Changes to SA Planning and Heritage System

View the News tab below for the latest updates.

An Act proposing changes to the State wide planning system was passed by State Parliament in April 2016. The Act is titled The Planning, Development, and Infrastructure Act 2016. More information is available on the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure website.

The PDI Act puts into legislative form the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Planning Reform (apart from heritage matters). The Panel operated in 2013 and 2014 to review the planning system and advise the State Government on potential reforms.

Council has been an active contributor to Planning Reform, such as:

  • working collaboratively with the Expert Panel,
  • responding to the Government’s response to the final report of the Panel, and
  • providing substantial input to the debate on the Bill to the Minister, members of Parliament, and key stakeholders (Local Government Association, etc.).
In August 2016, the SA Government commenced considering heritage reform, with the intent of their being a second heritage oriented Bill at some stage. The PDI Act of 2016 adopts a ‘status quo’ approach to heritage.

As part of our staged comments on the planning reform, we sought your input to help shape and influence Council’s submissions. Council continues to encourage the community to keep themselves informed of implementation of the PDI Act over the next 3 – 5 years, and to contribute to the commencing discussions around heritage reform.

Council encourages reform that delivers efficiencies and benefits to business and the community.

View the News tab below for the latest updates.

An Act proposing changes to the State wide planning system was passed by State Parliament in April 2016. The Act is titled The Planning, Development, and Infrastructure Act 2016. More information is available on the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure website.

The PDI Act puts into legislative form the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Planning Reform (apart from heritage matters). The Panel operated in 2013 and 2014 to review the planning system and advise the State Government on potential reforms.

Council has been an active contributor to Planning Reform, such as:

  • working collaboratively with the Expert Panel,
  • responding to the Government’s response to the final report of the Panel, and
  • providing substantial input to the debate on the Bill to the Minister, members of Parliament, and key stakeholders (Local Government Association, etc.).
In August 2016, the SA Government commenced considering heritage reform, with the intent of their being a second heritage oriented Bill at some stage. The PDI Act of 2016 adopts a ‘status quo’ approach to heritage.

As part of our staged comments on the planning reform, we sought your input to help shape and influence Council’s submissions. Council continues to encourage the community to keep themselves informed of implementation of the PDI Act over the next 3 – 5 years, and to contribute to the commencing discussions around heritage reform.

Council encourages reform that delivers efficiencies and benefits to business and the community.

  • Project Update - June 2016

    about 3 years ago
    In late May, DPTI advised of their intended approach to staged implementation of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act (view here).

    Flagged priorities for the next 12 months include:

    • legislation to commence transitioning;
    • establishing governance arrangements around the transitioning including establishing the State Planning Commission;
    • establishing the Community Engagement Charter;
    • further work on planning instruments, including the new Planning and Design Code;
    • progressing ePlanning.

    In late May, DPTI advised of their intended approach to staged implementation of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act (view here).

    Flagged priorities for the next 12 months include:

    • legislation to commence transitioning;
    • establishing governance arrangements around the transitioning including establishing the State Planning Commission;
    • establishing the Community Engagement Charter;
    • further work on planning instruments, including the new Planning and Design Code;
    • progressing ePlanning.

  • Project Update - April 2016

    over 3 years ago

    On 12 April, SA’s Parliament passed the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 introducing the framework for a new planning system.

    A media release by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning, Hon. John Rau, MP, announced that the Government would accept the Bill as amended in the Legislative Council.

    By and large the new legislation reflects changes sought by the State Government but with a significant number of variations to the original Bill.


    For example, the Legislative Council agreed to amendments (supported by the Adelaide City Council) to:

    On 12 April, SA’s Parliament passed the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 introducing the framework for a new planning system.

    A media release by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning, Hon. John Rau, MP, announced that the Government would accept the Bill as amended in the Legislative Council.

    By and large the new legislation reflects changes sought by the State Government but with a significant number of variations to the original Bill.


    For example, the Legislative Council agreed to amendments (supported by the Adelaide City Council) to:

    • broaden the Object of the Act to give more emphasis to social and environmental issues (as well as economic);
    • transfer a number of powers from the Minister to the proposed State Planning Commission;
    • exempt development in the Adelaide Park Lands from being declared by the Minister to be impact-assessed development, or assessed as essential infrastructure, or assessed as Crown development;
    • ‘early commencement’ of policy amendments during public consultation can be used in more limited circumstances than at present, essentially to control undesirable development;
    • require the Planning and Design Code and other “designated instruments” (which include regional plans and design standards) to be drafted to “achieve consistency while providing for local variations that reflect special or unique character at the local level”.


    Other significant amendments were:

    • up to one current Elected Member to serve on an assessment panel – compared with a minority at present and none under the original Bill;
    • funding arrangements for general infrastructure schemes relating to health, education, police, justice, emergency service and transport infrastructure will require approval from all persons who own land within the relevant contribution area (other than land such as community land, public roads, Crown land or land under the care, control or management of the Urban Renewal Authority);
    • the majority of owners within a proposed heritage character or preservation zone must agree to the proposal before such an amendment can be made to the Code.


    The passage of the Bill is expected to be followed by:

    • The introduction of a second Bill which would amend the many Acts and Regulations which currently interact with the Development Act 1993;
    • Drafting of Planning, Development and Infrastructure Regulations, the new Code, design guidelines and policies;
    • The creation of the SA planning portal as a single point for digital access to planning documents.
  • Update - 8 February 2016

    over 3 years ago
    In January 2016, Council adopted a new submission on the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015. The Bill is still before Parliament, and is expected to be reviewed in the Legislative Council (Upper House) during February 2016.

    Our new submission augments our submission of October 2015 – see Update 12 October 2016 – and primarily addresses proposed amendments. Since October, numerous amendments to the Bill before Parliament have been proposed dealing with matters ranging from property charges for infrastructure through to the membership of development assessment panels. Some of the significant amendments and issues are still to be resolved in the ongoing Parliamentary review process.

    For these reasons, Council considered it important to make its views known on these matters as well as reiterating key points in its October 2015 submission.

    Details of Council’s 2016 Submission
    • The Council report of January 2016 on the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 view here.

    • Council’s 2016 submission on proposed amendments to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 view here.
    In January 2016, Council adopted a new submission on the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015. The Bill is still before Parliament, and is expected to be reviewed in the Legislative Council (Upper House) during February 2016.

    Our new submission augments our submission of October 2015 – see Update 12 October 2016 – and primarily addresses proposed amendments. Since October, numerous amendments to the Bill before Parliament have been proposed dealing with matters ranging from property charges for infrastructure through to the membership of development assessment panels. Some of the significant amendments and issues are still to be resolved in the ongoing Parliamentary review process.

    For these reasons, Council considered it important to make its views known on these matters as well as reiterating key points in its October 2015 submission.

    Details of Council’s 2016 Submission
    • The Council report of January 2016 on the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 view here.

    • Council’s 2016 submission on proposed amendments to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 view here.
  • Update - 12 October 2015

    almost 4 years ago
    What we told the Minister
    The Minister, members of Parliament, and key stakeholders have been informed that:
    • the lack of detail on the associated bodies of work that are to follow and the lack of an overall implementation plan, made it difficult to reach a comprehensive position on the Bill.
    • more consideration of the Bill was required.
    • the proposed State Planning Commission should be charged with delivery of the implementation packages of work required to put the new planning system into place.
    • the unique and distinctive circumstances of the City of Adelaide, as the state capital with a primary role for business, entertainment, culture, and retailing, should be better recognized in the Bill and new planning system.
    • the State Planning Commission should be empowered to work independently from the Minister.
    • provisions relating to the Park Lands would undermine the protection and value of the Park Lands.
    • concern at the powers of the Minister to act, such as the power to impose financial contributions to ‘essential infrastructure’.
    • having appeal rights against existing local heritage items.
    • the preference to development assessment being devolved to the lowest possible level of government and the need for elected member representation on Development Assessment Panels as currently exists.
    Full Details of Council’s Position
    The full position adopted by Council can be viewed on the following links:
    • Council report on the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 view here.
    • Position adopted by Council on the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 view here.
    • Recommended Amendments to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 view here.
    • Recommended Principles for Engagement in a New Planning System (to help inform the development of the proposed Community Engagement Charter) view here.
    Keeping you Informed
    We will continue to regularly update this page with up to date information on the progression of the Bill and implementation of the new planning system.

    Background to the Planning Reform Process

    The following links provide information on the work of the Expert panel and Council submissions on past bodies of work by the Expert Panel and the State Government’s response:
    What we told the Minister
    The Minister, members of Parliament, and key stakeholders have been informed that:
    • the lack of detail on the associated bodies of work that are to follow and the lack of an overall implementation plan, made it difficult to reach a comprehensive position on the Bill.
    • more consideration of the Bill was required.
    • the proposed State Planning Commission should be charged with delivery of the implementation packages of work required to put the new planning system into place.
    • the unique and distinctive circumstances of the City of Adelaide, as the state capital with a primary role for business, entertainment, culture, and retailing, should be better recognized in the Bill and new planning system.
    • the State Planning Commission should be empowered to work independently from the Minister.
    • provisions relating to the Park Lands would undermine the protection and value of the Park Lands.
    • concern at the powers of the Minister to act, such as the power to impose financial contributions to ‘essential infrastructure’.
    • having appeal rights against existing local heritage items.
    • the preference to development assessment being devolved to the lowest possible level of government and the need for elected member representation on Development Assessment Panels as currently exists.
    Full Details of Council’s Position
    The full position adopted by Council can be viewed on the following links:
    • Council report on the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 view here.
    • Position adopted by Council on the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 view here.
    • Recommended Amendments to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015 view here.
    • Recommended Principles for Engagement in a New Planning System (to help inform the development of the proposed Community Engagement Charter) view here.
    Keeping you Informed
    We will continue to regularly update this page with up to date information on the progression of the Bill and implementation of the new planning system.

    Background to the Planning Reform Process

    The following links provide information on the work of the Expert panel and Council submissions on past bodies of work by the Expert Panel and the State Government’s response:
  • Update - 11 September 2015

    almost 4 years ago

    A Bill proposing changes to the State Wide planning system was released by the State Govt. Wednesday 9 September. The Bill has been presented to the lower house of Parliament.

    The Expert Panel on Planning Reform has been asked to review the State’s planning system and advise the State Government and Parliament on potential reforms.

    Council is committed to being actively involved in the State-led Planning Reform process including working collaboratively with the Panel. As part of a staged approach, we sought your input to help shape and influence Council's Formal Submission to the Expert Panel.

    Council encourages the community...

    A Bill proposing changes to the State Wide planning system was released by the State Govt. Wednesday 9 September. The Bill has been presented to the lower house of Parliament.

    The Expert Panel on Planning Reform has been asked to review the State’s planning system and advise the State Government and Parliament on potential reforms.

    Council is committed to being actively involved in the State-led Planning Reform process including working collaboratively with the Panel. As part of a staged approach, we sought your input to help shape and influence Council's Formal Submission to the Expert Panel.

    Council encourages the community to inform themselves of the proposed new system and participate in creating a better planning system for the state. View the pages below for previous engagement activities:

    • Research & Observation Papers (consultation closed 13 September 13) - we have prepared three papers and guiding principles as part of our contribution to the review.
    • Sharing Experiences, Posing Questions (consultation closed 13 September 13) - we have prepared a Discussion Paper on Council's experiences and questions regarding the South Australian Planning System.

  • Background of the Planning Reform Progress

    almost 4 years ago
    In 2013 the State Government announced its intention to review the current planning system to create a new planning system that meets South Australia’s future challenges.

    The State Government appointed an Expert Panel to undertaken an independent review, consult with stakeholders and recommend changes.

    Council has made submissions to the Expert Panel on Planning Reform through the three major stages of review. The submissions are available in the Related Document Section on the right-hand side.
    In 2013 the State Government announced its intention to review the current planning system to create a new planning system that meets South Australia’s future challenges.

    The State Government appointed an Expert Panel to undertaken an independent review, consult with stakeholders and recommend changes.

    Council has made submissions to the Expert Panel on Planning Reform through the three major stages of review. The submissions are available in the Related Document Section on the right-hand side.