Valuable planning reforms passed
South Australia’s new planning system promises to cut complexities faced by households wanting to build – but they still face the costs of a frustrated key reform.

Master Builders SA welcomed the open engagement undertaken by Deputy Premier John Rau, his office and his department and the good will with which Parliament debated the proposed laws at length.

Chief Executive Officer Ian Markos said industry and householders would benefit from faster assessment pathways based on a reduced rulebook available through an online system – three key reforms that could, if funded appropriately, truly change the way people interact with the planning system.

However, he said the ongoing presence of elected councilors on assessment panels could produce further delays and

“Right from the start, experts and those engaged in the assessment process agreed that the removal of elected councilors would deliver a stronger system that focused on applying the community’s views, not building a platform to revisit those views for every available project,” he said.

“The new Bill limits that to one councilor – certainly an improvement, but falling short of what many acknowledged was ideal in the interests of improving the system.”

Mr Markos said the introduction of an urban growth boundary – passed only after Independent member John Darley MLC proposed amendments on a second vote – would certainly impact economic development and choice.

“The mechanism is there for regular reviews of this boundary. We have to hope that they won’t be so infrequent as to hold back investment, and that projects won’t frustrated by a vocal minority,” he said.

“Mr Rau has committed to engaging deeply with industry to ensure the implementation of the new system works smoothly. We are very much looking forward to that for the benefit of all South Australians.”

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