Invitation to participate in the development of the Community Engagement Charter

Democracy Co has been chosen by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure to develop a Community Participation Charter for the South Australian Government. The legislation currently only allows community input on policy. Community Alliance believes that the community should also have a say when it comes to development assessment and that this process can help to put people back into planning. 

Below is the letter that was sent by Democracy Co to randomly chosen people inviting them to participate in developing the Charter. If you did not receive an invitation letter from Democracy Co, you are not eligible to participate. The letter is republished here for general interest only.


You are invited by The Hon John Rau MP, Minister for Planning and Chair of the State Planning Commission, Mr Tim Anderson QC, to help determine a new approach for involving the community in South Australia’s planning system.

How can we improve how people and communities are put at the centre of major planning decisions?

To be effective, planning must provide ways for the views of citizens to be heard, understood and acted upon. Too often current statutory consultation processes focus on individual developments and ask for feedback on ‘finished ideas’ at the end processes. This limits the value of consultation and frustrates citizens who want to participate in the development of policies and strategies.

We are reforming the planning system to address these issues and place people at the forefront of the planning process. The key plank of pursuing these reforms is the Community Engagement Charter (Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016).

We are convening a panel (the Planning Together Panel) of 50 randomly selected community members working closely with stakeholders from the planning sector (local and state government, developers, place makers, planners, designers) to consider this issue and draft the Community Engagement Charter.

We hope that you can be part of this panel.


This invitation is being sent to over 5,000 people from across South Australia. An honorarium of $350 will be paid to panel members – see below.

You are invited to register your interest to be part of the Panel by cob Friday, May 12, 2017.

Please follow this link to RSVP and register your interest and read on for further information: 


Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:

Everyone who accepts will be entered into a random selection process to finalise the Panel. On registration you’ll be asked a few more questions to ensure the panel is made up of 50 people who broadly represent the South Australian population and locality. Your registration of interest and contact details will remain private.

People who are in paid political employment are ineligible for selection.

Your work

As a panel, you will meet with the Minister and the new State Planning Commission at the outset of your work to draft a Community Engagement Charter.

Your draft Charter will be provided to the incoming State Planning Commission and tabled in Parliament by the Minister for Planning.

You will be informed about the adoption of the Charter from the Planning Reform team and democracyCo.

How will the panel work?

You will need to attend all four workshops in person, and commit to pre-read a kit of materials. (For an introduction to SA’s new planning system, click here)

You will hear from planning industry practitioners and you’ll work with stakeholders in facilitated workshops run by independent facilitators, democracyCo. .

You will be working in a collaborative way – sharing your experiences and perspectives but also learning and listening to others.

After Day 4 you will receive a one-off honorarium payment of $350 to cover expenses and incidentals. (Special arrangements for participants travelling more than 100km will be discussed on confirmation).

Why get involved?

Planning impacts on all of our lives.

At the present time, consultation with the community occurs towards the end of the planning process, with few or no options given. Major decisions appear to have been already made and community views given at this stage are frequently ignored and appear to have little to no impact on the final outcome. As a South Australian you can help develop the Charter that guides the way the community is involved in planning for the future.

The Charter will guide the way public participation is undertaken in the planning system in SA with a focus on involving community to have input into the formulation of local planning policy long before any specific conflict or frustration arises.

Prior knowledge or involvement in planning is not required to be a member of the Panel. What is required is an open mind, a willingness to learn and a commitment to support South Australia in this important work.

Key Dates

Saturday, 1 July      9.00am-4.30pm
Sunday, 2 July        9:00am-4:30pm
Saturday, 29 July    9.00am-4.30pm
Sunday, 30 July      9:00am-4:30pm


The Adelaide Pavilion
Parkview Room
Veale Gardens, cnr South Tce & Peacock Rd, Adelaide SA