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June 2020

From the Commission Chair...

As South Australia prepares to further ease restrictions and open our state borders once again; we too, are preparing to mark a major milestone in the delivery of the new planning system, which will provide clear and consistent planning policies across our state that are accessible and available to all.

On 31 July, the Planning and Design Code for Phases Two (Rural Areas) is scheduled to come into operation via a modern ePlanning platform, which includes the online Planning and Design Code, a new look planning portal, the South Australian Property and Planning Atlas (SAPPA) and the Development Application Processing system.

All South Australians can now access the online Planning and Design Code for Outback and Rural Areas in the new ePlanning platform. This is an ideal opportunity for South Australians living in our rural areas to preview the online Code prior to its formal commencement at the end of July. I encourage everyone to have a good look.

The Phase Two Code has undergone several refinements and improvements following two months of community consultation. All feedback was given careful consideration and is reflected in the Commission’s recommendations in the formal Engagement Report for Phase Two (Rural Areas) of the Planning and Design Code.

We are now another step closer to reaching our ultimate goal—a fully online and electronic planning system for the whole state—when the third and final phase of the Planning and Design Code is delivered for our urban and metropolitan areas later this year.

On the planning front, we have made significant progress in the strategic development of Adelaide’s iconic Adelaide Riverbank Precinct. An updated masterplan is now in development by the State Planning Commission, Renewal SA and City of Adelaide that will provide a roadmap to guide the assessment, prioritisation and coordinated delivery of future development within the precinct as well as reflect the significant investment that has occurred in the precinct since the last major masterplan was developed in 2013.

Since then, significant changes have occurred within the Adelaide Riverbank area, including the redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval, delivery of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and Adelaide Biomed City, the creation of Lot Fourteen and the construction of the Torrens Footbridge. Further exciting and major opportunities are already in consideration for future developments within the Riverbank Precinct.

The long awaited transformation of the Festival Plaza will soon commence after securing planning approval from the State Commission Assessment Panel and the Minister for Planning. The envisioned Festival Plaza Public Realm features a substantial revamp of the square and includes a revised layout and enhanced infrastructure, providing a larger, sophisticated and world-class multipurpose space for events, leisure, dining and entertainment.

Michael Lennon
Chair, State Planning Commission

Message from the Executive Director

We’ve had some good news and some significant milestones met this month, which kicked off with South Australia marking stage 3 in the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, bringing us closer to a “new normal” and a welcome progression from the challenging weeks we have all experienced.

An important next step was confirmation that the Phase Two (Rural Areas) of the Planning and Design Code (Code) will be brought into operation on 31 July, subject to the Minister’s final adoption of the Phase Two Code.

Our team have been working closely with Phase Two Councils on validating the Phase Two Code in the ePlanning system prior to making the online Code publicly available. Testing of the ePlanning solution commenced on 2 June (and will continue until 17 July) focussing on full end-to-end testing of the Phase Two Code.

Thus far, we have provided councils, registered accredited professionals, key industry and state agencies with access to the ePlanning system and commenced the Phase Two training syllabus. I would like to acknowledge and thank councils and stakeholders for their invaluable contributions in readying the online Phase Two Code for public release. 

Following an 18 month consultation period, the Local Government (LG) Review Bill was introduced to Parliament on June 17, and contains the largest wide-ranging reforms to South Australia local government since the LG Act was passed 1999.

Another highlight of our sustained progress has been the recent release of the General Regulations, plus several Practice Directions and Ministerial Building Standards to support the implementation of the new planning system. In addition, the draft Local Design Review Scheme has just been released for 8-weeks public consultation by the Office of Design and Architecture SA.

I encourage everyone to take the time to access the online Code for Phase Two, read the Guide to the Code, or register to join a community or practitioner webinar. Whilst the new look portal and development assessment processing system will be released when the Phase Two Code goes live on 31 July, now is the time to familiarise yourself with how the online Code works in the ePlanning system.

As part of our online Code release preparations, I invite you to view our latest video highlighting the Phase Two Code’s release for community familiarisation.

Sally Smith
Executive Director, Team PLUS

General public can now access the Planning and Design Code (outback and rural areas) for familiarisation purposes

The Planning and Design Code (the Code) for South Australia’s outback and rural areas is now available for the general public to access for familiarisation purposes via the ePlanning platform at

To ensure all South Australians are confident and familiar with the new planning system, the community will have an opportunity to access the online Code ahead of the planned implementation for Phase Two (Rural Areas) on 31 July 2020.  

From 29 June, community members will be able to engage with the online Code and the South Australian Property and Planning Atlas (SAPPA) in our first state wide e-Planning system. When fully implemented on 31 July, the ePlanning platform will also include a new look planning portal and electronic Development Application Processing system.

Once live, the Code will allow development applications for the state’s outback and rural areas to be submitted and tracked from the comfort of people’s homes, offices or whilst on the go using a mobile, tablet or computer. For the first time ever, there will be clear and consistent planning policies across our state that are easily accessible and available to all.

It is important to note that when accessing the online Planning and Design Code in the ePlanning system, only addresses in outback and rural areas of the state will display in the search results. Metropolitan addresses, whilst able to be entered, will not display a result as the Phase Three Planning and Design Code has not yet been added to the ePlanning system.

The third and final phase of SA’s new planning system for urban and metropolitan areas of South Australia is under active consideration and on track to be implemented later this year.

To access the online Planning and Design Code for Phase One (Outback Areas) and Phase Two (Rural Areas) via the ePlanning platform visit or for more information contact the PlanSA helpline on 8456 4840.

Visit the SA Planning Portal to access more information and resources to the Online Planning and Design Code.

Online Code webinars to support community familiarisation

The Planning Reform Team will host a series of community webinars to support the public familiarisation stage for the online Code (Outback and Rural Areas) commencing 1 July.

These sessions will explore how to access South Australia’s Online Planning and Design Code, how to navigate the Code and understand how the Code applies to rural South Australia.

The webinars are specifically designed to help the community access and engage with the online Code and the South Australian Property and Planning Atlas.

Community members can register for the events online via Eventbrite or the SA Planning Portal

Additional webinars have been designed specifically for planning professionals and can be accessed via Eventbrite.

Local Government Statutes Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament after 18 month consultation

On 17 June, the Minister for Local Government introduced the Statutes Amendment (Local Government Review) Bill 2020 into Parliament.

The Bill is a result of 18 months of consultation with councils, council members and staff, the community and bodies that have a role in local government. It contains the largest number of reforms to South Australian local government since the current Local Government Act was passed in 1999.

The wide-ranging reforms cover council member conduct and capacity, financial accountability, cost savings and simpler regulation, and local government elections and representation.

Learn more about the reform program and the Bill.

Consultation on draft Local Design Review Scheme for South Australia is now open

South Australia’s new planning system places greater emphasis on the design quality of our built environments. One of the ways it will do this is by creating more opportunities to participate in Design Review under a new Local Design Review Scheme.

Design Review is an independent evaluation process where a panel of built environment experts review the design quality of a development proposal before it is lodged for assessment. Design Review supports high-quality design outcomes, improves access to independent design expertise and assists with informed decision-making during development assessment.

The draft Scheme sets out a consistent approach for the delivery of Local Design Review across the State and will support those councils who choose to offer the service within their communities and independent Design Review providers.

A consultation guide has also been prepared and should be read in conjunction with the draft Scheme. For more information or to have your say visit the YourSAy website.

Feedback from Phase Three Code workshops to help further refine Code policy

The Planning and Reform team recently concluded a series of workshops for Phase Three Councils on Phase Three (Urban Areas) Code policy.

The workshops, held from 18 to 26 June, provided council planners with an overview of the key themes that emerged from the consultation period and the What We Have Heard Report, as well as providing feedback to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and the opportunity to contribute to the spatial application of the draft Phase Three Code framework.

Some of the key topics the workshops covered include:

  • flooding, and how the Code can create a consistent approach to managing flood hazards across council areas
  • the suite of neighbourhood zones, and additional zones proposed to respond to feedback from councils and other stakeholders
  • employment zones, and the role they play in facilitating business and economic opportunities and the types of land uses envisioned within each zone
  • activity centre and retail development, in particular the role of local centres and non-residential development in neighbourhood zones
  • some workshops addressed regionally specific issues such as the peri-urban zone and broad hectare residential development.

Feedback received from these sessions will be used to further refine Code policy and inform the State Planning Commission’s recommendations to the Minister.

Three new Ministerial Building Standards released

The Ministerial Building Standards (MBS) provide clearer building rules related to South Australian variations under the National Construction Code. The MBS will replace the Minister’s Specifications as part of a number of changes to the way that building and construction is to be undertaken in South Australia under the PDI Act. As of June 25, three new Ministerial Building Standards have been published:

  • MBS 008 – Additional requirements in designated bushfire prone areas
    This standard includes descriptions of designated bushfire prone areas for the purposes of the Building Code and mandates the provision of site specific and community-based bushfire protection systems for occupants, the community and/or the fire brigade to use to minimise a bushfire spreading to invidual allotments or community lots.

  • MBS 009 – On-site retention of stormwater
    This standard sets out cost effective technical solutions for stormwater retention systems that will retain stormwater runoff from roofs on-site as well as provisions to incorporate stormwater retention devices as part of the stormwater drainage system.

  • MBS 010 – Construction requirements for the control of external sound
    This standard contains provisions for reducing the intrusion of unacceptable levels of sound into habitable rooms of residential buildings and reducing the intrusion of external airborne sound from a designated sound source or from increased sound levels that arise in mixed use areas, to an acceptable level within habitable rooms.

Modernising South Australia’s building system also involves identifying local issues that require stand-alone regulations. A key example is swimming pool compliance and safety, which has been recognised as a regulatory area requiring improved management in our state. To this end, amendments to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure (Swimming Pool Safety) Regulations 2019 now clarify that swimming pools may not be filled with water unless the pool is enclosed with an appropriate safety barrier.

Release of additional legislation and supplementary materials

Additional legislation and supplementary materials have been released to support the commencement of the Phase Two (Rural Areas) Planning and Design Code. All have been issued under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act).

These items are now publicly available and will assist in understanding the Phase Two Code, however most will not come into operation until its commencement on 31 July 2020.  The release includes the publication of three new Practice Directions:

For further information and for details of this release, visit the SA Planning Portal.

Discussions commenced on remaining sections of proposed North-South Corridor

Discussions have commenced within the DPTI North-South Corridor Program Delivery Office (the Office) regarding the planning for, and decision making process associated with the remaining sections of the proposed North-South corridor.

The North-South corridor is a significant project promising transformative benefits for the State. Discussions will focus on addressing critical issues associated with alignment, business and residential interface and public realm activation.

As part of the process, plans are underway to incorporate a planner within the Office to ensure these issues are front of mind as the project evolves and a planning lens is applied early in the design phase of other infrastructure projects across Crown and Major Developments.

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Page last modified Tuesday, 13 August 2019