Are Planning Minister Stephen Knoll and his bureaucrats in the State Planning Commission and DPTI deluded, or in abject denial about the state and fate of the embattled Planning and Design Code?

So far this year, there have been seven crippling resignations from the Department of Planning……two senior planners and five key IT personnel.

Despite repeated attempts by Government to defend, whitewash and resuscitate the Code, it remains an incomplete, ill-formed mess. And, critically, its vital implementation tool, the E-Planning system is in disarray. It was meant to be functional nine months ago. It is still moribund and unfit for purpose, and its future is uncertain.

This program is essential to the Implementation and functioning of the Code; without it, the Planning, Infrastructure and Development Act will lapse, and four years of time, money and effort will have been wasted.

Yet, in the face of this chaos and uncertainty, the Minister would have us believe that all is well, and that the recently announced delay in the implementation process relates to a perceived need for stakeholders and the community to understand and prepare for the launch of the Code. This is palpably implausible, and the refusal to extend the consultation period for the Phase 3 (metropolitan) Code beyond the end of this month, makes a mockery of this cynical exercise in obfuscation which is clearly designed to blunt community anxiety and anger.

The only valid explanation for the proposed three month delay is that the Code process is in chaos, and its future uncertain. Instead of denying the problem, the Minister, the Chair of the State Planning Commission, and Planning Department need to take immediate and serious steps to re-assess and re-construct the Code. This must include a genuine and rigorous public consultation process.

Get it right….however long it takes!

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 State Planning Commission continues to deceive and befuddle the public with its shambolic draft Planning and Design Code and more misinformation about its effects on heritage protection.

Now the Commission is sending misleading letters to property owners about proposed changes to the rules protecting the historic character of our streets, neighbourhoods, suburbs and towns. See our latest news release.
We urge owners receiving these letters from the State Planning Commission to demand the full story about the changes proposed in their areas and to hold the Government to account for this shifty attempt to gut current heritage protections and diminish the value and amenity of thousands of properties across the State.

Planning Minister Stephan Knoll is hiding behind a report commissioned by the government which he claims supports his argument that changes proposed under the Planning and Design Code strengthen current heritage protections. The report says nothing of the sort. In fact, the report acknowledges that its authors were “not in a position to review the policies proposed by the commission”. This is hardly the vindication falsely claimed by the Minister.

In December, State Parliament’s Upper House passed a private members bill from Greens MP Mark Parnell with the support of the Labor Opposition and SA Best, to defer implementation of the Planning and Design Code from 1st July 2020 to ensure proper community consultation and to fix the many flaws, gaps and omissions in the draft code. Regional areas currently face the threat of an implementation date in April.

Now that Parliament has returned, the Lower House will have the opportunity to pass the bill to enable a deferment of the Planning and Design Code until its many flaws and widespread community concerns have been addressed.
Meanwhile, the Planning Commission continues its belligerence towards any questioning about the Code’s potential impacts on heritage. State Planning Commissioner Allan Holmes put in another aggressive public performance on ABC Radio this week. (Listen here on Peter Goers Evening Radio program from 2:23.10- 2:41:00). So much for public debate!
You can show your support for protecting our heritage by writing to your local MP about your concerns with the Planning and Design Code and urging them to defer its implementation.

You can also write to the Planning Department DPTIPlanningReform@sa.gov.au and tell them that you cannot respond to their deadline of 28 February for community feedback on the draft Code because the 3000+ pages of documentation and the online information system are inaccessible and incomprehensible for most people.

You might also suggest that the Government stop, consult and get it right
before proceeding any further.


The original online petition to the Premier has almost 10 000 signatures. If you haven’t yet signed it, click the button below, sign and share the online petition.

Sign and share the online petition

Download the written petition to Parliament and collect signatures!
Online petitions are just the start. We need 10 000 written signatures to ensure Parliament debates the problems with the new planning rules. Print some copies and start collecting signatures now.

Download the petition to Parliament

Why you should sign the petition

Contact your State MP and tell them you want them to support the Bill to defer implementation of the Planning & Design Code

Download a list of State MP contacts


Community Rally
Parliament House
11 am Sunday 22 March

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

On Tuesday 4 February, Biologist, Ecologist, Wildlife Expert and Public Commentator, Professor Chris Daniels (pictured) gave a masterly talk to a packed audience of 170 at the Unley Community Centre. He spoke of the historical interplay between diversity and human habitation, and the distortion of this balance by urban infill and over development.IMG_8081.jpg

Strong views were shared about loss of trees, canopy and green space, and the inadequate response to global warming.

A total of $400 was donated by members of the audience towards the Koala rescue, treatment and rehabilitation program at the Cleland Park Wildlife Centre with Chris Daniels is Director.

IMG_8037.jpgProf. Chris Daniels is currently Director of Cleland Wildlife Park and will be speaking on this important topic at 7.30pm on Tuesday 4th February 2020 in the Unley Community Centre, Arthur St, Unley. This bears directly on the prospect of unfettered urban infill envisaged under the proposed new Planning and Design Code.

All welcome to attend.

In lieu of our usual gold coin donation towards refreshments on the evening (which will still be provided!), we ask that you make a contribution to the Cleland animal rescue and treatment facility.

We hope you can attend.

Warren Jones. President. FOCUS.


Public Meeting 4th February – 7.30pm

Speaker:   Professor Chris Daniels

Professor Chris Daniels PhD DSc FAICD is currently Director of Cleland Wildlife Park Adelaide, South Australia and is adjunct Professor of Biology in the School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences at UniSA. He is focussed on conserving wildlife and connecting people with nature. Chris Daniels was Professor of Urban Ecology at UniSA, Director of the Barbara Hardy Institute at UniSA and the presiding member of the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges NRM Board.

Chris has published 9 books published and over 250 scientific and community publications. Books include Adelaide Nature of a City (2005) and Adelaide Water of a City (2010). Book awards include the Whitley Award, and awards from the Planning Institute of Aust., Storm-water Industry and Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. Other books include The Possum-tail Tree, The Fearsome Flute players, and Guide to Urban Wildlife. In Oct 2018 Adelaide University awarded him a Doctor of Science (DSc) for his research into “The lives of animals and animals in our lives”.

When: Tuesday 4th February 2020

Where: Unley Community Centre
18 Arthur Street. Unley

Time: 7.30pm

Please join us for a light supper at the conclusion of the presentation.

There will be a short FOCUS Member meeting after supper.

A gold coin donation would be appreciated to cover costs of Hall Hire and Supper.

Further queries:
President: Warren Jones 0419 852 622 / Secretary: Mary Rumbold 0450 434 16



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