LAST week’s introduction of the Planning and Development Bill 2014 and the Planning and Environment Court Bill 2014 to the Qld State Parliament is set to significantly overhaul the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. This is part of the state’s sweeping reforms to improve planning.
Some would say the environmental guts have been ripped out of the legislation, but the Qld Property Council has pointed out that in 2012 the Development Assessment Forum’s Report Card rated Queensland’s planning system as the worst in mainland Australia.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney indicated the changes were to:
1) simplify plan-making arrangements to ensure time and costs are reduced for proponents;
2) reduce red tape by halving the number of state planning – instruments from four to two;
3) remove prescriptive detail and obsolete and redundant provisions; and
4) adjust the balance of responsibilities between state and local governments…
which are a whole lot of words that mean very little to most of us.
The outcome is that many responsibilities will be pushed back to local government for implementation but this is a dichotomy for the Sunshine Coast since most of the major developments that are shaping the future of the region of the next few decades have already been called in and controlled by the state.