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Practitioner Roadshows

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) is working collaboratively and building partnerships with the planning industry to deliver the implementation of the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

In May 2017, DPTI commenced a series of roadshows with planning practitioners to provide an opportunity to help local councils transition to the new planning system and prepare industry professionals for upcoming planning changes.

Contact for further information about the practitioner roadshows

What we heard

Questions raised during the roadshows are summarised in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below which will continue to evolve as subsequent roadshows are held.

What’s next

DPTI will support planning practitioners to transition to the new planning system by:

  • developing information to help practitioners understand the new system
  • establishing a Transition Team to assist councils to transition to the new system
  • working with each council on their transition requirements for the P&D Code 
  • creating a discussion forum for practitioners to ask questions about the new system
  • developing information to help Council Elected Members

Topic discussed

Further information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Click on the boxes below to expand information about what was heard.

The purpose of the Community Engagement Charter, as set out in the PDI Act 2016, is to establish an effective consultation process at the front end of the planning process – at the strategic or policy stage. Historically, a lot of community engagement happens at the conclusion of a planning process – at the outcome stage.

The drafting of the Community Engagement Charter will draw from the community and the industry to determine the over-arching principles and expectations.  

Engaging the community early provides opportunity for information sharing at a policy level, discussion of available options and understanding of the consequences of those options.

It is acknowledged that engaging the community at the strategic or policy stage, rather than at the outcome stage, can be challenging. This is why the community will be involved in the drafting and design of the Community Engagement Charter, to allow for thorough understanding of how the community want to be engaged and what matters to them.

The Community Engagement Charter will be flexible and adaptable to all projects, containing non-prescriptive and outcomes-based provisions that can be applied to any project scale, budget and resources and level of community interest.


While the transition to the Planning & Design Code will occur for some time, it is recognised that the system still must operate and therefore, accommodate required policy and zoning amendments. DPTI’s new transition team will work alongside each council to ensure transition progresses, while also ensuring council can continue to meet the needs of its local area.

Councils are encouraged to identify policy and zoning amendments that should be incorporated into the transition to the Planning & Design Code process for discussion with DPTI’s transition team.

The Design Guidelines are a non-statutory tool aimed at providing a better understanding of the sorts of things that contribute to good design. The Guidelines in themselves have no statutory role or weighting in relation to development assessment.

Where relevant and found to be appropriate, aspects of the Design Guidelines will be used to inform design related policy in the Planning & Design Code, and therefore will apply to particular development types in the necessary circumstances.

The relevant authority will process and assess applications. Under the PDI Act 2016, the relevant authorities are:

  • the Minister
  • State Planning Commission (and any Committee established thereunder)
  • Assessment Panels
  • Assessment Manager
  • Accredited Professional and
  • Councils.

The Assessment Panels can commence operation from 1 August 2017 (subject to Proclamation) and must be in operation by 1 October 2017.

An Accredited Professional can act as a relevant authority and assess development as prescribed by the PDI Act 2016 and Regulations (still under development).

The PDI Act 2016 provides assessment pathways to make simple assessments more streamlined, allowing more time to focus on more complex assessment matters. The Planning & Design Code will regulate only what’s needed which may mean that some additional minor matters will no longer require planning consent.

The Accreditation Scheme is expected to increase scope for private planners to assess low risk, low impact development which will result in fewer of these application types being lodged with councils. This will allow council planners to invest more time assessing high risk, high impact developments and expanding their role in strategic thinking, design and engagement.

Additionally, a key provision of the PDI Act 2016 is that all ‘restricted’ (previously ‘non-complying’) development is the responsibility of the Commission. This may further reduce the number of applications being lodged with councils they are no longer processing ‘restricted’ development. However, it is intended that there will be fewer ‘restricted’ developments than are currently ‘non-complying’.

DPTI is eager to work with council officers and provide them with the tools and skills to engage elected members across the state. This support will be tailored for each council and will include a range of tools including presentations (delivered by either DPTI or council officers), support material, explanatory videos and events. The department is also working closely with the LGA to identify opportunities to engage elected members about the new planning system and what it means for them.

Additional functionality for practitioners will be built into the Planning Portal to provide regular updates about the transition process and provide a discussion forum for practitioners to share issues, upload information and discuss ideas.

DPTI is committed to helping all councils transition their electronic systems to operate alongside the SA Planning Portal. DPTI will work closely with councils to understand their technology and connectivity needs and how we can successfully transition.

Page last modified Thursday, 27 July 2017