Today during Question Time Mark asked the Treasurer, representing the Minister for Planning, a question about the Planning and Design Code.
The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: The Planning and Design Code will consolidate all of the planning rules for the state. It will determine what you can and can't build and where. Late last year, following much community disquiet, the government provided a further six-week opportunity to provide feedback on the revised draft Planning and Design Code, and that period was from 4 November to 18 December. The initial public comment period a year earlier resulted in over 2,000 submissions. Last week, the government announced an implementation date of Friday 19 March 2021 for the code to go live. According to the government media release:
On this day the updated Planning and Design Code, incorporating improvements from the latest round of public consultation, will be released. A comprehensive Engagement Report will also be made available at this time.
To put that in plain language, the community will not know what changes have been made to the state's planning rules until the day that those changes come into operation. This is in contrast to the government's commitment on its website which states:
An Engagement Report will be released in the first quarter of 2021 that outlines any further changes proposed to the Code in response to public feedback.
My questions to the minister are:
1. How many submissions on the code were received during the most recent public comment period?
2. Why won't the government disclose the changes it proposes to make to the Planning and Design Code before the code goes live?
3. Is there any reason why the government can't publish their comprehensive engagement report ahead of the implementation of the code as foreshadowed on its website?
The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (Treasurer): I am happy to take the questions on notice and bring back a reply.
On March 2 2021 the following answer was provided:
The Hon Rob Lucas MLC "The Attorney General as the Minister for Planning has advised that:
1. During the additional six-week period of public consultation (conducted from 4 November 2020 to 18 December 2020), a total of 578 submissions were received.
2. The State Planning Commission (Commission) has already released a series of 'What we have heard reports' and 'Engagement Reports' that outline the changes made to the Planning and Design Code (Code) following consultation on Phase One (Cutback areas) and Phase Two (Rural areas). An interim report was also released following the first round of consultation on Phase Three (Urban areas). These reports are publicly available on the PlanSA website.
The remaining changes to the Code in response to the further six weeks of consultation on Phase Three (Urban Areas) will be incorporated into the final Engagement Report on the entirety of the Phase Three Code changes.
Pursuant to section 73(7) of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (the Act), the Commission must then furnish a copy of the Engagement Report to the Minister for her consideration prior to the adoption of the Code.
3. The Act states that within five business days after taking action under section 73(10)(c) of the Act, the Minister must publish on the SA Planning Portal (PlanSA) a copy of any final advice furnished to the Minister by the State Planning Commission for the purposes of section 73 of the Act (being the Engagement Report).
As the Minister has announced that the date for implementation f the new planning system is 19 March 2021, the window in which the Engagement Report must be made public is between 15 and 26 March 2021, which is five working days either side of the implementation date.
This is consistent with the information that is currently provided on the website that the Engagement Report will be made public in the first quarter of 2021."