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Planning and Design Code

10 June 2021

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (15:17): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Treasurer, representing the Attorney-General, a question concerning the planning process.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY: I have received feedback from local government that the newly introduced Planning and Design Code has incorporated the new planning portal with processes that have lengthened times for processing applications, inconveniencing applicants and causing additional cost to councils. This has coincided with many councils experiencing an increase in the number of planning applications compared with the same period last year.

My question to the Attorney-General is: is the government reviewing the times for processing planning applications as a result of the newly introduced Planning and Design Code, particularly given the increased number of applications that many councils are presently experiencing?

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (Treasurer) (15:18): I am happy to refer the specific details of the honourable member's question to the minister and bring back a reply, but in relation to the essential element of his question, which was talking about ongoing issues about delays in planning processes, I am happy to share briefly with the chamber the ongoing work that is going on at the national level between the federal government and state and territory governments in relation to the need to reduce red tape and planning reform.

At the national level, the Council on Federal Financial Relations (CFFR), chaired by the federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, has had as one of its agenda items for a period of time the reduction of red tape, particularly in the area of planning reform, the area to which the honourable member has referred.

The federal government actually commissioned the national Productivity Commission—not the state-based Productivity Commission—to look at examples of best practice in terms of planning reform to try to reduce red tape. They acknowledged the work that had gone on in a number of jurisdictions, including South Australia, in relation to the endeavours to which the member has referred in terms of the planning code.

They did refer in particular, I think, to Victoria in terms of some examples of best practice in terms of reducing red tape, overregulation in terms of planning reform, particularly in relation to the vexed issue of the location of infrastructure projects but more particularly in terms of industrial and commercial property developments or business developments in particular areas. These, of course, sometimes are significant issues in terms of planning code discussions in South Australia as well.

We acknowledge the former government undertook some reform in relation to the planning code. Certainly, this government, under now two ministers, I think it is, has continued to look at areas of reform in relation to reduction of red tape and planning reform, so I am happy to refer the honourable member's detailed questions to the planning minister and bring back a reply for him.