Planning News

The Planning System in South Australia is Changing

The previous State Government in South Australia initiated a review of the planning system in 2013. They established an Expert Panel on Planning Reform which examined the system in detail and provided three reports, the third and final report contained a series of recommendations to the State Government for reform of the system.

In March 2015 the Government released its response to the report, adopting a majority of the recommendations. It decided the existing legislation which sets the framework for the planning system (the Development Act 1993) should be replaced with new and updated legislation – in April 2016 the Planning, Development & Infrastructure Act 2016 was created to fulfil this aim.

There are substantial complexities in creating a brand new planning system and it is not possible to simply “switch off” the old system and “switch on” a new one – hence a program of transition was initiated. Currently both systems are partially operating in parallel, with different sections being activated and deactivated over time.

Recently the State Government released a “single set of planning rules” termed the Planning and Design Code to replace all existing Development Plans across the State. The Planning and Design Code will be the document against which all development requiring approval will be assessed – hence it has the potential to affect all property owners and occupiers state-wide.

The Planning and design Code as it applies to Murray Bridge finished consultation on 28 February 2020. It is due to take effect in September 2020.

For more information on planning reform in South Australia please contact the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) on 1800 318 102 or