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Biggest shake up to SA planning laws in 20 years

By Staff Reporter
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South Australia’s 20 year-old planning legislation has been called for review by the state’s planning minister John Rau, with the aim to transform Adelaide into “one of the world’s great small cities.”

Mr Rau said the review of the current planning laws will be led by an independent expert panel, and the future focus of the development laws would shift from urban sprawl to city infill.

"Put simply, what we have now requires an update because it focuses the planning system on urban sprawl rather than the urban renewal we know is integral to the future of South Australia," Mr Rau said.

"Over the next 12 months, the panel will listen to all interested parties, especially the community, and then discuss what a new system can deliver.

"I am also personally committed to working with members of parliament to involve them in this process."

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with ABC’s Ian Henschke, John Rau said that the government plans to focus on the Adelaide CBD and the inner rim of the city for medium density development.

“The problem is a lot of people have been using the terminology ‘high rise’ and that evokes Manhattan, or something of that nature, in the mind of a lot of people. That’s not what we’re talking about,” Mr Rau said.” What we’re talking about is something more like Berlin or Stockholm, that’s the sort of scale which I call median density.”

Developers said the red tape in the current planning laws is slowing down the process of building, and needs to be streamlined. 

According to Martin Bregozzo, senior property manager and property economist at BIS Shrapnel, cutting the red tape in construction would reduce the cost of building.

"Anything that reduces that time element in the development equation is a step in the right direction because it ultimately works out to lower costs," Mr Bregozzo said.

The panel of five experts with backgrounds in development law and construction will report to the state government by December next year, but may provide interim advice on targeted legislative reforms. 

“This is a once in a generation opportunity and the panel will be probing, they may offer substantive changes and could even reframe what we mean by planning,” Mr Rau said.

“It will, however, be a practical process that focuses on helping government, councils and most importantly, the people of South Australia with good planning outcomes for years to come.”

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