GREENS MOTION: Development Assessment Regulations disallowed

Today the Greens' motion to disallow the Government's Regulations made under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 concerning development assessment passed in Upper House. 


I move:

That the regulations, made under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 concerning development assessment made on 27 June and laid on the table of this council on 2 July 2019, be disallowed.

I rise to sum up the debate, and in doing so I thank the Hon. Clare Scriven, the Hon. David Ridgway and the Hon. Frank Pangallo for their contributions. The Hon. David Ridgway's contribution is not unexpected, but I think that in some of the words that he used he repeated some things that I have said, like 'shot across the bow'. Rather than just repeat those words, I would urge the Government to reflect on how they are managing this planning system.

Even today, in earlier items on our agenda, we had the Hon. Clare Scriven referring to submissions that had been made by a number of country councils in the Mid North and Yorke Peninsula. Because we are short of time, I have not read all the submissions out. The LGA has also expressed grave concerns. I, at a personal level, have been poring through these planning documents, and I am finding mistake after mistake, which says to me that the Government has not listened to what the community has been saying. There is a lot of work that still needs to be done. Whilst the Hon. Mr Ridgway says that this is going to destroy their critical regulatory environment, and he talks about these applications in the outback that he says will now evaporate, that is just not true—that is just not true.

What would have been true is if we had done this after the planning and design code phase 3 had come into operation, which relates to the whole of the state. That would be a serious disruption. Instead, we have moved this disallowance motion now, and I am glad that it has the parliament's support.

As I said when I moved it, I fully expect the government will take these 179 pages and bung them back in the Government Gazette either tomorrow or next Thursday. That is what they will do, but at least then this Parliament has the opportunity, when we resume after the prorogation, to have another look at the whole package of what the Government is proposing. If we do not do this now—and I am glad we are going to be doing it—then we would remove from ourselves the power to actually influence how this planning system is panning out.

I got an email just a little while ago from one of the councillors from Norwood Payneham and St Peters, who showed me a map of the sneaky changes that have been made to their local area. In areas that currently have a lot of character dwellings, dominated by one and two-storey buildings, they have stuck six-storey zones all over the place. Every school is zoned for six storeys now in Norwood Payneham and St Peters. There is so much more work that needs doing and the Government needs to stop just saying, 'It's my way or the highway' and stop trying to ram this stuff through. They need to settle down a little bit, listen to the genuine concerns that are being raised by local councils and by the community, and do this job properly.

The Hon. David Ridgway was not quite sure why some of his notes were relevant, but as I said before, this motion is identical to one that the Hon. Clare Scriven moved on behalf of the Labor Party. They raised different concerns to the ones that I have raised. The Hon. Terry Stephens had a similar motion, but again, that is a holding motion—I will admit that—on behalf of the Legislative Review Committee. As we know, that committee simply puts these on the agenda and then discharges them, and we never find out what it was that was holding them up and what their concerns were. The Legislative Review Committee process is a very suboptimal process.

This Parliament is doing what the people elected us to do: standing up for the community, standing up for what the people of South Australia want for their future, and planning is so much of what our future is going to deliver, either good or bad. I am glad that we have secured the agreement of the Legislative Council tonight to disallow these regulations, and I say to the Hon. David Ridgway, 'We will see you back debating planning in this chamber again next year.'

You can read Mark's speech on moving the motion here