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November 2018

Message from the General Manager

Sally Smith Sally Smith

Another busy month has flown by, marked by a change of membership within the State Planning Commission and a great deal of consultation with our key communities, particular the Local Government Association (LGA), council planning staff, planning consultants, developers, lawyers and building professionals.

We have been out and about in the regions visiting Berri, Clare, Mt Gambier and Whyalla, having meetings on planning reform with councils and community members. Our regional tour has included an information stand at the Clare Show, which was a terrific opportunity to speak with residents about the local impact of our state-wide reform program.

Next we are off to Port Lincoln and then Kangaroo Island, where the Kangaroo Island Commission is hosting a Housing Expo on 15 November 2018. If you hail from KI, or are just visiting, please come along and have a chat to a member of our planning team.

In October we also partnered with the LGA to deliver a Planning and Design Code workshop in which our new Commission Chair, Michael Lennon, joinied forces with Planning Reform Manager Anita Allen and our Code guru Jason Bailey to update those in the room (and tuned in via live stream) on Code progress. This session included an overview of the Code deployment approach and the Code’s mechanics.

Elected members also received an update on Code progress from Michael Lennon and Minister Knoll at the LGA’s Annual General Meeting on 25-26 October.

We have now commenced Transition eNews, a fortnightly newsletter specifically designed to keep councils abreast of planning reform developments. In addition, we have revamped Council Connect to include more fact sheets, videos and discussion posts. If you are a council employee, I urge you to regularly access these two important communications channels.

We will shortly release on consultation our latest policy discussion paper on Productive Economy, which has been developed in collaboration with with Deloittes and SGS Economics. Following this, a discussion paper on Design in the New Planning System will also go on consultation. Your feedback on both of these papers is essential and can be provided until February 2019.

I have decided to wait until the New Year to release our final policy discussion paper on People and Neighbourhoods. This is to give everyone sufficient time to consider the Productive Economy and Design papers. In early 2019 we will also release General Regulations (including Development Assessment Regulations) for consultation - these regulations will be critical to the success of our planning reform delivery.

Given this period of transformational change in the planning sector, it seemed timely to celebrate World Town Planning Day this week on 8 November. This was a great opportunity to recognise the contribution made by planners in our community and I hope you all found a special way to observe this important event.

I am also very much looking forward to attending the annual South Australian PIA awards ceremony tonight (9 November 2018) and celebrating planning excellence in our state. I hope you will join me in applauding our shining stars who demonstrate leading practice in our profession.


Sally Smith
General Manager, Planning and Development

From the Commission Chair...

Michael Lennon Michael Lennon - Chair, State Planning Commission

I’m privileged to be penning my first update as Chair of the State Planning Commission. It’s been a busy start to the position as we mark the beginning of a new chapter of the Commission.

Firstly, you may have seen the recent news about the change to our Commission membership. As we enter this new phase, we have reflected on the Commission’s formative stage now successfully complete, and have taken stock about what we need next in order to meet our critical goals – in particular, the delivery of the new Planning and Design Code and ePlanning system.

As part of the recommendations from outgoing Chair, Mr Tim Anderson, we have considered the composition of the Commission and how it interfaces with its subsidiary body, the State Commission Assessment Panel. We have duly worked with members to agree on the skills and experience required for this next phase. As a result of that, we have accepted resignations from Ms Janet Finlay, Mr Matt Davis and Ms Fairlie Delbridge, and welcomed Mr Craig Holden and Ms Helen Dyer as new Commission members. I invite you to read the Minister’s full release on these changes on the Premier of South Australia’s website. I would like to thank our outgoing members once again for their critical work in laying the foundation for the planning reform to date.

Writing this foreword gives me an opportunity to keep you informed about what your Commission is doing to ensure we make best use of our state's land assets. This was one of the topics I discussed with elected members when I spoke at the Local Government Association's Annual General Meeting (LGA AGM) last month.

The State Planning Commission’s fundamental purpose is to get the right things to happen on South Australia’s land. Planning reform is not about solving every problem of the state. It’s about the development of land in South Australia and how it can be best used.

Another topic I talked about at the LGA AGM was South Australia’s strong historical connection to land ownership.

Just last week I joined two heritage experts in the Adelaide Hills, Jason Schulz and Hamish Angas, to see four properties as part of a State Planning Commission Hearing Panel to consider the Adelaide Hills Council’s Local Heritage – Public Places Development Plan Amendment (DPA). These properties included churches, school buildings and halls located in Kersbrook, Mount Torrens, Balhannah and Lobethal.

We also met with Marc Salver of Adelaide Hills Council to discuss this DPA (which seeks to list a number of new Local Heritage Places) and invited objecting property owners to make verbal submissions.

I mention this because I understand and appreciate the importance of history and the strong feelings people have towards heritage. I want to reassure South Australians of the Commission’s commitment to protect heritage in the new planning system.

Over the coming weeks and months, you will start to see a number of changes as we move into a new and exciting phase for the Commission.

We are moving from a consultative phase into the implementation phase of reform. We will shortly be releasing further information about how we plan to deliver the state-wide Planning and Design Code over three phases, commencing in mid-2019. We will also be announcing changes to the way the State Commission Assessment Panel operates with improved transparency measures.

I am excited to be supporting this next phase of our planning reform journey and will endeavour to keep you informed and involved every step of the way. Should you have any questions for the Commission please contact us via

Warm regards

Michael Lennon
Chair, State Planning Commission

Our economy a critical theme

Work continues on the state’s first unified Planning and Design Code with another key document soon to be released by the State Planning Commission. The Productive Economy Policy Discussion Paper has been produced with expert input from two peak financial bodies, Deloitte’s and SGS Economics.

The paper highlights the importance of the state’s economic prosperity and social wellbeing. It explores the role the planning system can play in protecting and growing key industries; linking people to jobs, goods and services; providing infrastructure to enhance liveability; and facilitating opportunities for innovation.

“The Commission’s vision is to support economic prosperity in South Australia amongst the ever evolving backdrop of change, disruption, emerging technology and our traditional and transitioning industries,” said Michael Lennon, Chair of the State Planning Commission.

“We support a planning system that in turn supports employment and investment and builds jobs, skills and knowledge,” he said.

The discussion paper will be available on the SA Planning Portal in the coming weeks. Professional planners and South Australian residents are encouraged to provide feedback on the paper by leaving a comment or completing an online survey – all details can be accessed via the portal’s Have Your Say page.

The Productive Economy paper will also feature on the state government’s YourSAy website and will be open for public consultation until February 2019.

New tools released to support best practice community engagement in planning

The new planning legislation enshrines the role of the community in the new planning system via the Community Engagement Charter. The Charter sets out the requirements for state and local government when creating or amending a designated planning instrument.

The Charter is in operation now and is being applied by the State Planning Commission as it develops our new State Planning Policies and the Planning and Design Code.

Councils will not be required to apply the Charter until they create or amend a designated planning instrument, such as when they propose an amendment to the Planning and Design Code; however, they may choose to apply the Charter now to progress Development Plan Amendments. 

To support early adoption of the Charter and help familiarise local government with the Charter principles, the Commission has released two new tools:

  • Charter Toolkit - Provides a step-by-step guide to undertaking community engagement in accordance with the Charter and includes a range of helpful templates and examples
  • Charter Evaluation Framework - Sets out the minimum performance indicators for measuring the success of engagement and describes how to prepare an engagement report for the Minister for Planning.

More information on the Charter is available on the SA Planning Portal.

An Open House session on the Charter will be held at 50 Flinders Street, Adelaide on 16 November 2018. For further information or to register, visit the Have Your Say webpage or email

New 3D digital model for Adelaide

Last month the Surveyor-General of South Australia, Michael Burdett, delivered a presentation at the Spatial Information Day conference and updated Australia’s geospatial industry on Adelaide’s new 3D digital city model.

'3D Adelaide', our new living model, is a collaborative planning and development tool that brings together a comprehensive dataset covering metropolitan Adelaide with the latest in spatial and visualisation technologies.

'3D Adelaide' offers dynamic concept modelling for buildings and infrastructure projects, which will be used to strengthen strategic planning, pre-lodgement case management, development assessment and transport planning outcomes.

'3D Adelaide' forms part of a three-year collaborative project with AEROmetrex and Urban Circus, using the best available 3D mapping and data capture technology to produce highly detailed maps of the metropolitan area with verifiable overlays.

This enhancement to the South Australian Government’s spatial system moves Adelaide closer to becoming a Smart City.

'3D Adelaide' is in the final stages of development, with an official launch date to be set in the coming months. Keep an eye on our SA Planning Portal for more updates.

Reconnecting with the regions

Connie Parisi and Sarah Elding from the planning reform team meet with locals at the Clare Show

The planning reform team at the Department took the opportunity to reconnect with regional councils throughout October and provide them with an update on the progressive rollout of South Australia's new planning system. 

While visiting regional centres, the team took the opportunity to talk with some local communities about the planning reform program and opportunities for them to have their say over 2018-2019. Council colleagues joined Department staff at these sessions, which helped local communities understand what government (state and local) was responsible for in the new planning system.

Department staff will be out and about a lot more over the coming weeks and months and look forward to connecting to more regional councils and communities about our new planning system.

Local Government Association briefing

Hon Stephan Knoll, Minister for Planning; Mayor Erika Vickery, Naracoorte Luncindale Council; Hon Tony Piccolo MP; Mayor Neville Jaensch, Coorong District Council; Michael Lennon, Chair, State Planning Commission

A Local Government Association briefing was held in partnership with the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure on 19 October at LGA House. The briefing featured the new Chair of the State Planning Commission, Michael Lennon, who spoke about the importance of policy development and de-politicising policy decision-making.

Anita Allen, Manager Reform, provided information on the phased delivery of the Planning and Design Code and provided an update on the ePlanning solution.

Michael Llewellyn-Smith, Chair of the Local Government Advisory Committee, spoke on the Committee’s role in providing advice to the Minister for Planning on the impacts of implementing the new PDI Act.

Jason Bailey, Project Lead for the Planning and Design Code, concluded the briefing with a more detailed explanation of the operation of the Planning and Design Code and Zone Framework.

The briefing session was well attended, with the majority of participants opting to utilise the livestream facility. There was an opportunity for questions and answers and the session was recorded and is available for viewing now on Council Connect.

New planning system on FORM

Planning reform has been elevated in the public consciousness through a recent feature in FORM Journal, which celebrates the best of local and innovative design, architecture and planning.

In FORM’s third edition, General Manager of the Planning and Development Directorate at DPTI, Sally Smith, has provided insights into the current evolution of our state’s planning system, outlining why we need change and what it will mean for development industry professionals and South Australian homeowners.

FORM Journal recently held its Innovation Awards night for architectural and design excellence at MOD, during which Alex Mackenzie from DPTI gave an update on reform progress in the development sector.

National Settlement Strategy launched in Canberra

Brendan Nelson, National President of PIA (far left) is joined by peers at Parliament House to launch the campaign for the National Settlement Strategy

An advocacy campaign for a National Settlement Strategy was formally launched by the Planning Institute Australia (PIA) at Parliament House in Canberra last month.

The Settlement Strategy aims to address inconsistencies in the delivery of infrastructure to meet rapid population growth and the adverse consequences of congested roads, overcrowded schools, poorly networked public transport, and expensive housing. It also seeks to track growth and improvements in liveability, ensuring that these are aligned with community needs and expectations.

Present at the launch were the Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population, Alan Tudge, the Federal Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Anthony Albanese, the Chairman of the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into the Australian government’s role in the development of cities, John Alexander, and MPs from across the political spectrum.

Read the full article on the PIA website.

What We Have Heard reports

Outcomes of the Department’s engagement on the draft State Planning Policies and its recent symposium on Planning for a New Retirement Future have now been published in two separate What We Have Heard reports on the SA Planning Portal.

These reports summarise the key themes of community feedback received on each of these two important reform areas and highlight crucial next steps.

The What We Have Heard report on the draft State Planning Policies outlines all of the engagement activities undertaken by the Department and provides a detailed synopsis of comments made on each of the sixteen policies that went out on consultation.

The What We Have Heard report on the Planning for a New Retirement Future symposium outlines the feedback received from key stakeholders on ways to improve planning policy related to aged and retirement living in South Australia. The report is supported by detailed Event Discussion Notes.

Reminder - items on consultation

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

  • 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