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March 2020

From the Commission Chair...

The recently concluded consultation of the draft Planning and Design Code for Phase Two and Three has resulted in significant feedback since it commenced in October 2019. I am pleased to advise that the State Planning Commission has released the What We Have Heard Report (WWHHR) for the draft Planning and Design Code Phase Two (Rural Areas).

Councils, industry and the community have actively provided important and insightful feedback which we have collated, reviewed and considered in the report. As always, we have genuinely listened to your feedback and would like to thank our stakeholders for their invaluable contributions to ensuring we deliver a more efficient planning system for our State.

We have proposed numerous changes to the draft Phase Two Code in response to this feedback to better support our rural communities. One such change is a new Heritage Adjacency Overlay which acknowledges the need to provide appropriate guidance in land adjacent to listed heritage properties. Other changes include the creation of new zones and subzones to better reflect rural context such as a new Neighbourhood Zone, Golf Course Estate Zone and Waterfront Subzone plus we have ensured all national parks and wilderness reserves are covered by the Conservation Zone.

In addition to releasing the Phase Two Code WWHH Report, we have also commenced our review of more than 1,700 Phase Three (Urban Areas) Code submissions, which are now available on the SA Planning Portal.

As consultation is now complete, we are moving forward with supporting our key stakeholders with a comprehensive program of business readiness and training activities - an essential component of effectively implementing the new Planning and Design Code and ePlanning system.

In response to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic, the State Planning Commission would like to assure you that we are committed to delivering the current planning system functions, whilst also taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all those involved in the planning system. As such we have implemented changes to the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) meeting protocols until further notice. Please take the time to review these on the SCAP website should you have an interest or involvement in a Development Assessment application.

Lastly, the Commission is seeking to fill core and specialised member positions on our Building Technical Panel. Further information on how to apply is available below.

This is not the time to stop doing things – it is a time to get things done differently. We will all learn from this experience; all the members working together – which we absolutely commit to do.

Michael Lennon
Chair, State Planning Commission

Message from the Executive Director

Although Covid-19 is presenting us with many challenges, the Planning and Land Use Services division of DPTI is working hard to help South Australians overcome these. Our response is evolving, and will continue to evolve in line with national and state protocols, with the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers our highest priority.

It is essential that critical business activities such as the assessment of development applications continue to help keep our economy on track and maintain as many jobs as possible. The planning system must keep going. We will continue to play our part in delivering an efficient and effective range of planning and building services to keep the industry moving.

We have already implemented a number of changes such as lifting planning regulations to support quicker and more efficient delivery of goods to supermarket shelves, as well as announcing additional funding to $50million and an extension of time to 9 April for councils to apply for a Planning and Development Grant as part of the Government’s economic stimulus package.

Similarly, we are working hard to support those doubly-impacted by the devastating bushfires earlier this year. Our Bushfire Recovery Program provides a range of exemptions and streamlined pathways for planning and building activities including demolition, temporary storage, temporary accommodation and rebuild to help affected communities get back on their feet.

We will continue to support the Commission in delivering a new planning system for South Australia and are on-track to deliver Phase Two for rural areas in July 2020.  On 7 February, the Minister for Planning announced the proposal to extend the implementation date for the Planning and Design Code. This change in date required an amendment to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016, which was passed by the Parliament on 5 March 2020 but is yet to be proclaimed by the Governor. A copy of the Bill is available on the Legislation SA website. This means that the new planning system’s implementation date will no longer be enshrined in legislation and will be fixed by Proclamation via a Cabinet approval process. We will ensure you are kept informed when the date is announced in the Government Gazette.

Sally Smith
Executive Director, Team PLUS

Shopping Centre Restrictions Temporarily Lifted

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the South Australian Government has introduced new laws to ease restrictions on when supermarkets and grocery stores can receive deliveries and provide a practical way to meet community demand.

The changes to Development Regulations mean enforcement action under the Development Act cannot be undertaken where a supermarket has goods delivered outside their conditions of approval. In short, supermarkets and grocery stores can have goods delivered whenever they need to ensure shelves are stocked and the higher-than-usual demand from customers can be met.

These regulations will be in place until 30 September, 2020 or an earlier date, should one be designated by the Minister for Planning by notice in the Government Gazette.

Outback Code provides greater certainty

Outback South Australia comprises 70% of the entire State and includes our coastal waters, parts of the coastline and our most arid regions. Outback communities play an important role in driving our economy, particularly in mining, food production and energy generation.

On 1 July 2019, the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 became operational in outback areas of South Australia. To date, the development assessment team has received over 70 Development Applications under Phase One of the Planning and Design Code, which involves applications for ‘Land Not Within a Council Area’ (the Outback), with 36 already delivered or approved.

This is exciting news as it demonstrates that the Code is delivering greater certainty about referrals to State Agencies which is delivering more streamlined and efficient decisions for applicants. Applicants can also expect to see faster turnarounds when the new e-planning online system is rolled out.

Offering a more supportive library of policies, including no public consultation requirements for minor developments with no impact on neighbouring residents, e.g. a farm shed, the Code continues to facilitate good development outcomes in the Outback.

Some of the more notable applications that have been approved in outback South Australia include upgrades to multiple health clinics in the APY Lands, the construction of a 200kW solar farm in Overland Corner and the redevelopment of the Whyalla Steel Mill. We are excited the Code is delivering development outcomes for the outback areas and look forward to switching on Phase Two of our new system in rural areas in July.

Code Consultation Summary and Next Steps

Consultation on the draft Planning and Design Code Phase Three (Urban Areas) closed at midnight on Friday 28 February 2020 wrapping up five months of engagement activity including over 170 events with key stakeholders and community groups.

In total over 1,700 Phase Three submissions on the draft Code have now been received from councils, industry practitioners and the community. All submissions will be considered by the Commission when determining any changes to the planning rules covering our urban areas.

When combined with the two month consultation period and 75 engagement events for the Phase Two Code, the consultation summary provides an impressive range of statistics.

The Commission’s final recommendations to the Minister for Planning will be published in separate Phase Two and Phase Three engagement reports prepared for the purposes of section 73 of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016. These reports will be made public on the SA Planning Portal following the Minister’s approval.

Business Readiness Planning Ramps Up

Business readiness activities in preparation for South Australia’s new planning system commenced with Phase Two councils last week. These business readiness activities will progressively ramp up over time and will be extended to include key industry groups and community.

Our primary focus is to ensure our stakeholders are provided with the necessary information, resources and tools to facilitate a thorough understanding of the policies contained in the new Planning and Design Code and how the ePlanning system will work.

New Council Inspection Practice Directions

Two new State Planning Commission approved PDI Act council inspection practice directions have been published on the SA Planning Portal, namely:

It is important to note that version 1 of Practice Direction 8 remains operational.

The new practice directions set consistent swimming pool and building inspection requirements for all councils. Their publication follows the release, earlier this month, of the State Planning Commission’s What We Have Heard Report on the Council Inspections Practice Direction which summarised the feedback received about Practice Direction 9 during the eight week consultation from councils and other stakeholders.

The Commission wishes to thank those who provided submissions over the period which have been highly valuable in determining the final inspection policies. Councils will be required to bring the requirements of these practice directions into operation when the PDI Act is implemented in their respective areas.

Governor Proclamation: Planning Regions for South Australia

On 19 March 2020 the Governor of South Australia issued a Proclamation constituting the following Planning Regions for South Australia:

  • Greater Adelaide
  • Eyre and Western
  • Far North
  • Kangaroo Island
  • Limestone Coast
  • Murray Mallee
  • Yorke Peninsula and Mid North

The main purpose of a Planning Region is to define the area for Regional Plans over which collaborative arrangements for planning and other relevant service delivery or program areas may be established. The Proclamation also provides a period of three years before a Regional Plan for each of the Planning Regions is to be prepared and adopted.

In formulating his recommendations to the Governor, the Minister for Planning sought to reflect communities of interest at a regional level; took into account Council and other relevant administrative boundaries plus relevant economic, social, cultural and environmental factors (including water catchment areas and biographical regions) and the need to achieve effective planning and delivery of infrastructure, government services and other relevant services at a regional level.

The Minister has also consulted with the State Planning Commission, the Local Government Association and Councils across the State.

New electoral boundaries for next State election

After each State election the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission (EDBC) is formed to review existing and develop new boundaries for the next election. As a part of the review, DPTI’s Land Boundaries Team have prepared a detailed analysis of demographic change and development trends to identify growth hotspots.

Some of the issues outlined in the EDBC Report (exhibit 9) include declining rural populations in many parts of the State, our ageing population and the increasing amount of minor and major infill development across many inner and middle-ring suburbs of Adelaide. This information is then used by the EDBC (aided by staff from Land Boundaries) to draw up the new boundaries for the 2022 State election.

DPTI’s Surveyor-General Michael Burdett is one of three commissioners, joining the Honourable Justice Trish Kelly (Chairperson) and Mick Sherry (Electoral Commissioner) in these deliberations.

SA Productivity Commission Inquiry into Local Government

On 20 February, the State Government released its response to the SA Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Local Government costs and efficiencies.

The Government supports and will act on all nine recommendations to assist councils to find savings and operate more efficiently, along with ten pieces of advice to councils.

Future work will include the creation of a website that will capture critical information on all 68 South Australian councils. This will help ratepayers to access information about their council’s performance, across time and in comparison to other councils.

Other work will include improving regulations that apply to councils, and that councils apply themselves to help support and reduce costs for communities and businesses.

Expression of Interest - Building Technical Panel

The Building Technical Panel (formerly the Building Committee) has been established by the State Planning Commission to provide opinion or concurrence on matters required by legislation. The Panel has a core membership of four persons including a Presiding Member and Deputy Presiding Member.

The State Planning Commission is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified individuals with proven ability in performance based design and assessment, and interpreting the requirements of the Building Rules in relation to:

  • design, building and construction
  • structural engineering
  • building engineering services (mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, HVAC)
  • building surveying; and
  • building fire safety and/or fire-fighting operation.

The Commission is seeking to fill one core member position and a number of specialised occasional member positions. Expressions of interest must be received by 5.00 pm (CDST) Friday 3 April 2020 via email to Inquiries should be directed to Ms Alison Gill, Senior Governance Officer on 8343 2653 or

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Page last modified Tuesday, 13 August 2019