Nearly 70 people attending our AGM on 6 November to ‘Crack the Code’ and understand what to look out for in the newly released draft Planning and Design Code. Changes of this magnitude only happen once in a generation, and everyone agreed it is important to get it right.

Our first panelist was the Hon Mark Parnell MLC, who briefed us on changes to public accountability in the new planning reforms and the ever-increasing “culture of secrecy”. He confirmed that we have lost appear rights, and the public’s right to know is getting whittled away. “Our planning system fails on all three counts, the right to information, public participation in decision making and access to justice”. Mr Parnell strongly advocated for a delay of the Code’s implementation, as the due date of 1 July 2020 does not allow enough time to get it right due to the high volume of errors and omissions.

Next up was heritage architect Elizabeth Vines OAM, who gave an extremely informative presentation on the detail of the draft code and its impact on heritage protection, particularly in regard to Contribute Items which have all been de-listed. She brought attention to the lack of Historic Area Statements that are missing from the draft code and how the Code’s implementation will likely introduce uncertainty to heritage protection and more red tape.

The CEO of the Conservation Council, Craig Wilkins, talked about how the Code will affect eh environment and pointed out some positive policy positions ion the code, such as mandatory trees in front yards. He would like to see stronger protections for significant trees and more thinking around larger-scale planning for open space and preparing the state for climate change.

Sandy Wilkinson spoke on the theme of urban infill and design, showing current examples of inappropriate infill with poor design. He showed how urban consolidation could be done well by preserving historic buildings while at the same time allowing for growth.

Professor Warren Jones AO then led a ten-minute Q&A session between the audience and the panelists. Next, the Chair of the SA Planning Commission, Mr Michael Lennon, was invited to respond to the panelists along with fellow Commissioner Craig Holden. They both acknowledged that there were errors in the draft Code and that these are being noted during the consultation process.  They didn’t agree that the Code’s implementation should be delayed.

Why? Find out by listening to the recordings:

Hon Mark Parnell MLC

Sandy Wilkinson

Elizabeth Vines Community Alliance AGM

Craig Wilkins 6 Nov 2019 Community Alliance AGM.

Questions to Panel 6 Nov Community Alliance AGM

Michael Lennon and Craig Holden

Two of the panellists used slide presentations:

Elizabeth Vines Presentation Slides

Sandy Wilkinson presentation slides

At the AGM the members elected new committee members and the current committee was also elected.  A big thanks and welcome to:

Elected Officers:

Dr Christel Mex, President (Kensington Residents’ Association)

Mr Tom Matthews, Secretary (Prospect Residents’ Association)

Mr Theo Ellenbroek, Treasurer (Western Adelaide Coastal Residents Association)

Elected Committee members:

Ms Kirsten Alexander (Coastal Ecology Protection Group)

Cr Stephen Fisher (Save our Suburbs)

Cr Lilian Henschke (National Trust)

Ms Meredith Ide (Burnside Historical Society)

Professor Warren Jones AO (FOCUS)

Ms Laura Pieraccini (Residents for Environment and Character Conservation)

Assoc Professor Elizabeth Vines OAM (St Peters Residents’ Association)

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the next General Meeting in February.

Help us Crack the Code!



The Box Factory, 59 Regent Street South, Adelaide

7:00 pm start, followed by the AGM at 8:30pm

The fabric of our cities and suburbs may be changed forever with the adoption of the State Government’s Planning and Design Code, which is out for consultation until February (

To learn what is important in the code, and how you can make your submission count, we have assembled an expert panel to help us “Crack the Code”. Themes and panellists include:

Public Accountability: Hon Mark Parnell MLC

Built Heritage: Elizabeth Vines OAM

The Environment: Craig Wilkins, CEO Conservation Council of SA

Urban infill and design: Sandy Wilkinson, Heritage Consultant

Panel chair: Emeritus Professor Warren Jones AO

Q&A with Michael Lennon and Craig Holden from SA Planning Commission