March 2017

Welcome to the new Planning Ahead newsletter

Hi and welcome to our monthly newsletter, Planning Ahead. Our goal is to keep you updated on the latest projects, highlights and initiatives being undertaken by the Planning & Development teams within the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).

Our area has undergone some changes recently with a personnel restructure that has seen Chris Kwong take up the role of Manager, Development Policy and Assessment. Chris will work alongside Anita Allen, who is managing Planning Reform, and Mike Burdett as Surveyor-General.

There is a lot happening in our space and as we enter a new phase of planning in South Australia I look forward to sharing many exciting and interesting things with you and planning ahead for the future.

Sally Smith
General Manager, Planning and Development Division

Parliament gives the green light to planning reforms

The Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act) represents the blueprint for South Australia’s new planning system. To kick off the staged introduction of the new Act, the SA Parliament has now passed transitional legislation (Statutes Amendment (Planning, Development and Infrastructure) Act 2016).

The PDI Act will now be brought into effect, in stages, over the next 3 years.

Watch this space for updates on the timing of implementation.

The new State Planning Commission

At the heart of the new system is the State Planning Commission, South Australia’s principal assessment and advisory body responsible for the implementation of our new system.

To support the smooth transition, Mr Tim Anderson QC has been appointed as the Inaugural Chair. Mr Anderson’s vast experience in the legal profession will provide much needed rigour and probity to the operations of the Commission. This is crucial in ensuring a high benchmark in both public integrity and contemporary land use planning in Australia is achieved.

It is intended that the rest of the Commission will also be appointed soon, ready for the commencement of the Act in the first half of this year.

A new Community Engagement Charter

In the next few months we will be turning our attention to how the community can have greater involvement in planning decisions. Once the State Planning Commission is up and running, their first task is to develop a Community Engagement Charter for South Australia.

South Australian business democracyCo have been engaged to support the work of the Commission and DPTI to develop the Charter and the tools and frameworks needed to support it. Davis and Davis Architects are also providing strategic advice in collaboration with democracyCo.

The Charter is about involving community in planning decisions at the right time and in a way that works for the community. Therefore it is vital that the public, local government, planners and industry; the users of the Charter are central to its development.

See our SA Planning Portal for more detail on how you can contribute to this process.

Joint Planning Arrangements

The Planning and Development Division is looking to partner with an area/region to assist a number of Councils in establishing a business case for Joint Planning Arrangements.

‘Seed funding’ will be provided to assist these Councils with this process. We will also be working with councils on their strategic planning frameworks that will underpin the ongoing development of the Planning and Design Code.

More information will soon be available on the SA Planning Portal in the next couple of weeks.

Talking to Councils

Our team has been busy over the last few months. We have met with 23 Councils and discussed a range of topics including timeframes and priorities during the transition period, ePlanning, resource and budget management and involvement in pilot programs and joint planning boards.

In response to feedback, we have been updating the SA Planning Portal with new information and have also updated the Reform Implementation road map.

We are currently working on setting up a more formal road show through April/May to continue the conversation with Council practitioners about getting ready for the reform implementation.

It’s not just about Planning Reform

While we will be having a strong focus on reform in the coming years, we are still progressing a number of initiatives under the current legislation.

One of these exciting initiatives is the increasing activity in our city centre. We have seen a steady increase in development activity within the city, with over 116 developments to the value of $4.37 billion being granted development plan consent since 2008 (projects over $10 million).

This has the potential to create 61,800 jobs in the property industry.

The graph shows the increase in investment since 2008. Further information on investment in Adelaide is available from the SA Planning Portal.

DPTI is also continuing to work with Councils to prioritise the over 80 Council-led rezonings that are currently underway. However, in order to implement the new Planning Reform agenda, Government and Council resources will need to be directed towards the delivery of the new Planning and Design Code.

As such, all new Development Plan Amendment (DPA) processes must now be considered in the context of the broader reform priorities, and Councils will need to demonstrate that a DPA can be appropriately resourced and will result in the achievement of strategic and economic outcomes before it can be supported at this time.

In this context, Councils are encouraged to work in partnership with DPTI to develop a policy framework which can then be used directly to inform the preparation of the Code.

What's next in 2017?

This monthly newsletter will introduce the Planning teams behind the work and provide information about current and upcoming projects.

The next edition will have information about the Planning and Design Code as well as the ePlanning solutions. We will also soon provide an update on the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide.

There will also be updates on the implementation of the PDI Act and other projects in the planning and development sector.

Feel free to share this newsletter with your colleagues to help us keep everyone informed.


We welcome your feedback and suggestions about the new SA Planning Portal.

Email your suggestions to us at

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