Giving Planning Back To People

Giving Planning Back To People

South Australia Shadow Minister for Urban Development and Planning David Ridgway

Taking Politics Out Of Planning

Victor P Taffa

The South Australian Liberals will begin consultation with industry stakeholders to take the politics out of planning in South Australia.

Building on Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond’s recent CBD planning announcement Shadow Urban Planning Minister David Ridgway has addressed the State’s leading developers, architects, urban planners, local government and community representatives seeking their ideas on how to make the planning industry more transparent.


“The South Australian Liberals want an improved planning system that the public can have full confidence is honest, efficient and fair.” Mr. Ridgway said.

“As well as being honest, it has to offer the building and development industry which accounts for over 12 % of our Gross State Product and creates 14 full time jobs for every $1 million of investment a prosperous business environment.”

“At the moment, South Australia is a long way off that mark.”

“The built environment creates the places for people to live, work, play and travel. But almost every planning outcome ultimately hinges on a Ministerial decision. That’s not good enough.”

“The community wants more accountability and transparency in development decisions and industry wants a simpler, more efficient system, based on merit rather than access to lobbyists.”

One option Mr. Ridgway has examined is the Western Australian Planning Commission model which has depoliticised planning decisions and driven planning reform to unlock WA’s economic potential.

“Under Labor, bureaucracy and paper work is out of control. Since 2008 the amount of planning regulation has increased by 20 % – the total volume of the State’s Development Plans has reached over 20,000 pages.” Mr. Ridgway said.

“There are over 100 different residential zones and within those zones, over 300 policy areas!”

“A Planning Commission would be a one stop shop for developers. It would cut the amount of paper work and remove any conflict of interest in the planning process.”

The South Australian Liberals are also committed to making housing more affordable.

“Adelaide’s residential land is now more expensive than Sydney’s but our block sizes are, on average, the smallest of all Australian capital cities.” Mr. Ridgway said.

“In part, this is due to restricted land supply, a system which has failed to speedily bring growth areas to market, and failure to create innovative funding and governance solutions to deliver essential infrastructure.”

“Providing an ample supply of zoned and serviced land for both fringe and infill development is a core role of the State planning system and an essential enabler of housing affordability.”

The South Australian Liberals will consult widely over the coming months to make sure that as many South Australians as possible can have a genuine input.

“I’m asking for public submissions. I genuinely want to hear from industry, councils, heritage groups, and communities and individuals working for their city, its suburbs and environs.” Mr. Ridgway said.

“Some people may wish to comment on the mandate of an independent planning commission, resourcing and staffing commission, infrastructure funding options, the role of existing government bodies and the interface between the commission, community, regions, government and industry.” Mr. Ridgway said.