Statutory guideline 02/12 – Making and amending local planning instruments

Background

In response to feedback from councils and the planning community, improvements have been made to Statutory Guideline 01/12 (“the old guideline”) which was released in January of this year.

As part of the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning’s (DSDIP) planning reform program, a number of planning reform forums and industry representative workshops were held.

Feedback from the forums and workshops identified that parts of the old guideline required amendment, resulting in the recently released Statutory Guideline 02/12 (“the new guideline”).

What has changed?

The new guideline is a procedural and best practice guide for the process of:

  • making or amending a planning scheme;
  • making or amending a planning scheme policy; and
  • making a temporary local planning instrument.

Although the new guideline is not a radical departure from the old guideline, there are some significant changes including:

  • The role of DSDIP to act on behalf of the minister and act as lead agency in the state interest review and local government liaison process has been strengthened. Departmental officers will review, refine and consolidate agency comments before providing them to the local government.
  • Reinforcing the importance of consultation with state agencies and participation by state agencies throughout all stages of the plan making process, including ensuring appropriate reflection of state planning instruments.
  • Removal of the second state review process and associated provisions. The minister now considers changes made to the planning scheme by the local government in response to submissions prior to the approval to adopt the planning scheme.
  • Responsibility to determine and process ‘administrative amendments’ and ‘minor amendments’ is given to the local government in line with the State Government’s intent to reduce red tape and to further empower local governments.
  • A new step requires the minister to provide a local government with a coordinated state interest response that outlines the relevant state interests identified by each agency relevant to the planning scheme area.
  • Removal of the requirement for local government to publicly notify the decision to prepare a new planning scheme as it is too early in the process to be of any value to the community.1