05 July, 2013

planning and development in QLD

The Qld Government is reforming the current planning and development system in pursuit of perpetual growth. The changes mean that the chief executive administering the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) (SPA) has now taken over the assessment manager and concurrence agency roles which were previously administered by the various state agencies.  In effect, State decision making is being centralised to the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning.

This reform has been driven from consultation with disaffected local governments and property developers.

This comprehensive reform aims to:
·       streamline assessment and approval processes
·       remove red tape
·       re-empower local governments to plan for their communities.

The new planning reform agenda reinforce changes already made through the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

Key elements of planning reform are:
·       the Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2012 (SPOLA Act) and the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA)
·       changes to the local infrastructure contributions framework.

SARA will revolutionise the way developers dealt with development applications referred to or assessed by the state.

The Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning is now the single point for state assessment or referral of these development applications.

An ePlan Portal has been introduced to assist councils and state agencies handle planning documents.  It enables local governments to lodge documents, state agencies to access those documents and provide comments, and the department to coordinate the review process for planning schemes and temporary local planning instruments. For more information on the planning reforms visit the DSDIP website.

The Qld State Government has also released a discussion paper outlining options for the reform of the funding framework for local government infrastructure. The discussion paper presents a set of reform options developed from feedback received from key local government and development industry representatives who had participated in recent workshop sessions.

The Qld State Government is attempting to identify the reforms necessary to deliver a framework to support sustainable local governments and a prosperous property development and construction industry.

The public consultation runs from early July until 9 August.

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