Parliament rubber stamps Planning Bill, attention turns to e-planning

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the passage of the Planning, Development & Infrastructure Bill and says attention must now turn to funding an e-planning system.

SA Executive Director Daniel Gannon said that, like with any piece of reformist legislation, the Planning Bill is a mixed blessing.

“The high-level objective of the Planning Bill was to make South Australia a more attractive place for investment and to make life easier for both residents and businesses wanting to build or develop,” he said.

“Overall, the passage of the Bill will significantly improve the state’s property sector – a sector that for too long has been held back by a lethargic local government-based planning system.

“What we wanted from the outset was the removal of onerous green- and red-tape, the depoliticisation of our planning system and the removal of barriers to job creation and growth.

“Ironically, in the pursuit of depoliticisation, we faced a bombardment of politics around the ambition to remove elected representatives from Development Assessment Panels.

“Parliament eventually declared that there will be up to one elected representative sitting on DAPs, which means an overall reduction in the number of elected officials as part of the assessment process.

“This means Parliament accepted the argument that we had to change the current lethargic local government-based planning system, which must be seen as a victory for commonsense.

“The property sector is now 100% focused on the Government fully funding the proposed e-planning system so that it can be truly modernized.

“An e-planning system is not a luxury or an indulgence – it is a necessity for modernized development pathways.

“That’s why we want to see a firm commitment to this game-changing reform in the upcoming State Budget. This will ensure industry confidence in the Government’s commitment to modernize the system.”

Mr Gannon welcomed other initiatives in the Planning Bill, including sensible infrastructure levies with safeguards, the State Planning Commission, and removal of onerous green- and red-tape.