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26 May 2020

The draft Planning and Design Code was released prematurely on October 1 last year. It was, and still is, incomplete, inaccurate and confusing. It was, and still is, inaccessible in both hard copy and electronic versions. It is still difficult to determine what are policy changes and what are mistakes.

The so-called ‘consultation’ on the Code comprised lectures, tightly controlled public forums and confusing ‘briefings’, which were inscrutable to participants and defied explanation by presenters.

The community and stakeholders, including Councils, have spent many thousands of hours trying to decipher the Code and constructing feedback to Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI). Their efforts have been largely ignored. The ‘What we Have Heard’ Report on Phase 2 (rural Code) is incomplete and sanitised. The bureaucrats may have ‘heard’ but they haven’t ‘listened’.

We are told that a revised Phase 2 Code will be made publicly available before its implementation commences on July 1. This seems highly unlikely. It is clear that no lessons have been learnt in correcting errors and omissions as the Code process has moved through the three Phases. This bodes ill for the accuracy and utility of the next version of the massive Phase 3 (metropolitan Code) document and its implementation, supposedly in September.

The report on the Phase 2 consultations reduces 180 individual submissions to barely three and a half pages of summary, omitting the numerous complaints about the poor quality of the materials for consultation and the lack of time to consider and respond to them. While rural councils and their communities had just two months to respond to the cumbersome, confusing and error- ridden draft Code, the Department took four months to produce this cursory, self-serving and highly selective response. Many of the issues raises by rural Councils and the Local Government Association have been disregarded or ignored. This is emblematic of the failed consultation and engagement process undertaken by DPTI and the State Planning Commission.

This whole unsatisfactory process smacks of a ‘planning on the run’ approach which has dogged the development of the code and its promulgation right from the beginning.
The ‘Consultation’ has been an exercise in arrogance, futility and expense……..officially $135,000, but we suspect much more.

The cost, in the loss of community trust and confidence in the new planning system, is inestimable.

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/protectourheritageSA

Mythical consultation POHA news release 25May2020

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15th May 2020

Dear Supporter/Concerned Member of the Community

I am writing to update you on the Protect our Heritage Petition and the campaign to defer the implementation of Phase 2 (rural) and Phase 3 (metropolitan) of the Planning and Design Code for at least a year. This will be necessary because of the need to re-assess and repair the Code and its e-planning implementation tool, particularly in the wake of the disruption caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.

The Petition of 14,000 signatures calls on the Parliament to defer and review the implementation of the Code and its governance, pending a genuine public consultation process and a re-appraisal of its aims and content.

This Petition is the second largest ever presented to Parliament. It was tabled in the Upper House by the Hon Mark Parnell MLC on 30th April and was introduced by him in the House on 13th May, and referred to the Legislative Review Committee (Hansard transcript Hansard Mark Parnell- Legislative Council 13 May 2020).

Mark Parnell, as sponsor of the Petition, will address the Legislative Review Committee on Wednesday 3rd June. Other submissions, both in person and in writing, will be received for the following meeting on Wednesday 17th June and for subsequent meetings.

The Committee will then report to the Legislative Council and to the Planning Minister Stephan Knoll. Subsequently the Minister must address the Parliament and report what action, if any, he will take, in response to the Petition. If no action is to be taken, he must give his reasons for such a decision. The Minister must then cause a copy of his response to be tabled in the Parliament within six sitting days.

In the meantime, there is another level of Parliamentary scrutiny of the Code through the Environment, Resources and Development Committee (ERDC) (Details Appended). The Phase 2 (rural) Code will be referred to the ERDC by the Minister within 28 days of its (currently) proposed implementation date of 1st July. Similarly, the Phase 3 Code will be referred within 28 days of its planned implementation in late September.

Implementation of the Code is conditional on consideration by the ERDC. The Committee can advise the Minister if it accepts the Code, recommends changes or rejects it. The Minister can use his ‘discretion’ in responding to this advice, but documentation of rejection must be tabled in Parliament.

So, there are two avenues for expression of support for the Petition and the need to defer and repair the Planning and Design Code. I urge you to write to, or email these two Committees, expressing your concerns, and, if you wish, seeking to present your views in person. You might also like to write individually to the members of the two Committees.

I have appended all the relevant details of the Committees.

Thank you again for your support. Now is the time to escalate our efforts to force a review of the Code by political lobbying and through Parliamentary processes.

With Best Regards Warren Jones AO

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. GPO Box 2020 Adelaide SA 5001

Phone: 0419 852 622

Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.au

www.protectourheritage.org.au

facebook/protectourheritageSA

Appendix A Legislative Review Committee membership and Appendix B Environment, Resources and Development Committee membership – Parliamentary Committee Membership

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12 May 2020

The Government’s proposed new Planning and Design Code staggers from pillar to post. The latest deferred implementation dates are July for Phase 2 (rural) and September for Phase 3 (metropolitan).

In the meantime, property purchasers/owners and developers are deploying devious strategies in an attempt to benefit from the provisions of the Code, which weaken demolition protections and encourage crowded suburban infill and high rise.

Anticipating the Code
Many properties in Adelaide, some vacant, decayed or derelict, have been purchased for development, but are languishing in limbo in anticipation of favourable outcomes under the new planning system. This strategy has left a semi-permanent legacy of neglected eyesores scattered across Council areas.

Planned neglect
Another strategy is the well-established ‘planned neglect’ trick. A potential developer buys a property, perhaps a local heritage-listed dwelling. Under current regulations the heritage building cannot be demolished unless the cost of restoring it can be shown to be prohibitive.

If the potential returns on the proposed development are substantial, the new owner sits tight and waits for the property to deteriorate, sometimes with a bit of help, to the point where its repair or renovation is financially impractical. Permission will then be granted for demolition and redevelopment.

The domino effect
The third ploy is to create a ‘domino effect’ in a street or small neighbourhood. The developer buys up one of a row or group of older houses or contributory items. An application to demolish and build a two-storey ‘three or four for one’ complex softens up the immediate neighbours, who may then be encouraged or frightened into selling.

The process is then repeated and so it goes on. The developer has acquired a string of properties and the historic character of the area is destroyed.

These manoeuvers are possible and employed under the existing planning regulations. They will become more common with the weakened demolition and development protections, and the abrogation of individual and community rights embodied in the proposed new planning system.

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/protectourheritageSA

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10th May 2020

Dear Supporter,

I am writing to inform you about recent developments with the Protect our Heritage petition of 14,000 signatures which was delivered to Parliament House on 30th April 2020. The petition is the second largest ever presented to the Parliament in terms of the number of signatures.

Two things will now happen, in parallel:

  1. A Legislative Review Committee will be presented with the Petition on 13th May. The Committee will invite the Green’s Mark Parnell MLC (as Sponsor) to speak to the Petition on 3rd June. Other submissions, both in person and in writing, will then be received and considered by the Committee on 17th June and at subsequent meetings. The Committee will then report to the Legislative Council and the Minister. The Minister must then address the Council and report what action he has taken, if any, he will take in response to the Petition. If no action is intended, he must explain the reasons for this decision. The Minister must the table a copy of his response in the Council.
  2. The Petition, which was tabled by Mark Parnell in the Legislative Council (Upper House) last week will be introduced by him and then debated in that House on Wednesday 13th May at around 3.50pm. If you wish you can watch proceedings on line.

Along with other political pressure we hope that this may cause the Premier and the Minister to re-consider their position and further delay the implementation of the Planning and Design Code, so that it can be reviewed, reconstructed and presented to the community for genuine consultation. Thank you for your continuing support. I will keep you informed of future developments.

Kind Regards

Warren Jones (Convenor, Protect our Heritage Alliance)

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THE PLANNING AND DESIGN CODE AND E-PLANNING

no clarity – no credibility – no cash…..what next?

It is becoming difficult to see how the Government can contemplate implementing Phases 2 and 3, even on the revised deferred timeline.

An In Daily article (5/5/20) has exposed the chaos in DPTI surrounding the Code and its essential electronic implementation tool, the e-planning system.

The recently appointed State Planning Reform Director, Ray Partridge flies in and out from Sydney with dispensation to circumvent the COVID 19 restrictions. He is currently under Departmental investigation for forcing staff to flaunt social distancing measures, and work in the office rather than at home, because of the panic attending the construction and validation of the e-planning system.

This follows the recent resignations of five members of the IT planning team and of other key DPTI staff.

It is clear that that the Code and its support systems are in chaos. And yet no-one in authority will admit this. A DPTI official has insisted that e-planning was on track with ‘final technical testing underway in partnership with Councils”. This is untrue……apart from a very few rural areas (Phase 2), the majority of Councils are yet to have briefings on the program, let alone being involved in ‘technical testing’.

Planning Minister Knoll consistently denies any problems, and is afflicted with the ‘nothing to see here’ syndrome. He continues to assert that the Code will be implemented as currently planned. It is hard to see how this can happen.

Even if and when the e-planning platform is functional, the policy components of the Code are in no fit state to be implemented; they are still incomplete, inadequate and confusing.

Another confounding unknown is funding. DPTI has no budgetary provision for the Code beyond June 30th, and, indeed, the exigencies of post- COVID 19 and its consequences for the economy and the functioning of State and Local Governments will be considerable.
7 May 2020

It is unlikely that the Government’s newfound Planning Emergency Powers to fast track development will overcome these problems.
If the Code goes ahead in its current state, the confusion and uncertainty it will unleash will be disastrous for Councils, the community and the building and development industries.

Unfortunately, the political imperative is to rush out the Code in the forlorn hope that the backlash it will create will have abated before the 2020 Election.

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/

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Unley Tree Strategy Consultation

The City of Unley is reviewing and updating its current Tree Strategy. As a result a Draft Tree Strategy document has written and been released for public consultation.

The Draft Tree Strategy sets out proposed direction and priorities in implementing community greening goals and to ensure the City of Unley remains leafy for future generations. It considers current and emerging issues, opportunities and trends in our community relating to trees.

We would encourage members to download this document and make comment on the City of Unley “Have your Say” website.

Feedback regarding the Draft Tree Strategy must be received until 11 May 2020.

Tree strategy.png

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Emergency’ powers introduced to push development past public scrutiny

Dear Friends and Supporters

We are entering a new phase in the campaign against the Government’s proposed Planning and Design Code. The COVID 19 pandemic has affected our lives and our methods of communication.

It is difficult to keep visible our messages in the public arena, and the State Government has cleverly utilised the pandemic and concerns about the economy to introduce Emergency Powers, which will allow the fast-tracking of inappropriate development, bypassing monitoring and input from Councils and the community.

COVID 19 will retreat in due course, and if we falter in our campaign, we will still be faced with the consequences of the Code……and worse, the prospect of expedient development decisions that will irrevocably damage our built environment.
We must now intensify pressure on the Premier, the Planning Minister and Liberal Government members of parliament to re-consider their plans for the Code, and to defer its implementation for at least a year.

I urge you to write hard copy letters to Government parliamentarians (link to MP list). These have a greater impact than emails or phone calls, and have to be responded to in kind.

I attach a draft letter which you might find helpful to use. Multiple copies of the same letter going to all MPs have a particularly pervasive impact.

Thank you for your support.

Kind Regards
Warren Jones AO
Convenor, Protect our Heritage Alliance

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: protectourheritageSA

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