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New Planning Code 'goes live' tonight

18 March 2021

At 12:01am on Friday the final phase of the state's new Planning and Design Code will 'go-live' - a milestone moment for the most significant reform of South Australia's planning system. 

The new ePlanning system will become a one-stop-shop for all planning and design applications, which will be assessed against a single set of rules. 

Minister for Planning and Local Government Vickie Chapman says this will make the application process clearer and more consistent for South Australians wanting to build or renovate their property. 

"This will be an Australian first - a new planning system that unites all elements of planning into one easily accessible online platform to guide development across our state," Minister Chapman said. 

"South Australians will be able to lodge and track applications online, make payments, submit information and follow the progress of projects right across the state.

"The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to supporting consistent, sustainable development in a way that maintains the quality of life unique to South Australia, while continuing to drive investment and jobs. 

"I acknowledge and thank all those who contributed to this important reform. It has been a long process, but I am confident we are delivering a Code that is efficient, simple and effective. This is already evident in Phase Two, which is active in regional areas, with the online portal significantly accelerating approval times," she said. 

In delivering the new planning system, the State Planning Commission has focussed on key areas of reform including residential infill, heritage and character, and rural value adding as well as laying the framework for more complex issues, such as climate change and economic restructuring. 

Retiring Chair of the Commission, Michael Lennon, says this is a genuine innovation - a single code on a digital platform, which brings planning into the 'Information Age'. 

"In planning, everyone wants certainty and flexibility. Balance is therefore necessary. The Code is designed to deliver consistent, predictable, reliable rules at the local, regional and state level," Mr Lennon said. 

"We have sought to achieve the right balance between a wide range of interests and views and are committed to monitoring important features of the Code and the broader planning system.

"We have also sought to put emphasis on forward looking policy - creating tomorrow. Assessments can and should be more certain and orderly," he said.

The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) offered their congratulations on delivering this game-changing reform.

"The implementation of the new planning system is the culmination of over eight years of effort by the planning and development industry," President of the PIA Elinor Walker said. 

"South Australia will have the first state-wide ePlanning system and Accredited Professional Scheme in Australia, which we are confident will increase transparency of decision-making and enable ongoing professional development. We commend the efforts of all Planning and Land Use Services staff, past and present, who have worked tirelessly to deliver a brand new system for our State," she said.

The Minister approved the new Code, following recommendations from the Commission contained in the Engagement Report. 

This report reflects the latest round of consultation, including feedback from councils, industry and other stakeholders. 

From 19 March, the full Engagement Report along with a Summary - highlighting key areas of feedback and recommended changes to Phase Three (Urban Areas) Planning and Design Code - will be available on the PlanSA portal. 

In addition, a Guide to the Code and a variety of fact sheets and FAQs will be released as part of the suite of resources to help South Australians understand the Code and new planning policies. 

Also available is a detailed schedule of education and training sessions that will help users of the new system understand how to use the ePlanning system and lodge a development application. 

To access the new planning system visit www.plan.sa.gov.au. 

For more information, fill out the online support request form or call the PlanSA Service Desk on 1800 752 664. 

The online planning system for South Australia can be accessed from 19 March 2021 here: https://code.plan.sa.gov.au/

PlanSA training and education sessions can be found here: https://plan.sa.gov.au/about/learning_and_support