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Planning Reform in South Australia

Renewing our planning system

A new planning system for South Australia

Our aim is to create Australia’s best planning system – one that is effective, efficient and enabling and supports and enhances South Australia’s liveability and prosperity in ways that are ecologically sustainable, whilst simultaneously meeting the needs and expectations and reflecting the diversity of our various communities.

The Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act

Our new planning system will be delivered through the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (the Act) which was approved by the Governor on 21 April 2016.

Among other things, the Act provides for the establishment of the new South Australian Planning Commission, the Community Engagement Charter, new statutory instruments (including State Planning Policies, Regional Plans and the Planning and Design Code), new assessment pathways and a professional accreditation system. A user’s guide to the Act (PDF, 748 KB) is available.

Transitional Bill

To commence a coordinated and seamless implementation of the new system, a Transitional Bill has been introduced to Parliament to provide the necessary stepping stones between the current Development Act 1993 and the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016. The Statutes Amendment (Planning, Development and Infrastructure) Bill 2016 is designed to support business as usual until each element of the new system is ready to go live, by providing clarity as to how processes commenced and rights accrued under the existing Development Act 1993 will be transitioned to the new system.

The Bill also provides for the staged introduction of the new planning tools and governance frameworks in a way that both maximises the benefits of the reform program, whilst minimising the impacts of the changes on users of the system.

Local Heritage Reform

Local Heritage reform now has its own page, click here to access.

Transitioning to the new system

We have already commenced our journey to reform the system with the introduction of the new Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act.

The new legislation is supported by a Government commitment of $25.8 million to fund its implementation, including the introduction of a new ePlanning portal.

The Department will be supporting the transition through:

  • Presentations to interest groups
  • Formal Advisory Groups to assist the implementation program 
  • Council workshops
  • Supporting secondments from local Government
  • Printed materials and factsheets
  • Events and seminars
  • Education videos and on-line training material (as they are developed).

The implementation program cannot be achieved without the support of and genuine input from the wider planning community. To this end, we are committed to creating a range of opportunities for people to participate in the implementation process, from working with the department on secondment to contributing to workshops and think tanks, to assisting in the development and testing of our new planning instruments and processes and, finally, to providing feedback.

To remain updated on the progress of the delivery of our new planning system, subscribe at the bottom of this page.

Tools that explain our new system

The following provides a series of Fact Sheets and Flow Charts that assist you in understanding our new system: 

Our New System Summary

Assessment Pathways

This includes a list of flow charts that show how the new assessment pathways will work:

Planning Instruments

This includes a summary of the process for amending planning instruments:

Regional Planning Frameworks

This includes a summary of regional planning frameworks including a map of the Greater Adelaide Planning Region.


The following provide a summary of the EFPA and how it works including maps where it applies:

Infrastructure Schemes

The following provides a summary of how infrastructure schemes could work:

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