribe the complaints processes for members of the State Planning Commission and other related matters
- ensuring that the new Environment and Food Production Areas can be created and given effect under the Development Act.
Act provisions commencing from 1 August 2017
The following provisions commenced operation on 1 August 2017:
- the establishment of assessment panels under the new planning system. Councils have been given to 1 October 2017 (designated day) to set up the new assessment panels
- the Commission to commence preparation of State Planning Policies
- the Minister rather than the Commission retains ultimate responsibility for preparation of State Planning Policies
- the Commission will assume the functions of the Development Assessment Commission, the Building Rules Assessment Commission, Building Advisory Committee, and the Development Policy Advisory Committee.
Regulations were made on 1 August 2017 relating to Act provisions that commenced on that day: