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COMMUNITY RALLY CANCELLED – FIGHT GOES ON

15,500 PETITION SIGNATURES DELIVERED TO PARLIAMENT

Dear Members, Friends and Supporters,

Thank you for supporting the campaign to protect our heritage from the State Government’s proposed new planning system. We must fight against the implementation of the Government’s damaging Planning and Design Code, which will see more high rise, increased crowded infill development and weakened protections for heritage sites, trees and open space.

For more information about the campaign visit our website.

In response to the COVID 19 virus threat and the ban on gatherings of more than 500 people, the major community rally planned for Parliament House steps on Sunday 22nd March 2020 has been cancelled. However, the campaign against the State Government’s ill-considered Planning and Design Code continues unabated. (Latest news release)

Public awareness and anger is responding to the multiple threats to built and natural amenity and our heritage and environment embodied in the proposed changes. There is palpable concern, right across the State, about the prospect of unfettered infill development, increased high rise, loss of trees and green space and the loss of designated heritage places and areas.

The Planning Minister and the State Planning Commission are withdrawing from rational public debate, and have bunkered down behind a façade of promised, but unlikely, response to the sham five-month ‘consultation’ process. They must now admit their mistakes and rectify them. The community will accept nothing less.
Neither the Minister or the Planning Commission are willing to publicly debate the problems with the draft Planning and Design Code, as this radio interview last Friday on ABC 891 with David Bevan makes clear.

During this time of public health concern, when much attention is focused elsewhere, one of the helpful contributions you can make is to contact the Premier and your local MP. (Download a list of all State MPs here)

Hard copy letters are an effective strategy…..they have a physical presence, must be responded to by similar means and gain more attention than emails.
Keep the message simple….a few sentences will suffice…..deal with one or more of the key issues…..loss of individual and community rights, infill development, high rise, impact on built and natural amenity and weakened protection of heritage. Ask your MP what they are doing to ensure that your area is protected from these losses.

You can also draw your concerns to the attention of the Premier.

The Premier’s address is:
Hon Steven Marshall MP
Unit 2 90-94 The Parade Norwood 5067

With community-activities and public gatherings restricted due to the COVID 19 virus, a letter writing campaign is all the more important at this time..

Thank you again
Yours sincerely
Warren Jones AO
Convenor. Protect our Heritage Alliance.
Email…..convenor@protectourheritage.org.au
Ph…….0419852622

Kind Regards
Warren Jones AO
Convenor, Protect our Heritage Alliance

PLANNING FOR THE PEOPLE ….. PLANNING BY THE PEOPLE

Community Rally Cancelled

In response to the COVID 19 virus threat and the ban on gatherings of more than 500 people, the major community rally planned for Parliament House steps on Sunday 22nd March 2020 has been cancelled. However, the campaign against the State Government’s ill-considered Planning and Design Code will continue unabated.

On Thursday 6th March, the Planning, Development and Infrastructure (2016) Commencement Amendment Bill was passed by the Parliament. It foreshadows the delayed implementation of the Code until the end of September. This must now allow the process supporting the Code and its provisions to be properly reviewed, genuinely consulted upon, and re-structured, in order to ‘get it right’, no matter how long it takes.

The dilapidated and confusing state of the draft Code, and the un-preparedness of its essential implementation tool, the e-planning system, mean that the resolution of these substantial problems is likely to take many months. Only when the information gaps, errors and inconsistencies have been corrected should the Code and its e-planning system be offered for public consultation.

The community and political pressure to suspend the Code implementation are escalating. A 15,500 signature Petition calling for a Parliamentary review of the Code, will be tabled in State Upper House on 26th March.

Public awareness and anger is responding to the multiple threats to built and natural amenity and our heritage and environment embodied in the proposed changes. There is palpable concern, right across the State, about the prospect of unfettered infill development, increased high rise, loss of trees and green space and the loss of designated heritage places and areas.

The Planning Minister and the State Planning Commission are withdrawing from rational public debate, and have bunkered down behind a façade of promised, but unlikely, response to the sham five-month ‘consultation’ process. They must now admit their mistakes and rectify them. The community will accept nothing less.

Professor Warren Jones AO is the Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations and individuals, working to protect our built and natural environment. Phone: 0419 852 622 Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.au

Community rally cancelled due to health risk 17 March 2020

The rapidly escalating community reaction against the Government’s ill-formed and ill- considered draft Planning and Design Code has found powerful expression in a petition to be delivered to Parliament House today (12/3/20).

Initiated by the ‘Protect our Heritage Alliance’, a campaign alliance of community and environment organisations, the document petitions the Parliament to:

  • undertake independent reviews of the operation of the Planning, Development and infrastructure Act, and the governance and operation of the State Planning Commission and the State Commission Assessment Panel.
  • defer implementation of the Planning and Design Code, pending further and genuine public consultation, risk analysis and review, and
  • ban donations to political parties by developers.

The Petition, signed by more than 15,000 members of the public from across the State, calls on the Parliament to defer and review the Code, and to undertake to ensure that there is genuine community consultation on its provisions, in order to get the planning system right, once and for all, and to protect our valuable heritage.

So far, the Government has ignored the feedback from the community, local government and sections of the development industry that the proposed Code is unworkable and unacceptable. What has been presented to the public to date is a shambolic mess and its essential implementation tool, an electronic e-planning system, is not yet fit for purpose. The community has been denied the opportunity to know and understand the full implications of the Code in its confusing provisional form.

Planning Minister Stephan Knoll and State Planning Commission Chair Michael Lennon must resile from their entrenched and misguided position defending the terminally flawed Code with misleading and confusing information. They need to confront the unpalatable truth that the Code must be reviewed and re-constructed, however difficult and time-consuming that might be.

Professor Warren Jones AO is the Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations and individuals, working to protect our built and natural environment. Phone: 0419 852 622 Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.au

Petition goes to Parliament 12 March 2020

6 March 2020

COMMUNITY RALLY: PLANNING FOR THE PEOPLE 22 MARCH, PARLIAMENT HOUSE

The Protect our Heritage Alliance is organising a community rally at Parliament House on Sunday 22nd March 2020, to raise public awareness about the Government’s proposed new planning laws and the threats they pose to our heritage, trees, open space, urban environment and climate resilience.

Community rally- Planning for the People 22 March 2020

There is growing community concern about the operation of new and proposed planning laws that have an impact on all South Australians.

The State Government’s draft Planning and Design Code has been widely criticised for its failure to meet community expectations and its attempt to make radical changes to zoning and land use rules that have not been properly explained or debated within the community.

The draft Code is incomplete and ill-formed. Key policies are missing or unclear. The new e-planning system that is meant to support it is still not ready for public consultation. The Government has delayed the implementation date for the Code, creating further uncertainty, but refuses to extend the period of public consultation on proposed policy changes despite calls from local government and many members of the public to do so.

The Code as proposed discards and undermines protections for our built and natural heritage and foreshadows increased high rise development and crowded infill construction in residential areas. This must be stopped.

The Rally will raise the community and media profile of the campaign to convince the Government to suspend the implementation of the Code
…to listen to the community and to get it right, no matter how long it takes.

This will mean reviewing and re-constructing the Code following a period of genuine consultation with the public and key stakeholders.

Speakers at the rally will include representatives from the community, local government, political parties, as well as heritage and environmental organisations.

The message will be clear and strong. The many flaws in the new planning system must be addressed by the State Planning Commission, the Department of Planning and the Parliament to restore the people as the central focus of planning reform.

COMMUNITY RALLY- PLANNING FOR THE PEOPLE SUNDAY 22 MARCH, 11am, PARLIAMENT HOUSE STEPS

Professor Warren Jones AO is the Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations and individuals, working to protect our built and natural environment.

Phone: 0419 852 622 Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.au
www.protectourheritage.org.au
facebook.com/protectourheritageSA/

Community rally- Planning for the People 22 March 2020

26 February 2020

The Government’s draft Planning and Design Code was released prematurely on 1 October 2019 in an incomplete, ill-formed and error-ridden state. Since then the so-called ‘consultation’ period has been a sham. It finishes at the end of this week, and will have achieved nothing, except to bolster a false sense of self belief within the State Planning Commission (SPC) and the Planning Department, and unrealistic expectations in the many individuals and organisations who have spent time and effort preparing submissions.

The ‘consultation’ process has comprised a series of lectures from politicians and senior bureaucrats, with associated highly structured question and answer rituals. And the answers to questions, when they subsequently eventuated, were nothing more than re-statements of flawed, ambiguous and confusing policy.

Overlaying this ‘window dressing’ exercise has been a series of Departmental public briefings, attended by relatively small numbers of an anxious public. These sessions served, only, to amplify community fears and confusion, despite the well-meaning efforts of bemused planning staff, who, themselves, were often unable to clarify the convoluted complexities of the Code.

Then, there has been the smoke screen laid down by the SPC, alternately providing meaningless and unconvincing reassurance, and offensive and abusive commentary on the growing public criticism of the Code.

Finally, the announcement by the Planning Minister of a delay in the implementation process, ostensibly to allow greater community ‘understanding’ of the Code, is a cynical exercise in obfuscation. It ignored the fact that public discussion and consultation will be shut off this week, making the proffered reason for the delay quite implausible.

In fact, the Code is far from ‘ready’, as the Minister asserts and, as the Planning Department has now admitted, the essential e-planning system is still under construction and has an uncertain future.

The whole ‘consultation’ process has been an abrogation of community trust and the democratic process. It has ignored the dictates of the statutory Community Engagement Charter, and has been a disgraceful and deceitful failed exercise in the promulgation of public policy.

Professor Warren Jones AO is the Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations and individuals, working to protect our built and natural environment. Phone: 0419 852 622 Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.au

The reasons given by planning Minister Stephan Knoll (Media Release 7 February 2020) for the delayed implementation of the Planning and Design Code seemed implausible at the time. Now we know that they were incorrect.

In his Media Release, the Minister said that:

“ The State Government is on track to deliver the new Planning and Design Code on time.” “…….the advice from the (State Planning) Commission is that stake holders, councils and the community are asking for more time to understand the Code and become familiar with the new E Planning system”.
“It would be counterproductive to the planning system and developments across South Australia if we were to ignore the feedback from councils and the community and push ahead with the initial timelines.”

On face value, none of this made sense. The Government had been receiving, and largely ignoring, advice and feedback from councils and the community for many months. And if further discussion was to occur and more advice solicited, why was the ‘Consultation’ Period deadline maintained at February, and not moved to accommodate further feedback.

As it turns out, the answer is simple. The Code delay has nothing to do with the reasons given by the Minister. In fact, there is much evidence that the Code is an incomplete and ill-formed mess, and the essential implementation tool, the electronic e- planning system is unworkable. MORE … The truth comes out- News release 17Feb2020

It now seems that Greens Bill to allow the delay the implementation of the Code will be voted on in the Lower House next week.  As foreshadowed by the Planning Minister, it will be passed, placing the Phase 2 and 3 Codes (rural and metropolitan) in a sort of limbo where they can be progressively delayed for longer at the discretion of the Minister without reference back to Parliament.    This open ended arrangement is hoped to accommodate ongoing problems with the readiness of the Code and the utility of its E Planning tool.
The three aims outlined here by Mark Parnell are the very least we would hope to be fulfilled in this messy ongoing process.    The problem is that we don’t know when and how it will all end.   It has been a disgraceful saga of poor policy, inept administration, and incompetence, embellished by a lamentable lack of transparency and accountability.
Warren Jones
President.    FOCUS
———————————————
Marl Parnell MLC
We all want the places where we live, work or visit to be nice. With the right rules in place, we can enjoy well-planned neighbourhoods, with human-scale development, open spaces and good amenities. However, if the Government gets it wrong, we can end up with blighted, unattractive neighbourhoods devoid of greenery and any sense of community.

At the end of February, the State Planning Commission will close the consultation period on the biggest, most complicated reform of planning rules in a generation.

For the last four months, the Greens, residents’ groups, local councils, conservation organisations and others have been poring over the documents.  We have found a litany of errors, omissions and stuff-ups.  For example, many of our National Parks were zoned “Rural”, (the same as farm land), when they were supposed to be zoned “Conservation”.

Months after pointing this out, it still hasn’t been fixed, despite the Government promising to do so.

In the suburbs, some single-storey areas have been zoned for six storeys with no advance warning.  Whilst some changes are deliberate, others clearly are mistakes, such as the zone in Brompton that allows 8 storey buildings, provided the buildings are no more than 4 metres high.

To make matters worse, the media are reporting significant resignations from the Planning Departmentwhich has set back the Government’s plans.  That’s why we were pleased that the Government has now taken the Greens’ advice and decided to postpone the commencement date for the new planning rules.  We even passed a Greens’ Bill that enables the Government to do this this, last year.

However, what the Government has NOT done, is give the community more time to provide feedback.  That is unacceptable.

Given the magnitude of the task and the errors identified so far, the Greens believe that once the Government has made the thousands of changes required, it must give the community the chance to see whether or not the final version of the new Planning and Design Code is really what we want for our cities, towns, suburbs and regions.

In Parliament, the Greens will be pushing for:

  1. Fixing errors and inconsistencies, but NO sneaky rezonings;
  2. Inclusion of ALL identified places of heritage significance, including “contributory items”; and
  3. A final round of community consultation before the final Planning & Design Code becomes operational.

If you agree, makes sure you tell Planning Minister Stephan Knoll before the end of February.

If you want to try to navigate the new Code to see what it means for where you live, first make a strong cup of tea and then dive in here.  You can also click on an interactive map to find the planning rules that apply to places you care about.  You can find the map here. Warning: a second cup of tea (or stronger) might be needed.  Good luck!

Regards,

Mark Parnell MLC
Greens Member of SA Parliament

P.S. Please don’t reply to this address as necessary changes to the server has meant that replies won’t be delivered – you can contact me at parnell@parliament.sa.gov.au instead.

Mark Parnell MLC · Parliament House North Tce, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
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