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:
- Legislation: Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016
- Legislation: Statues Amendment (Planning, Development and Infrastructure) Act 2017 (Transitional Act)
- Factsheet: A smooth transition to the new planning system (PDF, 197 KB)
- Flowchart: Our New Planning System - Overview (PDF, 81 KB)
- Factsheet: A brief overview of the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDF, 248 KB)
- Factsheet: How the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 delivers on the Government's response to the Report of the Expert Panel on Planning Reform (PDF, 191 KB)
- User’s Guide: Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDF, 441 KB)
Local heritage reform
In 2016 a discussion paper on ideas for Local Heritage Reform was released to encourage high-level ideas and feedback from experts and practitioners involved in local heritage practice and to inform the preparation of a future Local Heritage Bill. We have been pleased to receive significant interest in our heritage reform program, with lots of ideas about how the system can be improved. State Government received over 190 submissions on the local heritage discussion paper that captured a range of views in relation to the proposed reform initiative. There are opportunities to enhance the system to better integrate community engagement, de-politicise the listing process and to provide more robust criteria for heritage listing.
The consultation process has emphasised the importance of heritage to Councils and the broader community in establishing a sense of place within their local areas. To that end, a large number of submissions expressed support for reform in principle, but sought more detailed information on the overall impact of the reform program on heritage values and certainty about how valued suburbs will be protected.
The State Government is still understanding issues that have arisen from public consultation on the Local Heritage Discussion Paper. In view of the limited parliamentary time available, the Government will not be proceeding with any changes at this time.
Following the conclusion of public consultation submissions are currently being reviewed. A copy of all submissions received can be found here:
Please note some submissions have not been published at the request of the submitter.
South Australia's Expert Panel on Planning Reform
A five member Expert Panel was appointed in February 2013 to provide recommendations for a new planning system to Government and Parliament by December 2014. Members of the Expert Panel were Brian Hayes QC, Natalya Boujenko, Stephen Hains, Simone Fogarty and Theo Maras AM. The recommendation process by the Expert Panel involved:
- in December 2013, after intensive public consultation, the Expert Panel released its first report, What We Have Heard (PDF, 3310 KB)
- in August 2014, the Expert Panel released its second public report, Our Ideas for Reform (PDF, 5360 KB) for a 7 week consultation period
- in December 2014, the final report The Planning System We Want (PDF, 6651 KB) was delivered to the Minister for Planning
- in March 2015, the South Australian government released its response the final report and recommendations of the Expert Panel on Planning Reform (PDF, 187 KB).