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Legislation, Practice Directions and Guidelines

Providing clear and up-to-date guidance on the planning system

The Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (the PDI Act) legislation helps modernise South Australia’s planning system and builds upon important recommendations made by the Expert Panel on Planning Reform in 2014.

The planning system is complex and can often require experienced professionals to make procedural judgement calls. To support them, section 42 of the new PDI Act includes the ability for the State Planning Commission to issue practice directions and guidelines.

Consultation status

Consultation is now open on the draft Development Assessment Regulations and Practice Directions which set out how the new development assessment framework will operate in the new planning system. You are invited to provide feedback via the YourSAy website until 1 March 2019.



Practice Directions

Fact Sheets


Completed In progress Pending

In 2016, the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act) was passed by the South Australian Parliament. The PDI Act is being “switched on” in stages, and will be fully operational by 2020. The PDI Act sets out a new way in which development applications will be assessed across the state.

The changes in the PDI Act are supported by the draft Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) (Development Assessment) Variation Regulations 2019 (the draft Regulations), which are on consultation from 14 January to 1 March 2019.

The draft Regulations set out:

  • how the new development assessment framework will operate
  • the roles and responsibilities of applicants, state, local and other authorities in assessing applications
  • the process for managing disputes in the development assessment.

A practice direction may specify procedural requirements relating to any matter under the legislation. Practice directions will likely address a range of matters currently covered by the Development Regulations 2008.

Throughout the new Act there are many specific instances where the State Planning Commission is allowed to issue a practice direction. They are issued by the Commission by a notice in the Government Gazette and must be published on the SA Planning Portal. The Commission also has the power to revoke or vary a practice direction through the same process of notification and publication.

In accordance with the provisions of the Act, the following elements may require the establishment of a practice direction:

  • preparation of a regional plan
  • assessment pathways
  • the establishment and appointment of assessment panels.
Page last modified Wednesday, 16 January 2019