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August 2018
Sally Smith Sally Smith

This month I want to acknowledge that we are now in the thick of developing South Australia’s new planning system with a number of draft documents in the public eye for consideration, discussion and consultation. I also want to recognise that operating in such a changing environment can be challenging, but under the Commission’s leadership we have a plan to release documents and new planning tools in a logical manner that will deliver us a new planning system in July 2020.

As part of this delivery, we have released the Draft State Planning Policies (SPPs) which outline the state’s vision and planning priorities. I encourage you to read the draft SPPs, get involved in the consultation events and watch the video by Commission member Michael Lennon which succinctly sums up the key points and directions of the draft SPPs.

This week we are releasing two of the four policy discussion papers on Integrated Movement Systems and Natural Resources and Environment. Each of these papers make recommendations about the transition of good, contemporary policy into the Planning and Design Code as well as suggesting where policy reform is needed for the first generation of the Code and beyond. These papers need your input so make sure you visit the SA Planning Portal to Have Your Say.

There is currently much discussion about the Code, following the close of consultation on the Code technical discussion paper last month. Over 40 submissions were received and we thank the individuals and agencies who contributed their thoughts and opinions. Over the next month we will work through the submissions and release a What We Have Heard report addressing your questions and concerns.

Code drafting continues in earnest informed by discussion papers, workshops and ongoing industry conversations. If you would like to participate in this process we are open to people coming in and working with us on code development – there is plenty of opportunity to get involved from a day a week through to more intensive involvement. Please get in touch if this is of interest.

In closing, it really is an exciting time and much has been accomplished over the last year. Whilst we look forward to July 2020, when the Code and ePlanning solution will be fully implemented, we should reflect on what is being achieved in collaboration with so many people, including:

  • establishment of the State Planning Commission and the Minister’s three statutory advisory committees
  • a well progressed draft Accredited Professional Scheme that will improve professionalism and decision making and provide more professional development opportunities
  • the consolidation of multiple state policies into one set of draft SPPs
  • significant progress on a Design Discussion Paper, prepared in collaboration with an Expert Panel, that explores opportunities for more design policy and review in the system
  • significant progress on new assessment pathways linked to the Code that will make simple development assessments easier and allow for greater focus on more complex proposals
  • a Community Engagement Charter that seeks to engage more widely and in different ways
  • a new 3D model, to help people imagine what could happen in an area, test development proposals and test proposed policy in the Code
  • the release of the Virtual House tool, to help people understand simple improvements they can do on their land, without the need for approval
  • significant progress on a Performance Indicators Scheme that will allow us to monitor the performance of our new system, well beyond what we can do now
  • a successful Joint Planning Board Pilot Project that is nearing completion, with findings to be shared soon.

To assist in managing what you might want to get involved in take a look at our monthly Consultation Events Calendar available on the SA Planning Portal.

Sally Smith
General Manager, Planning and Development

From the Commission Chair...

State Planning Commission Chair presents the Draft State Planning Policies to agency representatives

Our reform of the State’s planning system is on track with the release of the new Draft State Planning Policies.

We are keen to hear your views, consider the diverse and complex issues from all stakeholders and members of the wider community, so that we can ultimately produce a system that identifies and nurtures all we value here in South Australia.

The draft policies are statutory instruments under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016. They set high level planning and design ambitions for South Australia that will guide both regional and metropolitan planning and development.

Sixteen policy areas are covered including Design Quality, Adaptive Reuse, Housing Supply and Diversity, Climate Change and Strategic Transport Infrastructure. We want these policies to prompt community debate and conversations with key stakeholders about our aspirations for South Australia’s future; how we want to see our communities and neighbourhoods look, grow and change.

The Commission regularly engages with stakeholders to hear their issues and concerns. For example, our Members recently visited the regions of Port Pirie and Port Augusta to see first-hand the renewable energy projects being developed in northern parts of the State. We heard the views of elected council members and staff, and the planning challenges faced by proponents in this relatively new and rapidly expanding industry.

The Draft State Planning Policies are now open for public consultation. Submissions will be received until 7 September 2018. If you would like to contact the Commission, call 08 7109 7466, or email

We urge you to get involved.

Tim Anderson QC
Chair, State Planning Commission

Have Your Say on key papers

Make sure you have your say on two key policy discussion papers which have just been released for consultation until 3 December 2018. The Natural Resources and Environment and Integrated Movement Systems Policy Discussion Papers look at South Australia’s environment and natural assets and our strategic transport infrastructure and travel networks. Your feedback on the policy recommendations they contain will inform development of the Planning and Design Code in South Australia’s new planning system.

In addition, investigation with design thought-leaders from various fields and levels of government is currently underway to explore opportunities to improve the quality of our built environment and public realm across the new planning system. Findings from this work will be released in a Design in the Planning System discussion paper for consultation later this year alongside two further policy discussion papers on People and Neighbourhoods, and Productive Economies.

You'll find these papers, along with the Draft State Planning Policies which are already on consultation, on the SA Planning Portal and YourSAy website. You can read the full discussion papers, summary versions and complete a short online survey or simply provide a written submission by email or post.

We look forward to receiving your feedback.

A state-wide conversation

Introducing our new planning system requires close collaboration and engagement between state and local government, industry groups and the community. A variety of communications and engagement activities have taken place to date with more planned over the coming months including industry workshops, major events, community focus groups, regional tours and opportunities to speak directly with members of the Commission and planning reform team. Details of these activities will be available on our Consultation Events Calendar.

We have also recently released a Planning Reform Engagement Fact Sheet, which details how we are currently working with all our communities to advise of and seek feedback on planning changes as we move towards delivering our new system. If you have additional ideas or suggestions on ways we can engage with you please contact If you’d like to host a briefing or workshop simply fill out this request form and we will be in contact to discuss your requirements.


We have recently released our State Planning Policies video, watch it now!

You can find more videos on the Planning Portal covering the Community Engagement Charter, the Accredited Professionals Scheme and the Planning and Design Code plus livestreams of the State Planning Commission's workshop series.

Planning Reform open house drop-in sessions

Do you have a burning issue or question regarding the development and implementation of the Planning Reforms brought about by the introduction of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016?

We are holding Open House Drop-in sessions to give you the opportunity to talk to a senior member of the Planning Reform team. These sessions are programmed to coincide with the release of key papers on consultation. It's a great opportunity to speak with their authors!

State Planning Policies
Friday 3 August, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Sarah Elding, Project Lead (fully booked)
Tuesday 14 August, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Sarah Elding, Project Lead

Planning Reform
Friday 24 August, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Anita Allen, Manager Planning Reform
Friday 28 September, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Sally Smith, General Manager Planning and Development

Policy Discussion Papers
Tuesday 7 August, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Ben Murphy, Senior Planner
Friday 14 September, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Alex McKenzie, Unit Manager Planning Reform
Friday 5 October, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Alison Collins, Team Leader Strategic Research

Accredited Professionals & Assessment Pathways
Friday 7 September, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Cecilia Pascale, Unit Manager and Rhiannon Hardy, Senior Planner

Performance Indicators
Friday 21 September, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Tom Victory, Principal Planning Officer

All sessions will take place in the Kardi Munaintya meeting room, Ground Floor 50 Flinders Street, Adelaide. Please register for a 15 to 30 minute one-on-one session by dropping us a line at with your preferred date and time and we will book you in.

Character Preservation Acts Review

The Character Preservation (Barossa Valley) Act 2012 and the Character Preservation (McLaren Vale) Act 2012 were recently reviewed as required by legislation. The review is now complete, thank you to those who lodged a submission.

As a result of the review and consultation process, four main recommendations are made. These recommendations include retaining the legislation, having the State Planning Commission investigate requested boundary amendments in the context of Greater Adelaide’s growth, introducing a statutory review process in line with the Environment and Food Production Areas review procedure and improving policies and processes as part of the Planning and Design Code development.

No immediate changes to the Acts will be pursued until the Commission has led a proper review and investigation into boundary adjustments, policy refinements and improved process to make such amendments.

The Review Outcomes Report and submissions received are now available on the SA Planning Portal.

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