The Property Council welcomes the introduction of the Development (Panels) Amendment Bill 2006 into State Parliament by Minister for Urban Planning and Development, the Honourable Paul Holloway MLC.
The Property Council echoes the calls of the Government that it is vital for the community and applicants to have confidence in the impartiality, consistency and timeliness of development assessment decisions.
Property Council Executive Director (SA), Bryan Moulds said, “It is important that members of the Upper House understand the importance of the Bill for the benefit of business and growth in South Australia.”
This Bill is part of a suite of Bills intended to be introduced during 2006 as part of the Government’s ongoing agenda of improving the State’s planning and development system. These reforms are supported by the Property Council, who have advocated for four years they come into law.
“Another stage of a very long campaign dating back to 2002 is about to come to fruition.
“We fought long and hard to keep the ALP to this commitment over the Election,” Mr. Moulds said.
The Development (Panels) Amendment Bill 2006 will depoliticise the planning system by requiring each Council Development Assessment Panel to consist of seven members, with:
a specialist presiding member,
up to three elected council members or council staff, and
at least three other specialist members.
Members will be appointed by council, but the Minister must agree to these appointments. The Bill does not specify the skills or experience required by these specialised members, as the necessary experience will vary from council to council.
If passed, the result of these reforms will see a planning system that will give timeliness and certainty to the property industry. Decisions should be based clearly on stated policies outlined in the relevant Development Plan.
This is in stark contrast to existing development rules, which allow local government members to compromise major projects to satisfy their own political motives.
“The Property Council is calling on the Opposition and Independents in the Legislative Council to pass the Bill which will give South Australia the most transparent planning system in Australia,” Mr. Moulds said.
“This will be the Opposition’s first major test to back its claims that it supports business and growth in South Australia.
“This Bill, along with the other foreshadowed amendments will enhance the planning system in South Australia. It will depoliticise the planning process, which will enhance and encourage local government members to concentrate on formulating better, more coherent planning laws,” Mr. Moulds said.
For more information contact:
Bryan Moulds, Executive Director, Property Council of Australia (SA), (08) 8236 0900 or 0411 664 416