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May 2020

From the Commission Chair...

It has been a busy and productive month. Working from home has not meant working less.

The Commission recently appointed new members to the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) and the new Building Technical Panel (BTP), formerly the Building Committee. The members’ collectively bring an impressive suite of experience, qualifications and industry knowledge – representing some of the best expertise the planning and building industry has to offer. Both the SCAP and BTP will continue to play a pivotal role in the delivery of key planning decisions and help shape the communities we all want to live and work in, both now and into the future.

Within the Commission, Allan Holmes and Sally Smith have had their terms on the State Planning Commission as Member and Ex-Officio respectively extended until 30 October 2021 to align with the rest of the Commission members. 

I warmly congratulate Commission member Helen Dyer on winning the Woman in Leadership award at this year’s UDIA National awards. Helen’s well-deserved accolade recognises her invaluable contributions, achievements and influence in the planning sector.

Following the Commission’s endorsement of the formal Engagement Report for Phase Two (Rural Areas) of the Planning and Design Code (now with the Minister for his consideration), we are continuing to make strides in our preparations for Phase Two of the Code to go live in July 2020. We are also working in tandem on the planned release of the What We Have Heard Report for the draft Planning and Design Code Phase Three (Urban Areas), which is expected next month.

High quality design is a core component of the new planning system, including how future developments contribute to the public realm, respect the surrounding built form and increase the availability of independent design expertise through the planning process. One of the ways our new planning system will support high quality design is by creating more opportunities to participate in Design Review. Design Review is an independent evaluation process, where built environment experts consider the merits of a development proposal and identify opportunities to encourage high-quality design.

I am therefore, pleased to advise that the Commission has endorsed a new Local Design Review Scheme—prepared by the Office for Design and Architecture South Australia (ODASA) in collaboration with key stakeholders—for consultation in mid-June and intended to be operational in Phase Three of the Code. In addition, ODASA will soon be seeking applications from members of the design community to join South Australia’s State Design Review Panel. I encourage all those with the relevant skills and experience to apply.

Michael Lennon
Chair, State Planning Commission

We have come a long way, in a relatively short amount of time, in our response to COVID-19 – a testament to our united efforts as a State. As we prepare for restrictions to be eased purposefully and a shift in focus to economic recovery, we must continue to remain alert and abide by the established protocols put in place for our continued safety and wellbeing at home and work.

How will our work environments evolve in a post COVID-19 environment? What will it look like and entail? These important questions will inform the DPTI Executive Team’s considerations on planning for the new normal while assuring business continuity. This includes adopting new, sustainable and safe work practices in line with new SafeWork Australia guidelines and working out how we may need to work differently.

A special shout out to DPTI’s Development Assessment team for their commendable work in running several rotational teams without sacrificing any productivity, which has ensured that South Australia’s development industry continues to operate without delays to projects in these extraordinary times. We are now preparing to meet the expected upturn in demand for swift service delivery and in progressing recently approved local community and infrastructure projects, through the Planning and Development Fund grant program, vital to stimulating the state’s post-COVID-19 economy.

The State Government’s Development Regulation Amendments, in response to the pandemic, have been a key component to ensuring the continual operation of South Australia’s planning and development industry. I have been meeting regularly with the Heads of Planning across Australia to ensure we are each learning from one another and moving in lock step where it makes sense to do so.

On 14 May 2020 the COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill was passed by both houses of Parliament. The bill contains key amendments designed to invigorate economic development and increase workforce participation during the pandemic. These new changes specifically focus on streamlining the development assessment processes for non-complying and Crown developments.

In relation to the emergency planning laws, applicants experiencing delays in the assessment of their development applications can now request that the Minister for Planning call-in the application to the State Planning Commission (applications would consequently be subject to assessment by the SCAP).

Work continues in earnest on the Planning and Design Code with Phase Two Councils, with the Business Readiness Approach including training well underway. Demonstrations of the ePlanning system and access to the training environment has been provided to all Phase Two councils. Further roll out of the ePlanning system to key stakeholders is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.

The Code and the new planning system will be instrumental in creating an attractive investment climate for the state by providing a singular platform with efficient processing and orderly planning for all of South Australia.

Sally Smith
Executive Director, Team PLUS

Keep Building: National communique on land use planning

Last month a consortium comprising the Australian Minister for Cities, the State and Territory Planning Ministers, and the President of the Australian Local Government Association issued a joint statement stressing the importance and need for the uninterrupted operation of the nation’s planning systems and development approvals pipeline in order to sustain and support economic recovery.

The communique outlines how key adjustments to jurisdictional planning systems was key to ensuring this can be achieved, while also meeting public and workplace health and safety requirements.

As every state, territory and local planning system is different, any changes will need to consider the relevant legislative requirements and local context. The joint statement proposes guiding principles to be considered when making any changes or adjustments to jurisdictional planning systems.

The principles will be reviewed in June 2020 and will be updated to support the economic recovery stages in line with the evolving pandemic response.

COVID Emergency Response Bill

On 14 May 2020, the COVID-19 Emergency Response (Further Measures) Amendment Act 2020 (COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill) was passed by Parliament. Key amendments to the COVID-19 Amendment Act were made to the non-complying and Crown development provisions under the Development Act 1993 and Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

The new changes are designed to invigorate economic development by creating efficiencies and ‘streamlining’ the development assessment process for non-complying and Crown developments.

For Crown development and public infrastructure applications the Council consultation period has been temporarily reduced to 15 business days under both the Development Act and the PDI Act. Under the Development Act the Crown Development threshold for public consultation has been raised from $4 million to $10 million.

These changes are temporary under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 and are only in place for as long as relevant declarations relating to the outbreak are in place or have ceased or 9 October 2020 (whichever is earlier).

Under the Development Act the concurrence process for non-complying development applications under section 35 has been removed permanently – noting that the Development Act will soon be repealed and replaced in full by the PDI Act which does not prescribe a concurrence process for development approvals.

Building on from the emergency planning powers announced in April, applicants experiencing delays in the assessment of their development applications can now report to and request the Minister of Planning to call-in the application to the State Planning Commission (applications would consequently be subject to assessment by the SCAP).

Linear Park proposal: Phase one consultation to wrap up on June 9

A proposed Linear Park that could create a shared-use pathway, for pedestrians and cyclists, stretching from Grange to Semaphore Park is now open to the public for consultation until 9 June 2020.

Forming part of the State Government’s Coast Park initiative—aiming to establish a continuous 70km coastal shared use path—the proposed Linear Park will allow current and future generations to easily access and enjoy the beauty and splendour of South Australia’s metropolitan beaches.

The 4.8km stretch of coastline between Grange and Semaphore Park is divided by the Wara Wayingga-Tennyson Dunes Conservation Reserve. A two stage approach has been adopted for the proposed Linear Park consultation process. Stage One will form the northern section of the Linear Park connecting Semaphore to the edge of the Wara Wayingga-Tennyson Dunes Conservation Reserve, with Stage Two connecting the Wara Wayingga-Tennyson Dunes Conservation Reserve to Grange.

Consultation on Stage Two of the project will commence following Stage One later this year.

For further information on the proposed Linear Park or to submit your feedback before COB 9 June 2020, please visit the SA Planning Portal.

Open Spaces and Places for People: 27 councils secure grant funding

Wigley Reserve Playspace and Fitness Hub (City of Holdfast Bay)

The State Government has announced $65.5 million worth of funding for local community projects as part of its Open Spaces and Places for People Grants.

A total of 37 community projects have successfully secured funding across 27 different council areas, with 24 in metropolitan Adelaide and 13 in regional South Australia.

In March the State Government doubled the annual Planning and Development Fund to $50 million, when matched with a 50:50 local government contribution, with a focus on projects that were considered to be ‘shovel ready’.

During the application process a total of 160 applications were submitted, seeking approximately $116 million in funding – tripling the amount of applications and funding requested from the previous year.

A key element for all of these projects is the creation of local employment; however, it is equally important that these projects improve the public realm, provide public health benefits and support climate change initiatives such as through the provision of more tree canopy cover.

One such project is the delivery of the Morton Road Sports and Community Hub in Christie Downs, which will deliver a skate park, hard and soft surface activity spaces, an adventure play space, a basketball node, shelters and seating, BBQ facilities, irrigated lawn areas, toilets and stormwater management. The project secured $3M, required for the first stage, with the City of Onkaparinga matching the $1.5M contribution from the DPTI Open Space Program.

The Open Spaces and Places for People Grants program is part of the State Government’s $1 billion stimulus package aimed at safeguarding the South Australia’s economy following the impacts of COVID-19 and the devastating bushfire season.

For the full list of councils who were successful in securing a grant visit the Open Spaces and Places for People Grants Announcement.

Consultation to open soon on draft Local Design Review Scheme

Our new planning system enables greater emphasis to be placed on design quality. One of the ways the new system will support high-quality design is by creating more opportunities to participate in Design Review under a new Local Design Review Scheme.

The Office for Design and Architecture South Australia (ODASA) has prepared the draft Local Design Review Scheme on behalf of the Minister for Planning in collaboration with the State Planning Commision, local government staff from across the State and peak industry bodies who may provide Local Design Review.

Consultation on the draft Scheme will commence in mid-June and feedback will be sought from councils, industry professionals and any other interested parties. The final Local Design Review Scheme is intended to come into operation with Phase Three of the Planning and Design Code.

Upcoming State Design Review Panel member recruitment

The Office for Design and Architecture South Australia (ODASA) will soon be seeking applications from members of the design community to join South Australia’s State Design Review Panel. New panel members will be selected to complement the existing skills within the panel and build on the broad range of expertise.

State Design Review has operated successfully in South Australia since 2011 and is available to larger-scale development proposals that are assessed by the State Commission Assessment Panel (the SCAP) and referred to the South Australian Government Architect.

The role of the panel is to assist the Government Architect identify opportunities to encourage high-quality design.

For more information about State Design Review please visit the ODASA website. Information relating to the panel member recruitment process will be released in the coming weeks.

Morphettville Racecourse to transform with key rezoning amendment

This image is an artist’s impression depicting a SAJC vision for the site and is not representative of any Development Plan as yet to be approved

The Morphettville Racecourse Development Plan Amendment (DPA) was approved by the Minister for Planning on 7 May 2020. The DPA will enable new land uses on surplus racecourse land at Morphettville, including medium to high density housing and mixed use precincts.

The DPA provides a zoning framework that seeks to maintain the equine and racing activities and facilitate the creation of a new inner urban mixed use neighbourhood and upgraded racing facilities, tourist accommodation, retail and commercial development on land north of the racecourse.

As a key strategic infill site, future occupiers and visitors can take advantage of the close proximity to the CBD and Glenelg, the Glenelg Tramway, Anzac Highway and adjoining pedestrian and cycle networks.

In addition to offering great access to transport, the development will centre on a core plaza incorporating a new permanent tram stop with development up to 12 storeys that transitions down to the adjacent and established low rise residential areas.

Development of the site is intended to be undertaken over the next 10 years, with policies emphasising the delivery of high quality design, conservation of the state-heritage listed spectator stand, extensive open space and connectivity throughout the site and to adjoining areas.

State Government announces assessment guidelines for BHP proposal to increase copper production at Olympic Dam

On 22 May, the State Government released assessment guidelines for BHP’s proposal for a staged increase in copper production at Olympic Dam by up to 75% per annum (from 200,000 to up to 350,000 tonnes per annum).

The assessment guidelines—informed by expert government agency advice—detail the potential social, environmental and economic impacts to be assessed by BHP as part of their consideration of an expansion of operations.

The expansion of Olympic Dam has been granted Major Development status and is expected to support up to 1800 jobs during construction and an additional 600 ongoing operational roles afterward.

“The effect of the proposal on impacted communities, including Aboriginal people and the Roxby Downs community, will be a key consideration of the Government’s assessment of BHP’s Olympic Dam Resource Development Strategy,” said Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekan.

BHP will be required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the highest legislative standard as prescribed by the Major Development assessment process. The draft EIS will be released for public and local government feedback followed by a comprehensive investigation by key government agencies to ensure all environmental impacts and issues are adequately assessed, including the impact of increased mining and processing on human health, native vegetation, flora and fauna, waste and storage management.

To gain approval the EIS must demonstrate the project can be delivered to the highest environmental safety standards.

View the full media release.

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Page last modified Tuesday, 13 August 2019