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July 2017

Regional SA

Sally Smith
There are many things happening in the regions of South Australia in terms of Planning and Development and as such this issue is devoted to just that. Recently DPTI hosted a number of Roadshows to share information and talk to Councils about the new planning system (Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016) (PDI Act) which is going to be rolled out over the next few years. The changes that this will bring, including the opportunities for greater regional planning through joint planning boards, are significant and will need a lot of thought and collaboration over the next few years. The Department is keen to engage with regional councils, their planners, and through the councils to elected members to assist them in making the transition to the new operating mode. We will be spending more time on the road to help make this happen.

Sally Smith
General Manager, Planning and Development

Council Roadshows – Riverland, South East, Mid North, Far North and Eyre Peninsula

In the past few weeks, the Department has been to Berri, Naracoorte, Port Wakefield, Port Augusta and Wudinna to visit our colleagues in these regions as part of the ongoing DPTI Council Roadshows. The aim of these Roadshows is to discuss the implementation of the State’s new planning system. In doing this, we were able to engage with Council staff, to discuss their interpretation of the changes, and find out their key interests and concerns, and how they want to be engaged.

We saw a variety of staff attend the sessions from different councils; these include Council CEOs, Planning, Building and Environmental officers, as well as representatives from the NRM Board and the LGA. Department staff facilitated discussions at these sessions, and were able to talk with the representatives from council to informally discuss the proposed changes.

At the completion of the Roadshows, the team have been reviewing the feedback received and will identify ways in which the Department can facilitate better communication with Councils, and new ways to support Councils through the rollout of the new system. 

Council representatives have been sharing lots of ideas for how the Department could facilitate better community engagement in the future. The ideas include using more online tools and using more targeted consultation to empower parts of the community. It has also been highlighted that a temporary population (holiday makers etc) exists in areas of these regions, and this should be considered in consultation plans. Councils also shared their positive views on the new Planning Portal, and indicated that internet access in regional areas should be considered. In addition to this, council representatives shared valuable feedback on the new system, primarily wanting to know more about timeframes, resources available to smaller regional councils and if there will be any further training and education provided to council staff and elected members.

Refer to the SA Planning Portal for a copy of the road show presentation and Q & As.

Joint Planning Arrangements

Jeff Tate
The PDI Act allows groups of councils to enter into Planning Agreements with the Minister to deliver agreed functions in a collaborative way via a Joint Planning Board. To help support Councils that have lodged an expression of interest in this approach, the Department has engaged Jeff Tate Consulting Pty Ltd and Stephanie Hensgen, Planning Futures, to work with those councils in developing a framework and template for the preparing their business case. Findings from the process will be incorporated into a toolkit that can be used by future councils interested in this element of the PDI Act.
Stephanie Hensgen
The advantages of undertaking such a project collaboratively with Councils includes the potential to save on duplicated costs and effort that would be incurred if each of the Council groups were to undertake their own project. The project will ensure learnings are made from a wide variety of Council aspirations and circumstances which should assist in developing a robust and flexible set of tools for all Councils to use in the future. In addition to funding the project, the department has also allocated funds to potentially assist successful groups to prepare their business plans.

Both Jeff and Stephanie bring extensive experience to the project, and recognise that key drivers for regional collaboration include efficiency, better planning and consistency of decision making and an ability to respond to regional issues. Their previous work has reinforced the need for a robust business case supported by the right governance model to identify the key issues that will need to be addressed in regionalising responsibilities and realising those benefits.

Although the Department is leading this project, the Local Government Association and the Office of Local Government are represented on an Advisory Group which will oversee the project delivery.

In addition to the recent regional roadshows Michael Deegan (CEO at DPTI) and Anita Allen have met with the Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association (EPLGA) at Wudinna to present on Joint Planning Arrangements. The EPLGA lodged an Expression of Interest to participate in the pilot study programme offered to Councils earlier this year.

Jeff and Stephanie have scheduled the first workshop with Councils on the project at the end of July. We will keep you posted on outcomes.

Major Developments in Regional SA

There are a number of Major Developments (S46 Development Act 1993) either under assessment or have had assessments completed in the regions of South Australia recently.

Central Eyre Iron Project (CEIP)

The Central Eyre Iron Project proposed by Iron Road Pty Ltd was approved by the Governor, subject to conditions, in May this year. It is composed of a new sea port at Cape Hardy and a 150km long rail line to a new iron ore (magnetite) mine near Warramboo in the centre of Eyre Peninsula. Also included is a new workers village to support the mine located at Wudinna. This proposal has the potential of employing around 3,000 workers (including for the mine) during the development phase of the project. The Iron Road Company is now in final financing phase which is expected by the end of the year. More information on this and the full list of conditions can be found at the CEIP website.

Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers – Smith Bay proposal

Earlier this year the Minister declared a proposal to establish a deep-water wharf at Smith Bay on Kangaroo Island due to its potential environmental, economic and social impacts. The proponent for the project is Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers, who proposes to use the port to export timber from the island.

The guidelines set by the Development Assessment Commission for an Environmental Impact Statement were released on 6 July 2017.

Nora Creina Golf Course and Tourism Development – near Robe

The Nora Creina Golf Course and Tourism Development proposal is for the development of an international standard, links style golf course and mixed tourism resort near Nora Creina (approximately 15 kilometres south of Robe) in the South East region, by South East Abalone Pty Ltd.

This proposal is now at the assessment stage and a decision on it by the Governor is expected in the third quarter of 2017.


The Tailem Bend Solar Project was granted development approval on 4 May 2017 under S49 of the Development Act 1993 (Public Infrastructure).

This 110MW facility will be located 2km south east of the Tailem Bend Township. The facility will be co-located with the Snowy Hydro diesel fired ‘peaking’ facility which was also approved on 21 December 2016.

The project will provide various economic and security benefits to SA in particular:

  • Supporting regional energy supplies
  • Providing a stimulus to the local economy
  • Contribute to the overall reduction of SA’s greenhouse gas emissions through the growth of renewable energy sources.

Open Space and Places for People Grant

The Department received 66 applications for funding under the annual Open Space and Places for People grant within the Planning and Development Fund. Following an assessment process, the Minister approved $7 million to support 27 projects across South Australia.

More than $4.9 million of the total investment is for regional South Australia, with grants to support initiatives in areas including the Riverland, Kapunda, Laura, Kangaroo Island, Roxby Downs, Port MacDonnell, Victor Harbor, Port Pirie and Whyalla.

Further information is available in the news section on the SA Planning Portal.

An ePlanning Survey is now available on the SA Planning Portal.

The ePlanning Survey seeks to get information from councils, agencies and industry groups about their views on the future ePlanning Solution and key areas of interest for them. The information gathered from the survey will be used as input to prioritising the functionality delivered and enhance engagement with some of our key stakeholders. Take this short survey about what is important to you in the new online planning system.

DPTI through the Planning Ahead Newsletter would love to hear from Councils 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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