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UDIA opposes ambush of state planning review

10 October 2013    

A bid to shut down South Australia’s planning system for the next 18 months pending the outcome of the state’s current planning review has been strongly opposed by the state’s peak representative body for the urban development industry.

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (SA) says a call for the State Government to defer progress on the Urban Renewal Bill is irresponsible.

“All South Australians rely on the planning system to deliver new housing, new communities, key infrastructure and new employment,” said Terry Walsh, UDIA (SA) Executive Director.

“We support the State Government’s planning review and regard it as imperative that decisions continue to be made while the review is in progress.

“To hold the current planning review out as a reason not to make progress on unlocking urban renewal projects is naive and ill-founded.

“Best practice nationally and globally supports the need for the government of the day to be able to plan and deliver renewal projects in an integrated and coordinated way, and the Urban Renewal Bill is essential for this purpose.

“If we want revitalised inner urban communities; if we want affordable housing close to transit; if we don’t want to force older people to move suburbs to find suitable housing; if we want integrated placemaking and activation, then we need the Bill. A planning review is not a reason to down tools on building a better city.”

The UDIA says the Expert Panel established by the State Government to review the South Australian planning system is not due to provide its final report until the end of 2014, with recommendations unlikely to be implemented until well into 2015 at the earliest.

“To call for the State Government to shut down major projects for at least 18 months is unrealistic and unreasonable,” said Mr Walsh.

“It is unfair for those who have the benefit of housing ownership to rob others of the same opportunity by shutting down the planning system. A call to shut down major planning decisions is a call to deprive homebuyers of places to live and work, and jeopardises the economic prosperity of the state.”

UDIA (SA) Executive Director Terry Walsh on 0408 704 790