I thought it timely to speak about the period we find ourselves in at the moment. We are all in a transition space, as we start to turn off the current system under the Development Act 1993 and progressively turn on the new system under the PDI Act. We have recently seen the first moves into the new system with the establishment of the State Planning Commission (and their assessment committee), the transition to new Development Assessment Panels by 1 October 2017 and release of the Discussion Draft of the Community Engagement Charter today.
As you know, the new system is not just tinkering and will be transformational. This will take time and collaboration to do properly. It will also take strong and joined up leadership from our sectors to help manage the change with stakeholders, including staff, elected members and the community. As a result we will be in a transitional space for a while, as we progressively turn off the old system and turn on parts of the new. There is a logical sequence to this and progress can be tracked on the SA Planning Portal.
As only a few provisions of the Act have been turned on, the majority of the Act appears in italic text. This means these parts of the Act have not been turned on. In this regard, we are 4 months into a 3 to 5 year implementation program.
The Department is working hard to ensure the transition to the PDI Act is smooth and is done in a way that makes sense to practitioners and the community. We are committed to working with and helping the planning and development community by providing information, tools and training along the way. This included the 9 roadshow events with local government and the private sector, where we have spoken to 304 people.
A key initiative to support the successful transition is the appointment of Department transition managers across the state. Our transition managers will work with councils to partner and support staff and elected members as we implement the new Act. We also put out an Expression of Interest to seek involvement of practitioners in the development of various elements of the new planning system. It was really pleasing to see over 200 people express an interest to work together.
Whilst focussed on our new world, we haven’t taken our eye off our important work with councils in progressing development plan amendments (DPAs), with 40 finalised already this year. We will work with councils in the coming months to determine the best way to manage identified DPA changes, with the new system in mind.
Our development assessment system continues to be extremely busy and contribute strongly to the economic development of the State.
This is an exciting time for planning and development in South Australia and I encourage all to get involved where you can to help shape our new planning system. As always we welcome your feedback and ideas.
General Manager, Planning and Development