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October 2018

Message from the General Manager

Sally Smith Sally Smith

Over the past month we have been out and about talking to lots of people in lots of different ways about our new planning system – what’s already taken shape and what is still to come.

We’ve been holding regular weekly ‘open house’ sessions where you can book in to talk one-on-one with a senior member of the team; we’ve released a bunch of new videos including a lively animation of the planning reform journey, a monthly vlog from yours truly and a technical series where you can hear direct from the people who are working behind the scenes to deliver individual reform elements.

We’ve spent ten days at the Royal Adelaide Show speaking with members of the community from far and wide about their neighbourhoods, what they love and what they’d like to change. We also gathered together a wonderful group of committed South Australians to form a Community Engagement Panel to consider the draft State Planning Policies during a full day workshop, hosted by the Commission.

Looking ahead, the next few months will be just as busy. In October and November our Transition Team will be heading out into the regions to have discussions with councils across the state about their regional transition plans as well as local communities in Berri, Clare, Mt Gambier, Whyalla and Port Lincoln about planning matters.

Mid this month, consultation will close on our Assessment Pathways and Performance Indicators discussion papers as well as the draft Accredited Professionals Regulations, so make sure you have your say before 17 October.

You can also look forward to reading about the economic, design and people aspects of the Planning and Design Code when we release our Productive Economy, Design in the Planning System and People & Neighbourhoods discussion papers before the end of the year.

As always, our doors are open to hear your thoughts and feedback on all aspects of planning including the delivery of state-wide planning reform.


Sally Smith
General Manager, Planning and Development

From the Commission Chair...

Tim Anderson - Chair, State Planning Commission

As you may have already heard, this is my last article as Chair of the State Planning Commission. Yesterday my resignation was announced by the Minister for Planning, along with the decision to appoint Michael Lennon as the new Chair.

Now that the preparation towards the Code has begun I formed the view that the Commission needed to be led by a chair with technical planning expertise. This is especially so when the concepts are spatially applied.

Having just returned from an overseas trip, I was made keenly aware of how good planning can influence the look and feel of a place, and how this affects the lifestyle and enjoyment of the people who live there. Good planning = positive, healthy environments = happy and productive people.

The State Planning Commission understands these relationships, and through the reform process are working to get these connections and influences developing in positive ways that will ultimately benefit all South Australians.

Planning often focuses on urban environments, where planning conflicts and compromises are most apparent due to the scale and density of development and residents. While planning issues faced by metropolitan Adelaide councils are therefore a focus for planning reform, the Commission also recognises and is committed to the distinct and critical planning issues faced by regional parts of our State.

Recently, I’ve spent time with Regional Development Australia Boards, specifically in the Barossa, and the Murraylands and Riverland regions to hear their issues and concerns, provide information on how planning reform is progressing and more specifically, how the new Planning and Design Code will work. For instance, I heard how current zoning laws prohibit farmers from selling their produce at the farm gate. These conversations are important to understand the particular planning issues that different regional areas of the State encounter and that require attention as part of the changes to the planning system.

Also in the local government space, the Commission recently ran a workshop for elected members in partnership with the Local Government Association. Commission members Michael Lennon and Janet Finlay made presentations and responded to questions from participants who included metropolitan councils (e.g. Burnside, Marion and Onkaparinga) and regional councils (e.g. Loxton, Murray Bridge, Whyalla, Grant and Cleve), some utilising the video conferencing facility.

Stakeholder engagement events and partnerships such as these will continue to be a high priority for the Commission under Michael’s leadership.

In closing, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support of the Commission which has made my job as Chair much easier. I wish you all the best as progress continues towards the implementation of the code and beyond.

Warm regards

Tim Anderson
Chair, State Planning Commission

A successful SPP consultation

The Draft State Planning Policies (SPPs) are state interest policies for land use that will guide high level planning and development across both regional and metropolitan South Australia. The SPPs commenced consultation on 16 July 2018 and concluded on 21 September 2018. Over 130 written submissions were received and are now available for viewing on the SA Planning Portal. Also, more than 100 surveys were completed. Throughout the consultation phase, DPTI staff presented to more than 20 organisations including local government, state government agencies, statutory boards and community groups.

Here is a snapshot of our survey results:

  • 79% of respondents did not identify as a planning or building professional
  • 20% of respondents identify as a planner/urban designer
  • 21% of respondents were aged 35 to 44 years of age
  • Integrated Planning, Design Quality, Climate Change, Strategic Transport and Energy SPPs were voted as the top 5 priorities.

As part of our engagement program, a Community Engagement Panel was convened on Saturday 8 September with 24 dedicated members of the community giving up their time to spend the day reviewing and discussing the package of 16 SPPs.

The panel consisted of a wide range of people coming from as far away as Coober Pedy, Riverton, Eden Valley and Berri as well as a mix of ages that included students from Adelaide University and Uni SA. A summary of the outcomes of the independently facilitated Community Engagement Panel is now available.

In accordance with the Community Engagement Charter, the Department will soon release a ‘What We Have Heard Report’ outlining the feedback received during the consultation phase. A Consultation Report will also be prepared for the Minister for Planning outlining any changes to the SPP’s, and a recommendation to approve them. These documents will be made publicly available on the SA Planning Portal early next year.

Planning Reform open house 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 sessions to give you the opportunity to talk to a senior member of the Planning Reform team. Some of these sessions are programmed to coincide with the release of key papers on consultation. It's a great opportunity to speak with their authors!

Integrated Movement Systems / Environment & Natural Resources Discussion Papers
Friday 5 October, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Ben Murphy and Emma Kibble

Assesment Pathways
Friday 12 October, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Rhiannon Hardy

Building Reform
Friday 19 October
, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Chris Powell

Friday 26 October
, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Troy Fountain

Planning and Development Update
Friday 2 November
, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Sally Smith

Joint Planning Boards
Friday 9 November, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with David Lake

Community Engagement Charter
Friday 16 November, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Sally Jenkins

Productive Economy / People & Neighbourhoods Discussion Papers
Friday 23 November, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Alex Mackenzie

Design in the Planning System
Friday 30 November, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Brad McCormack

Planning & Design Code
Friday 7 December
, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Jason Bailey

Planning Reform Update
Friday 14 December
, 10.00 am to 1.00 pm with Anita Allen

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.

Our Planning Vision Comes To Life

The colourful illustrations which are part of DPTI’s planning reform branding have been brought to life in a new animation video that explains the planning vision for South Australia.

“People might look at these illustrations and not realise they tell a story,” says DPTI’s General Manager of Planning and Development, Sally Smith. “With so many different parts to the new planning system, the video helps to explain each element and how they all work together.”

“In only five minutes the video informs people about the bigger picture, about why we need these changes and the benefits that will come from them, not only for our state’s future development, but for all South Australians.”

“It gives a fantastic snapshot of our intention and what we’re going to achieve. I encourage everyone to watch it and to get involved in the numerous consultations we have going on with communities across the state and the whole planning sector right now,” says Sally Smith.

DPTI has also recently produced two technical videos aimed at planning and development industry professionals covering specific aspects of the reform. One video by Team Leader Jason Bailey explains the framework of the Planning and Design Code, which will replace 72 development plans currently in operation to become a single set of guidelines state-wide. Jason talks about his work on the Code and the significant work still ahead. The other video provides information about changes in how our new system will assess development, from simple home additions to major projects. Project Lead Rhiannon Hardy explains the new assessment pathways and what they mean for practitioners and homeowners.

Over the coming months we will be releasing more digital media about broad cross-sector changes and providing you with tutorial-style videos about technical elements of planning reform, including new regulations, policies, accreditation standards and online access with the ePlanning platform.

Stay across it all on the SA Planning Portal.

Regional roadshows kick off in Spring

People living in regional centres can find out more about the modernisation of South Australia’s planning system by coming along to one of DPTI’s Planning Reform regional community events this Spring.

The DPTI transition team will be visiting five regional towns and cities to hold informal, drop-in style sessions for communities. Developers, builders, council planners and homeowners will have the chance to talk directly with our planners about development matters, to learn more about planning changes and what it might mean for them.

Join us at any of the following locations:

  • Berri Barmera Council Chambers: Wednesday 10 October, 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm
  • Clare Show: Saturday 13 October, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
  • Mount Gambier – Sorrento’s Café: Tuesday 16 October, 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm
  • Whyalla Council Chambers: Monday 29 October, 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm
  • Port Lincoln Council Chambers: Tuesday 6 November, 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm.

These sessions are very informal with no booking required, simply register when you attend.
For further information contact your local council, email or visit the SA Planning Portal.

A Burning Question Answered With Funding

A dedicated, spatially applied Bushfire Overlay will be included in the new Planning and Design Code thanks to our partner agency SAFECOM, who worked with DPTI to secure $130,000 in funding from the State Emergency Management Committee. This will ensure communities are aware of bushfire classification levels in residential areas most prone to hazards in order to mitigate their risk.

Under the old Act, a Bushfire Protection Areas (BPA) spatial layer was used to determine planning approvals for proposed construction in bushfire-prone areas. The bushfire hazard ratings, initially mapped in 2006 and calculated using McArthur’s Fire Model, were considered outdated by some experts. These have been superseded by scientific modelling advances and better experience and understanding of bushfire behaviour since incidents like the Maryborough (Vic) and Pinery (SA) disasters.

“With the current system of classification covering 39 council areas, many in regional parts of the state, it became clear we required an updated model for a new Bushfire Overlay, informed by the latest scientific data and research,” says Martin Pullan, Spatial Projects Manager.

“However, we live in an environmentally diverse state, so it’s difficult to create ‘one size fits all’ guidelines, which is why zones, sub-zones and overlays in the Code will help clarify planning rules for the development industry and for homeowners,” he says.

The funding injection provides for increased rigour in the creation, maintenance and accuracy of digital spatial data, and helps to create a new improved system with expanded coverage (where access to reliable data exists).

DPTI applauds the State Emergency Management Committee decision and thanks partner agency SAFECOM for its support to help build a world class planning system and make our state safer by allowing us to better cope with the impacts of climate change and the changing risk and severity of bushfire in SA.

Planning workshops help our work in reform

DPTI has been conducting a series of workshops about critical elements of planning reform, helping to educate practitioner and public audiences about the changes.

This month, project teams led workshops in new assessment pathways, performance indicators and the scheme for accredited professionals, with more than 40 planners and 50 community members either attending in person or participating online via livestream video.

Working in groups, the participants interrogated the frameworks of the various elements of reform; their questions and suggestions informing the development of future planning policy and practices.

We thank everyone who engaged with us for taking the time to provide their feedback, which is invaluable in further refining the fundamental elements of our new planning system.

See us in SA Builder magazine

Progress on our current planning reforms has recently been featured in the Spring issue of SA Builder, the official journal of the Master Builders Association of South Australia. This journal is read by 20,000 building professionals state-wide.

In a full-page feature article authored by the State Planning Commission, Tim Anderson QC outlines the impact of planning reform on the building sector and points out the new building instruments that are under development as a result of current changes to the planning sector.

These include the creation of Ministerial Building Standards, updated building regulations and new council inspection policies.

These innovations are necessary in order to support the success of our new planning system and will be particularly significant for South Australia’s building certifiers, building officers and council inspectors.

The full article is available now: Brave new world of planning has knock-on effect on building industry

DPTI's Show and Tell

DPTI’s Planning and Development directorate took part in the Royal Adelaide Show this year, partnering with DPTI Transport to share a stand in the Jubilee Pavilion for the iconic event.

It was a chance to show the public the new planning tool Virtual House, which helps homeowners understand development assessment requirements for simple home renovations, such as sheds, fences, verandas, pools and solar panels.

We invited show-goers to fill out a short poll and tell us what they love about where they live, and what they would change in their neighbourhood, receiving over 150 responses. This was an outstanding result, given all the other attractions at the Show. Winners of our MetroCARD passes and family movie ticket have now been notified and are listed on the SA Planning Portal.

People were also given a preview of the latest animation video which brings to life our illustration of the new planning system and explains the key elements in the reform program. DPTI would like to thank all those staff members who volunteered for a shift at the Show and answered the public’s questions about changes ahead for our planning system.

Reminder - items on consultation

Don't forget to Have Your Say on the following topics:

  • Assessment Pathways - closes 17 October 2018
  • Performance Indicators - closes 17 October 2018
  • Accredited Professional Scheme Draft - closes 17 October 2018
  • Planning and Design Code - Integrated Movement Systems - closes 3 December 2018
  • Planning and Design Code - Natural Resources and Environment - closes 3 December 2018

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Page last modified Tuesday, 13 August 2019