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September 2017
101 Flinders Street, Adelaide

New incentives to revitalise CBD buildings - 101 Flinders Street, Adelaide

Sally Smith Sally Smith

Another busy month has passed since we last spoke. We are really excited to announce that we will soon be launching the Council Connect website, which is a space for council staff to speak to each other and the Department about matters that are concerning you. It is also a great space to collaborate through the sharing of ideas, experiences and case studies. Thanks to the councils that have given their time to help us develop the functions of this site, which we hope will be useful to you. We are also looking at how we can communicate in an interactive way with others in the planning and development world.

As I have said before, a key focus for us is to communicate better with the sector and for everyone to have equal access to good information. This will be a key principle in the Community Engagement Charter and we are committed to working to this standard. Please let us know if you feel we are not living up to this.

As you know the Discussion draft Community Engagement Charter is out for consultation. We have been discussing the draft Charter in a number of circles and collecting a lot of good feedback to help refine the draft, particularly in relation to an implementation guide which will provide assistance in how to apply and measure performance against the Charter.

There has been much spoken about the role of the charter since the release of the preliminary draft, such as will it cost more, will it take longer to get things done, how do we apply it, will we be challenged in Court. These questions are all valid and we are working through them.

However, it is important that we work together on the Charter to provide a tool that enables early and meaningful engagement, so there is more certainty at the development assessment stage. If done well there should be less outrage, less angst and less surprises. Consultation will be a key role for planners and developers in the new system and many are already doing this extremely well. For those that have consulted early and well, you will know that it reduces angst and in many cases reduces money as concerns and ideas are worked through early in a process.

We will need to continue to look at different ways of reaching our communities, particularly from a digital perspective. Many are doing great things with consultation and we are keen to build an on-line library of tools that can assist. One of these tools will be the ongoing evolution of a 3D model that will help communities visualise what growth and change might look like in an area. This is often more powerful than words and certainly easier to understand.

We look forward to hearing your ideas about the Community Engagement Charter.

In closing, just a reminder that we are 5 months into the implementation program. There is a lot to be done but we are on track to tackle it in a logical way that doesn’t overwhelm and allows all of us to come along as the new system is progressively built.

Sally Smith
General Manager, Planning and Development

Tim Anderson Tim Anderson

The Commission is now well and truly in the thick of things and working through a number of Planning Reform elements. This includes the Community Engagement Charter and the consideration of a number of Ministerial DPAs.

Further, on 1 August 2017, the State Planning Commission assumed the functions of the Building Rules Assessment Commission (BRAC), and the Building Advisory Committee (BAC). I am now pleased to announce the membership of the new Building Committee:

  • Alan Taylor, Chair
  • Debbie Frisby, Deputy Chair
  • Joanne Payne, Member
  • George Kamencak, Member
  • Nageswary Karuppiah, Member
  • Gavin Leydon, Member
  • Jeffrey Shillabeer, Member

The Building Committee will advise the Commission on building related policies and act on behalf of the Commission with respect to any functions or powers in accordance with section 30(2) of the PDI Act that were formerly undertaken by the BRAC and BAC.  

Further information about the activities of the Building Committee will be available from the State Planning Commission website in coming weeks.

After spending a couple of months in the initation phase of the Commission, in the last month I have taken the opportunity to meet with a number of community, professional and local government groups to provide insight and share information on a number of Commission matters.

I met with the City of West Torrens and the Port Adelaide Enfield Council about the completion of the Inner Metropolitan and Port Adelaide Development Assessment Commissions.

I sat on the Commission Panel with Fairlie Delbridge for consideration of the Inner and Middle Metropolitan Corridor (Sites and Design) DPA. The Panel heard around 76 people over four hearings and is considering the feedback from a total of 474 submissions. Michael Lennon and Janet Finlay of the Commission have also sat on the Panel for the Southern Innovation DPA. The Commission will be providing its advice to the Minister on these DPAs in the next couple of months.

Keeping up to date on development matters is important and in this regard I attended the 50th Anniversary of Australian Institute of Urban Studies on 14 September at Government House. Janet Finlay and I also attended the 'Greener, more Liveable Adelaide' event, held by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects South Australia.

Commission members and I have been actively participating in the consultation of the Community Engagement Charter. We have listened to the public, elected members and planning practitioners on what the Engagement Charter means to them. The consultation on the discussion draft Charter closes on 9 October and I would like to see as much feedback as possible. Later in October the Commisison will consider this feedback and release for formal consultation, a draft Charter and Guide.

I will continue to provide up to date information on the activities of the Commission in future editions of this newsletter.

Tim Anderson QC
Commission Chair

New incentives to revitalise CBD buildings

To complement recent financial initiatives to encourage investment in Adelaide, new regulations and specifications have been introduced to provide greater opportunities to revitalise existing underutilised buildings and enhance the city’s vibrancy:

  • A new Minister’s Specification SA: Upgrading health and safety in existing buildings reduces the building performance standards from 79 under the National Construction Code to 24 across the State.
  • An amendment to the Development Regulations 2008 removes the requirement for planning consent for internal building work, including demolition, in the City of Adelaide (with the exception of heritage buildings). This is consistent with the rest of the State.

The Minister’s Specification will potentially save owners and investors hundreds of thousands of dollars in upgrading costs.

Development fees will be waived for eligible buildings in the CBD where the State Commission Assessment Panel is the decision authority and a free case management service will be offered to assist eligible owners and investors.

These initiatives will ensure that there are clear and consistent requirements regarding the extent of building upgrade measures for owners and developers as well as reducing development approval times.

The initiatives complement the stamp duty concession, announced in the 2017 State budget, which can provide savings of up to $15,500; and the five year rate-free period offered by the Adelaide City Council announced on 31 May 2017.

More information is available on the SA Planning Portal.

Email contact:

Collaboration with the Local Government Association

Leif Burdon Leif Burdon

Interview with Leif Burdon, from the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure, seconded to the LGA to work on Planning Reform

Q; What does your current role with the LGA involve?

My role is to be the conduit between the Department and local government as the PDI Act is implemented. Situated in the LGA and working closely with the Department I enable the facilitation of information sharing such as workshops and written material on topics of specific interest to councils.

To ensure that Councils receive the information they need I gather feedback from them regarding their information requirements.

Working closely with the Department reform team (especially the newly formed transition team) I am able to add a local government perspective to the current work and at the same time offer Councils up to date information.

I also collate any feedback from councils to inform a collective response from local government (LGA formal comments) on the planning reforms.

Q; Can you outline what you have achieved since you commenced (3 months now) working for the LGA?

Through a variety of means I have provided information to councils on the incoming Council Assessment Panels, Assessment Managers and the Community Engagement Charter. Examples of the work I have contributed to include the Q & A sesssion for Assessment Managers and Panels. I also facilitated two workshops at the LGA one with elected members and one with planning practitioners on the Community Engagement Charter. During these workshops we have utilised livestreaming capability which has increased participation especially for regional councils.

Q; Can you outline the benefits that are to be had for both organisations – The LGA and the Department?

The success of the implementation of the planning reforms relies on the collaboration of the department and councils.

My position enables the two organisations to bridge the gap and understand each other’s needs, requirements and pressures. More importantly it ensures that information, consultation and education is delivered in a way that is targeted to the right audience and is accessible utilising the best of what we have.

Q: Would you encourage more of these ‘work exchanges’ as the Reform Program rolls out?

Yes, I would. It has been a great learning experience for me and has helped me further expand my knowledge of local government and the operation of different organisations. It would be great for others to have an opportunity to exchange between organsiations during the reform work as there is lots to learn and lots of value for the organisation.   

Contact Officer: Leif Burdon

Minister approves the Adani Power development

The Adani 160 MW Whyalla Solar Farm approved by the Minister on the 6 September 2017 provides essential energy infrastructure that will deliver significant benefits to the South Australian community and economy.

The solar farm takes advantage of the Whyalla region’s high quality solar resource, with the solar panels being designed to track with the sun to maximise power generation.

There will be substantial economic benefits for Whyalla during the 12 month construction period, due to demand for materials, services and accommodation with an approximate investment of nearly $200 million, 150 jobs during construction, with five full time staff required during operation. Adani’s local engagement policy will ensure the majority of the workforce is sourced from the region.

The Solar Farm was Crown Development supported by the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Contact officer: Zoe Delmenico

PDI Act implementation

New Code of Conducts, Establishment or Regional Development Assessment Panels and Regional Assessment Panels

The following components for the PDI Act have now been Gazetted:

  • The codes of conduct for Assessment Panels, State Planning Commisison Members and Infrastructure Scheme Coordinators.
  • The Establishment of two out of the three existing Regional Development Assessment Panels (RDAPs) under the Development Act 1993 as Regional Assessment Panels (RAPs) under the PDI Act. These include the Eastern Eyre Peninsula RAP and the Riverland RAP. The details of the Flinders RDAP are currently being worked through with the four constituent Councils.
  • Consistent with the existing Development Act exemptions for Roxby Downs Council, Wudinna Council and Coober Pedy Council to have Council Assessment Panels (CAPs).

First iteration of council e-planning payments deferred

The commencement of the council contributions to the SA Planning Portal has been deferred by 12 months and will now start in the 2018/19 financial year. This will ensure councils are able to budget for the contributions and allow any adjustments to the cost recovery scheme to be made after consideration of the issues raised.

Population update on SA Planning Portal

New population information for South Australia has recently been put on the SA Planning portal (link) and includes projections up to 2041.

Between 2011 and 2016:

  • Greater Adelaide accounting for 83% of the State’s population grew by an average rate of 13,687 people or 1% per year to 1.43 million
  • the local government areas with the greatest growth were Playford, Salisbury, Port Adelaide Enfield and Charles Sturt with an increase in excess of 6000 residents
  • due to the significant number of apartment development the City of Adelaide had an average annual growth rate of 2.3%.

More interesting population facts can be found on the SA Planning Portal.

Open Space and Public Realm Investment – open for new applications

The 2017-18 Open Space and Places for People grant funding round is now open for local Councils and will close 5.00 pm on 20 October 2017. More information is available on the SA Planning Portal.

Items on consultation

See the Engagement and Consultation section on the SA Planning Portal.

  • The Draft Community Engagement Charter is still open for submissions until 9 October 2017
  • The Repat Hospital and Surrounding Areas DPA is open for submissions until 23 October 2017
  • The Morphettville Racecourse DPA is open for submissions until 3 November 2017

Planning Portal updates

New content
-  Q&A on Assessment Managers & Panels
-  Population change
Ministerial Advisory Committee pages
-  Revitalising underutilised buildings

We want to hear from you

DPTI through the Planning Ahead newsletter would love to hear from you about any stories or news they may have in the planning and development space – you are invited to submit any news which could be of interest generally to the Engagement, Education and Communication team.


We welcome your feedback and suggestions about the new SA Planning Portal.

Email your suggestions to us at

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Page last modified Tuesday, 13 August 2019