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Zoning for Broadacre Cropping and Grazing Farms

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (15:00): My question is to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, representing the Minister for Planning. It is my understanding that zoning is based on the highest and best potential use of land. If this is the case, why are non-viable broadacre cropping and grazing properties within the peri-urban areas of the state zoned as primary production when the land is not viable if used for that purpose? Can the minister advise whether this zoning principal of highest and best potential use has been taken into consideration during the development of the design code and, if so, will rezoning be undertaken and, if not, why not?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment) (15:00): I thank the honourable member for his ongoing interest in matters planning, and I will take that question on notice. It is an issue that both he and I have looked at a number of times, but it is a matter for the Minister for Planning, the Hon. Stephan Knoll, and I will take that question on notice and bring back a reply.

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Response

18 June 2019

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment): The Minister for Planning has provided the following advice:

1. The rezoning of land for a particular purpose is not just about the 'highest and best use' of land in financial or economic terms, but also about the strategic management of South Australia's growth and change.

Within South Australia, the majority of rural areas are zoned for primary production. This zoning encourages a range of land uses with a focus on the establishment and long-term continuation of economically sustainable primary production.

2. Allowing for the diversification of economic land uses and in particular 'value-adding' is important for our long-term economic sustainability and the Minister for Planning has formally written to the State Planning Commission asking that these issues be addressed in the development of the Planning and Design Code.

The Planning and Design Code will ensure opportunities for rural value adding to land through a policy framework that does not unreasonably restrict growth and efficiency of primary producers, while protecting rural land from fragmentation.

It should also be noted, that as part of the transition to the code, the primary production zone will be replaced by a new rural zone in recognition that rural areas are not strictly only for production, and in many cases land in these areas is not viable and may be better suited to other development or activities.

Particular emphasis is being placed upon removing procedural hurdles (i.e. non-complying triggers) to enable more flexibility and certainty for rural landowners, including owners of land which may be 'non-viable' from a production perspective.

Most development with the proposed rural zone will be 'performance assessed' or 'deemed-to-satisfy' with minimal uses to be included as 'restricted development'. Removing these procedural barriers will enable greater opportunities for enterprise and best use of the land.

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