November 22, 2021
In April 2020, a 14,000 signature Petition was presented to the Legislative Council by Hon Mark Parnell MLC on behalf of the Protect our Heritage Alliance. The Petition raised concerns about the content and implementation of the Planning Development and Infrastructure Act (PDI Act) and the Planning and Design Code (PDC) and requested independent reviews of their impacts, public accountability, risk assessment and governance.
The recently released Report on this Petition by the parliamentary Legislative Review Committee (LRC) examined in depth and detail the many flaws and undesirable impacts of the new planning ‘reforms’ and made 14 strong recommendations for regulatory and legislative change.
The major recommendations are:
- Improved public engagement processes in proposed revisions and changes in the PDC.
- Amendments to the PDI Act to require an annual independent risk assessment to be monitored by the Environment, Resources and Development Committee (ERDC) and reported to both Houses of Parliament.
- An independent review by an Expert Panel or the ERDC of the impacts on planning policies, community rights, sustainability and the environment of the PDI Act and the PDC, with the resulting report to be tabled in both Houses of Parliament in 2022.
- A parliamentary committee to enquire into the anomalous use of the Planning and Development (Open Space) Fund to support the implementation of the PDC and its ePlanning system.
- Further, that the PDI Act be amended to restrict the use of the Planning and Development Fund and the Urban Tree Canopy Off-set Fund to creating and developing open and green space.
- Prioritised implementation of each of the recommendations of the ERDC Inquiry into Heritage Reform (2019).
- That the current Heritage Reform Advisory Panel: increase local Council input; review and advise on the impact of the PDC on demolition controls for heritage assets; and examine whether the PDC affords adequate protection for ‘Representative Buildings’ and neighbourhood character.
- That the Statutory Authorities Review Committee enquire into the governance of the State Planning Commission and the State Commission Assessment Panel.
The Government and the Parliament must now respond to the substantive findings and recommendations of the LRC and correct the many damaging flaws and anomalies in the new planning processes.
You can download the whole report here (Beware: 178MB file)
Thank you to those of you who supported the petition. You have made an impact. Now we can start to fix the mess created by the new planning system before too much more damage occurs.
Convenor, Protect our Heritage Alliance