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Planning & Development

Development Assessment Panels Research Paper

Proposed reforms to Development Assessment Panels to remove the role of elected members is a key planning reform issue for LGA members. 

In forming a position on potential DAP reforms, the LGA engaged the Centre for Housing and Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Adelaide to provide an objective view of proposed reform.  The report prepared by Prof Andrew Beer (now at UniSA) concludes that the Government’s proposed new system may in fact create more problems than it resolves. 

Read the report here- Adelaide University- DAP Reform Report 2015(216 kb)

Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill 2015

The Minister for Planning, Hon John Rau MP introduced the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill on 8 September 2015.  The LGA ran a series of 10 consultation sessions across the state to discuss the Bill with its members and worked with Wallmans Lawyers to develop a consultation paper which summarises the Bill and some of the key issues for Local Government.  The Paper and a summary of the discussion at the consultations sessions are available below.

While being in favour of a better planning system for South Australia, the LGA's members raised some significant concerns about the Bill and the Government's intention to remove or reduce many local roles.  The LGA has encouraged South Australian communities to look at the Bill and contact their local MP to Keep Planning Local.

More information about the LGA's views on the Planning, Development & Infrastructure Bill is provided within our detailed submission, which was endorsed by the LGA Executive Committee on 15 October 2015.

LGA Submission- Planning, Development & Infrastructure Bill(523 kb)

LGA Submission- Clause by Clause Summary(521 kb)

LGA Submission- Infrastructure Briefing Paper Wallmans Lawyers(129 kb)

The consultation paper used in the sessions with Councils along with summaries of the consultations are here:

LGA Planning Reform Consultation Paper September 2015(354 kb)

Planning, Development & Infrastrucutre Billl- LGA Consultation Sessions Summary(1737 kb)

Government’s Response to the Expert Panel on Planning Reform

On 25 March 2015, the Government of South Australia released its response to the Expert Panel on Planning Reform’s recommendations for a new planning system for South Australia.  A copy of the ‘Transforming our Planning System’ report can be accessed at

The Government has determined to support, support in principal, undertake further investigation or partially support each of the 22 proposals recommended by the Expert Panel. 

The drafting of new legislation will commence immediately, with consultation with key stakeholder, including Local Government to continue throughout the drafting process.  The LGA has established Technical and Strategic Advisory Committees comprising Council Members and staff to work with the LGA Secretariat and Board during this process.

A Bill is targeted for introduction to the Parliament in July 2015.  Debate on the legislation will commence in September after consultation during Parliament’s winter break.

Given the extent of the reforms that have been proposed, legislation is likely to be commenced in stages over the course of 2016-2017.  Elements of the reforms will be phased in over a 3 year period following commencement of a new Act.

The LGA has made a preliminary response to the Government’s reforms, based on the submissions made during the Expert Panel’s process.

 LGA Preliminary Response - Transforming our Planning System(293 kb)

Consultation and Submissions on Expert Panel's Final Report

The Expert Panel on Planning Reform handed its final recommendations to the Minister for Planning on 12 December 2014.  A copy of the Panel’s final report can be accessed at

Following a series of workshops with Councils and endoresement from the LGA Board, an LGA response to the Expert Panel's final report has been made.

Response to the Expert Panel on Planning Reform's Report
Planning Reform final report cover  

In preparing for further investigations of the potential cost and local influence impacts of proposed planning reform ideas, the LGA has prepared an initial high level impact analysis.

High level analysis of planning reform impacts on costs(304 kb)

In preparing a response and undertaking consultation, the LGA prepared a summary of the proposed planning reforms. 

The Planning System We Want - Preliminary Summary 

Planning Reform Final Report Workshop Presentation(247 kb)

In February 2013, the LGA welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Planning, Hon John Rau MP that an Expert Panel on Planning Reform has been engaged to consider the future of the Planning System in South Australia.  The Panel, Chaired by Brian Hayes QC, will be delivering a final report to the Minister in December 2014.

A Planning Reform Reference Group (PRRG), Chaired independently by Dr Michael Lewellyn-Smith AM LFPIA, was established to give advice to the Panel on their deliberations.  The LGA was represented on the PRRG by Mark Goldstone, CEO City of Prospect and Gary Mavrinac, General Manager District Council of Mallala.

The Expert Panel released its first public report in December 2013, entitled ‘What we have Heard’. This report was a summary of the issues and ideas that had been presented to the Panel during consultation in 2013.  This included a number of submissions made by Councils.  In May 2014, the LGA made its first submission to the Panel, which responded to the first report. 

LGA Submission to 'What We Have Heard'(448 kb)

Following the release of the Panel’s ‘Ideas for Reform’ report in August 2014, the LGA conducted a series of consultation workshops throughout the State to hear views from Elected Members, staff and Development Assessment Panel members.  These workshops were attended by approximately 190 people, representing 55 Councils.  A summary of each of these sessions is provided below.

Metropolitan(132 kb)

Central Region(193 kb)

SELGA(202 kb)

Southern & Hills LGA(220 kb)

MMLGA(199 kb)

EPLGA(216 kb)

Practitioner Focus Groups(315 kb)

In addition to consulting with the Local Government sector, the LGA also engaged the Centre of Housing, Urban and Regional Planning (CHURP) to provide an independent commentary on the Expert Panel’s report.  The project team, led by Andrew Beer, specifically provided an objective perspective on the extent to which the Panel’s ideas align with the LGA’s Planning Reform Objectives.  A copy of the final report from CHURP is available here.

A draft LGA submission was presented to the Metropolitan Local Government Group and South Australian Regional Organisation of Councils for feedback, prior to being presented to the LGA Board and endorsed on 25 September 2014.  The final LGA submission to the Expert Panel on Planning Reform can be found below.

LGA Submission to the Expert Panel on Planning Reform(1103 kb) 

LGA Planning Reform Consultation Papers

The consultation papers were prepared by the LGA Secretariat to provide a summary of the reform options from a Local Government perspective.  The papers were intended to provide a guide to Councils in responding to the Panel’s ideas and to stimulate further thinking and have been prepared for consultation purposes only.  Each paper provides: 

  • A summary of the reform idea
  • A summary of how the idea is different is the existing planning system
  • An outline of the potential benefits of the reform idea
  • An outline of the potential risks/considerations for Local Government in responding to the reforms
  • A list of key ‘consultation’ questions that might be considered in forming a response to the Expert Panel.

LGA Planning Reform Research and Issues Paper

Prior to and during the Expert Panel’s review of the Planning System, the LGA has working with a range of expert consultants and Local Government staff to consider what the future of planning might look like.  A series of Issues Papers have been developed which outline the key elements of the current planning system, describe the issues that Councils have reported to the LGA and commence a discussion about the planning reform options.  The purpose of these papers is to provoke thought and discussion within the sector about planning reform options and the potential benefits and considerations for Local Government.  It is important to note that these papers are consultation documents and not endorsed LGA position papers.

Planning Reform Issues Paper - A Best Practice Planning Policy Framework for South Australia(187 kb) 

Planning Reform Issues Paper - Heritage and Character(460 kb)

Planning Reform Issues Paper - Urban Design(493 kb)

Planning Reform Issues Paper - Engagement(421 kb)

Planning Reform Issues Paper - Development Assessment Pathways (580 kb)

Planning Reform Issues Paper - Major Projects(337 kb) 

Planning Reform Issues Paper - Facilitating and Delivering Affordable Housing(106 kb) 

Planning Reform Issues Paper - Planning Appeals and Reviews(338 kb)


Planning & Development - Standard Section 51 Bonding Agreement

With the support of their respective Boards and the Minister for Planning, the LGA and the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIASA) worked together to develop a 'Standard Bonding Agreement for Prescribed Works' under Section 51 of the Development Act 1993

The 'Standard Bonding Agreement for Prescribed Works' is the progressive product of a positive collaboration between the LGA and the UDIA, and was settled by Norman Waterhouse Lawyers (LGA) and Botten Levinson Lawyers (UDIASA).  A Working Group of Council Officers also provided valuable input to this project.

It is intended that this Agreement for prescribed works will reduce delays and frustrations experienced by both Councils and developers when negotiating the terms of a binding agreement, and also reduce costs.  The ‘Standard Bonding Agreement for Prescribed Works' importantly enables specific inclusions to reflect the unique attributes of an individual project.

‘Prescribed works’ are defined in the ‘Standard Bonding Agreement for Prescribed Works’ as works required by conditions of land division consent imposed pursuant to section 33(1) (c) (v) of the Development Act 1993 and Division 2 of Part 9 of the Development Regulations 2008 relevant to the Development Approval. prescribed works will be specifically outlined in the schedule attached to a bonding agreement and could include matters such as ‘the construction, paving and sealing of every proposed road and footpath in the plan of division.

Standard Bonding Agreement for Prescribed Works

Planning & Development - Housing and Urban Development (Administrative Arrangements) (Urban Renewal) Amendment Bill and Regulations

In May 2013, the Minister for Planning introduced legislation in the House of Assembly to provide a new planning process for urban renewal and precinct development.  The LGA was strongly engaged with the State Government on negotiations on the Bill and after making the following submissions, supported the passage of the Bill through both Houses of Parliament.

Housing and Urban Development (Administrative Arrangements) (Urban Renewal) Amendment Bill 2013 - LGA Proposed Amendments Table - June 2013(158 kb)

Urban Renewal Authority Bill 2013 - LGA Proposed Amendments - Letter to Hon John Rau MP(76 kb)

The Urban Renewal Regulations came into operation on 18 September 2014. Refer to LGA Circular 40.1 for further information and a copy of the LGA's submission on the Regulations.

Planning & Development - Practical Planning Resources

The LGA has prepared a number of practical resources to assist Councils to navigate all elements of the development process.  Visit

The Local Government Planners Kit provides an excellent resource to planning practitioners.

Land, Planning and Development Projects

Audit of Selected Country Landfill Sites (25.03.39

Benchmarking the Planning Function (25.03.71

Best Practice in Development Assessment (25.01.21

Better Practice for the Development of Retirement Housing (25.02.73

Central LG Region - Transport Arrangements (25.01.87

Community Education on Planning (25.03.74

Complying Development & Private Certification (25.01.88

Delivery of Planning Services to Councils (2011.08)

Developer Contributions - Development Act Project (25.03.63

Development Assessment Online Stage 2 (2010.09

Development Assessment Panel - Guide to Innovation (25.02.19

Development Assessment Planners’ Online Mentor & Induction Kit (25.04.50

Development of Social Infrastructure in Growth Corridors (2010.10)

Development System Improvement Program (25.01.78/24.01.11

Electronic Development Application, Lodgement and Assessment - Business Case for Phase 2 (25.02.25

Electronic Development Assessment - Initial Planning Process (25.04.35)

Good Practice Guidelines for Development Bonds (Section 245A) (2014.07)

Guidelines for Developing an Urban Design Framework (2012.18

Guidelines for the Installations of Zebra Crossings (2013.17)

Identification of Water Sensitive Urban Design Measures and Approaches for Sustainable Stormwater Management (25.03.10

Identifying planning issues on rural/ primary industry land (2013.46)

Impact of Resources Industry on Council Services (2012.12

Infrastructure Work Ready Program (Stage 1) (25.04.70

Institutionalising Water Sensitive Urban Design (25.04.16

Integrated Planning Education Strategy (IPES 1&2) (25.01.70/25.02.07)

Model Outdoor Dining Guidelines (2015.05)

Open Space Funding Study (2013.23)

Parking Spaces for Urban Places

Place Management Framework Pilot (2012.31)

Planning Information Package Update (2012.17)

Planning Policy Process System Review (2012.16)

Planning Reform Implementation program (2016.03)

Planning Reform Implementation Project (2015.07)

Practice Guidelines - Engagement Between Local Government and the Development Sector (2014.61)

Review Major Project Provisions in Development Act (2011.07)

SA Infrastructure design guidelines/standards (2014.32)

Upper Spencer Gulf Economic Development and Planning Zone (2013.53)

Urban Renewal Precincts - Guidelines (2014.63)

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