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South Australian planning reform

From 2016, the South Australian state government has been working through a range of planning reforms to provide the state with a faster, more interactive development approval pathway for applicants.

In this article

  • What reforms have been introduced?
  • Phase 2 Councils – Planning and Design Code enacted from 31 July 2020
  • Phase 3 Councils – Planning and Design Code to be enacted in 2021

What reforms have been introduced?

The reforms introduced by the South Australian Government include the introduction of:

  • the State Planning Commission, replacing the Development Assessment Commission. Its purpose is to guide decision-making for state government, local government, community and business organisations with respect to planning, development and infrastructure provisions in South Australia
  • an ePlanning Portal to provide guidance on planning law and access to an online development application lodgement system
  • a Community Charter, establishing protocols for the collection of public responses to government consultation drafts
  • Joint Planning Boards to facilitate decision making processes, primarily aimed at regional areas of South Australia
  • the Planning, Development & Infrastructure (PDI) Act 2016, replacing the Development Act 1993
  • the Planning, Development & Infrastructure (PDI) General Regulations 2017, replacing the existing Development Regulations 2008.

A cornerstone of the reform program was the introduction of a single, state-wide Planning and Design Code, replacing 72 council Development Plans. This code was established to govern planning law and its implementation is staggered over three phases:

  • PHASE 1 – Outback South Australia (out of council areas) – implemented on 1 July 2019
  • PHASE 2 – Rural South Australia – implemented on 31 July 2020
  • PHASE 3 – Metropolitan Adelaide – implementation date to be advised.

In addition to this, regional plans, state planning policies, practice directions and practice guidelines were established to provide further guidance to the Planning and Design Code.

Phase 2 Councils – Planning and Design Code enacted from 31 July 2020
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Barunga West Mount Remarkable
Berri Barmera Naracoorte Lucindale
Ceduna Northern Areas
Clare & Gilbert Orroroo Carrieton
Cleve Valleys Peterborough
Coober Pedy Renmark Paringa
Coorong District Robe
Elliston Roxby Downs
The Flinders Ranges Southern Mallee District
Franklin Harbour Streaky Bay
Goyder Tatiara
Grant Tumby Bay
Karoonda East Murray Wakefield Regional
Kimba Wattle Range
Kingston District Wudinna
Lower Eyre District Yorke Peninsula
Loxton Walkerie  
Phase 3 Councils – Planning and Design Code to be enacted in 2021
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Adelaide Murray Bridge
Adelaide Hills Norwood, Payneham & St Peters
Adelaide Plains Onkaparinga
Alexandrina Playford
Barossa Port Adelaide Enfield
Burnside Port Augusta
Campbelltown Port Lincoln
Charles Sturt Port Pirie
Copper Coast Prospect
Gawler Salisbury
Holdfast Bay Tea Tree Gully
Kangaroo Island Tumby Bay
Karoonda East Murray Unley
Light Victor Harbor
Marion Walkerville
Mid Murray West Torrens
Mitcham Whyalla
Mount Barker Yankalilla
Mount Gambier Metro Coastal Waters

To find out more, contact HIA’s Building Services team.

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