Friday is the deadline for DPTI’s survey

Don’t forget to complete the short survey on DPTI’s website for the draft regulations on development assessment by this Friday, 1 March.

Click here and go to “Complete the online survey”:

Attached is a copy of a survey completed by one of our members which you can use as a guide, as some of the questions are complex.

If you want to make a written submission to the draft regulations, Community Alliance has been granted an extension to 15 March. To take advantage of this extension, email your submission by 14 March to Tom Matthews at [email protected] and it will be included in the bundle.

Questions? Phone Tom on 0429 337 453.


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Update from Christel and Tom

A big thanks to the dedicated Community Alliance members who attending our general meeting last Thursday. It was great to see so many of you there!

We had a very informative Q&A session with three knowledgeable panellists including the Hon Mark Parnell MLC, Cr Alison De Backer and Dr Darren Peacock. Mark gave a very comprehensive update on the current planning reforms, and in particular the cracks that might emerge to allow demolition of Contributory Items within our precious Historic Zones, which are also under question. Cr De Backer gave an excellent visual presentation showing how valuable these items are in our streetscapes and how we need better education and skill development around heritage in our education and training sectors. Dr Peacock rounded the session off by reminding us how hard we fought for our heritage protection and why we still need to pay attention and lobby to keep what we have and to prevent more unnecessary demolition of contributory items and heritage listed properties.

We launched a Heritage Protection lobby kit which is freely available to members here on our website. It includes a comprehensive fact sheet on the current threats to our heritage system, a letter writing guide and how to find the contact details of your local MPs and the Planning Commission. The panel presentations are also on the website and I encourage everyone to have a look. (click here: Community Alliance Heritage Campaign Kit)

It is really important that you and your members put pen to paper and start writing to your local MPs, the Minister for Planning and the Commission members to let them know your views soon! Property developers lobby well and have paid staff to do their bidding for them. However, we are vital citizens of this State and we vote. We are strong in number and collectively we can be a very effective voice if we use it.

Community Alliance received an extension on the consultation deadline for the draft ‘Development Assessment Regulations and Practice Directions” to 15 March 2019. We will contact you soon with some of the major issues within these draft regulations to include in your submission, and how you can contribute to our collective response.  In the meantime, don’t forget to complete the survey by 1 March which is located here:

Thank you for entrusting us as your new President and Secretary. We particularly wish to thank our fellow committee members for all their dedication and hard work including Laura Pieraccini, Theo Ellenbroek, Carolyn Wigg, Stephen Fisher and Kirsten Alexander.

The committee recruited a few more members to help with the letter-writing campaign, and we wish to thank them for their valuable time including Dr Darren Peacock, Melissa Ballantyne, Sandy Wilkinson, Andrew Dyson, Dave Walsh, David Cree, Carolyn Wigg and Evonne Moore.

All the best,

Christel Mex and Tom Matthews

President                                    Secretary

0401 126 172                         0429 337 453

PS – We are planning to visit member groups to listen to how Community Alliance can help you and tell you more about the Heritage Campaign. To book us in, please give us a call!

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 Cr. Alison De Backer, Prospect Council;  Dr Darren Peacock,                  CEO National Trust SA; and Hon. Mark Parnell MLC

                            Photo: Tom Matthews

 The Panel Discussion will be followed by the Community Alliance SA General Meeting

For more information contact Tom Matthews 0429 337 453 or email

Download the flyer here:

190131 Flyer general meeting 21 February 2019

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2017-18 President’s and Committee Report

Written for the Community Alliance SA Annual General Meeting 22 11 2018, held at the Box Factory, 59 Regent Street, Adelaide SA.

This has been a busy and challenging year for the Community Alliance SA. Despite a small Committee and limited resources this year we have persevered and continued to advocate for our member groups for a better planning system in SA. Below is what we’ve managed to do over the last year:

State Election March 2018

Community Alliance SA met with:

  • David Pisoni MP Shadow Minister for Planning
  • Hon John Rau MP Minister for Planning
  • SA Best Representative

We produced the Community Alliance SA “Asks” Platform document ‘Have your Say’ and sent it to all MP’s and MLC’s and the media.

We held a Rally on March 4, 2018 on the steps of SA Parliament House when speakers included Vickie Chapman MP, Professor Warren Jones, Mark Parnell MLC, Kelly Vincent MLC.

Planning Commissioner Michael Lennon and Planning Minister Stephan Knoll
Planning Commissioner Michael Lennon and Planning Minister Stephan Knoll


The Community Alliance made submissions on the following:

  • Oaklands Park Crossing
  • Accredited Professionals Scheme Discussion Paper
  • Kangaroo Island Gold Club Development proposal
  • State Planning Policies for South Australia
  • Environmental Resources and Development Committee Heritage Inquiry

New Members

During the year Holdfast bay Residents Association and Oppose Glenrose Hi Rise have joined the Community Alliance Sa and we welcome then and are looking forward to working together.

General Meetings

The Community Alliance SA has held three general Meeting during this year and we had Tony Piccolo MP, Shadow Minister for Planning and Frank Pangallo MLC as our Guest Speakers and Planning Minister Stephan Knoll at our AGM on 22 November 2018.

Committee Meetings

In addition, your Committee met six times during the year.

Going Forward

There is a lot of work to be done. The SA Community want genuine Community Engagement where it really matters – on assessment as recommended by the Expert Panel on Planning Reform. The previous government and the current government both voted against this proposal when the new planning Bill was debated in the SA Parliament.

The Community Alliance SA is committed to changing this.

Urban infill and Heritage are major concerns to the SA Community. We want good development in all our suburbs and do not want 4-6 story blocks of apartment buildings scattered in residential locations. These inappropriate building are popping up like mushrooms. We believe that this is NOT good planning. Have we been consulted? Absolutely not.

Likewise, preserving our Heritage suburbs is crucial. We do not want our Heritage bulldozed by greedy developers. Heritage is what defines Adelaide and people from all over the world come to see our Heritage buildings in our suburbs. Besides that, we love our Heritage suburbs and those who live in these delightful homes, love living in them.

The Environmental Resources and Development Committee are meeting on Monday 26 November 2018 and will continue to hear evidence at the Heritage Inquiry. The Community Alliance SA have been invited to appear before the ERD Committee and our Committee member Carolyn Wigg will be heard.

We all want appeal rights that allow us to challenge developments that adversely affect us. Thus far we have very limited and too narrow rights of appeal. This has to change, and the Community Alliance SA wants the PDI act changed to accommodate appropriate appeal rights that work for the people of SA and not just the developers.

The Community Alliance SA has come a long way since we began seven years ago in 2011.

We are now recognised by the government and Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure. In addition, the Community Alliance SA has a voice at the Ministerial Community Engagement and Sustainability Committee.

The immediate challenge for us is to find a new President and Secretary and additional Committee members.  This is a great challenge. Who is up for it?

Tom Matthews


























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SA Election 2018 Policy Platform – Putting the People back into Government and Planning

Community Alliance SA Inc. (CASA) is an umbrella organisation for over 25 resident action groups in South Australia. CASA was formed in 2011 following a number of controversial Ministerial DPAs that caused widespread community concern. We advocate for our member groups, including lobbying for reform of government, planning and related legislation, and for genuine community engagement.

 Our current system of government adversely affects the rights of individuals and communities. CASA’s aim is to increase accountability and community confidence in decision making; restoring the community’s rights to informed participation in their system of government, and protecting and safeguarding our heritage for future generations.

CASA requires a complete re-evaluation and review of the current South Australian planning system, which was made dysfunctional by recent changes under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act).

CASA is seeking your view as a citizen on the following policy and legislative proposals.



  • Repealing the PDI Act and reintroducing the previous legislation, followed by the development of a community-based planning system to replace the previous legislation.
  • Overhauling the Parliamentary Environment, Resources and Development Committee to restore the independence of the committee and enable greater oversight of decisions made by the Minister and their delegates, particularly regarding Development Plan Amendments and major projects.
  • Restrict the declaration of major projects to major projects of real significance e.g. projects in excess of $100 million and in the public interest.
  • Making public the operations of the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
  • Legislating to ban political donations from developers and other industry lobbyists.
  • Limiting the role of private certifiers to minor building assessment.


Joslin Rally 2017

  • Introducing a community engagement process that provides for genuine community consultation rights and increased community representation in the development assessment process, including making the engagement process enforceable.
  • Restoring council elected member planning panels for development assessments; bringing the decision making process back under council control, as it is in Victoria and NSW.
  • Introducing an affordable, low-cost tribunal based appeals process.
  • Including an independent community member with experience in community development and engagement on the State Planning Commission (or similar); appointed by Parliament.
  • Providing an appropriate level of funding to enable the Environmental Defenders Office SA to continue providing legal advice and assistance on environmental matters.
Churchill Road Development 2018
  • Including all heritage matters in one Heritage Act.
  • Retaining existing heritage and streetscape contributory items and prohibiting the demolition of such items before planning approval of replacement items.
  • Prohibiting the demolition of any listed heritage place (either State or Local) unless they are irreparable.
  • Increasing penalties and greater enforcement where there has been intentional damage or neglect of heritage properties.
  • Streamlining and simplifying heritage listing criteria and processes for new listings under the Heritage Act.
  • Removing ministerial obstructions to heritage listings approved by local government.
  • Assessing all contributory items against criteria for potential inclusion as local heritage places.Restoring powers of compliance inspection to local government to ensure full compliance with planning approvals.
How do you feel about this?
Please email your views BY 1 MARCH 2018 to:

Mr Tom Matthews, CASA President,

A version of this document was provided to candidates prior to the 2018 SA election for consideration and comment. Click here to download the .PDF document.

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Community Alliance SA Rally – Parliament House Steps – 4 March 2018





Joslin Rally 2017
Joslin Rally 2017

“We, the people of South Australia, are fed up with not being listened to by those who are supposed to represent us”

“We are fed up with token consultation before they bulldoze our heritage, cut down our trees, destroy our suburbs and downgrade our hospitals”


To speak at the rally, ring President Tom Matthews on 0429337453 or email:

Click here to download and print our flyer  


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Rights at risk in new charter for planning decisions

A new ‘Community Engagement Charter’ proposed by the State Government looks set to further diminish the rights of ordinary South Australians to have a say in planned developments that impact on their homes, neighbourhoods and local environments.

The State Government is asking a panel of randomly selected South Australians to come up with ways “to put the people at the centre of major planning decisions.”

But their options to answer this question have been curtailed before they commenced their deliberations.  The decisions that most directly affect us all – those on assessing proposed developments – have been explicitly excluded from coverage by the charter and taken out of the reach of individuals, communities and local councils.

We risk further silencing public concerns about inappropriate and unlawful developments if the proposed charter does not protect and enhance rights to information, consultation and review.

The Community Alliance, representing more than 25 community and residents organisations, asks:

  • How will public rights to information, input and review be protected under the proposed charter of community engagement?
  • What new rights will the proposed charter give to ordinary people, community organisations and local government?

Planning Minister John Rau has been insisting that he only wants the public to be involved in decisions around planning policy and rules and not in the assessment of individual development proposals.  While it may be convenient for the Minister and the development industry to exclude the public from this key aspect of planning decision making, what ordinary South Australians want is to have a guaranteed say in development proposals that will directly affect their communities, their properties and their quality of life.

Putting people at the centre of the planning system means guaranteeing rights to information about development proposals.  It means guaranteeing rights to respond to those proposals and to have those responses heard in a fair, open and transparent way before developments are approved.

We call on the Government to show how the proposed charter will guarantee the rights of South Australians to have a say in the assessment of development proposals that will affect them and how they intend to ensure that those rights are enforceable under law.


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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

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