People and Neighbourhoods Discussion paper replaced with a ‘suite of materials’

Yesterday the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure released their March newsletter entitled Planning Ahead

It includes a short article that announces that the release of the long-awaited People and Neighbourhoods Discussion Paper will be postponed until the release of the draft Planning and Design Code. In its place will be a ‘suite of materials’ that will be discussed ONLY with councils and ‘practitioners’.

This is a serious setback for the protection of heritage and even worse for genuine community consultation and engagement. Community Alliance has written to the Minister for Planning to clarify what these changes mean to the consultation process with our communities. Our letter to the Minister is attached below.

190328 Letter to Minister for Planning re People and Neighbourhoods Discussion Paper



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Good work members!

A BIG thanks to member groups who wrote submissions to the ‘Development Assessment Regulations and Practice Directions’. Fortunately, members of Community Alliance were given an extension to 15 March and we were able to include nine fantastic submissions in our ‘bundle’.

It was not an easy job for our community groups who rely soley on volunteers to undertake this very complex and demanding work.  In contrast, lobby groups for the property industry  have the benefit of paid staff to do their bidding.

Our members pointed out many issues that require attention in their submissions, including risks to significant trees, the continuing arbitrary referral of larger developments to the State Planning Commission, virtually no demolition controls for single storey buildings, automatic deemed consent for delayed planning decisions, further loss of representation rights, reduced assessment timeframes amongst others.

You can view our member submissions on our website via the ‘Resources/Useful Information’ tab.  You can also have a look at what other organisations and individuals have submitted by going to the DPTI website . To see them, you’ll have to scroll down and click on ‘View Closed Consultations’, and then click on ‘Development Assessment Regulations’.

There is still a long road ahead with the planning reforms that are being implemented very quickly. Phase One of the new Planning and Design Code is out for consultation now until 29 March.  This is for the ‘Outback’ areas, land not within a council area.  However it also includes the sea, so the title of the document is a bit misleading. To view the Community Guide to this document, go to the DPTI website here. If anyone would like to include any points in the Community Alliance submission, please email Tom Matthews at [email protected]

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Need help with your submission on the Planning Regulations?

Community Alliance members have been granted an extension to 15 March for submission on the planning regulations- as long they are included in our ‘bundle’.

The City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters have done an excellent submission, and the paper outlining the main issues is attached below. This can be a resource when you think about what is important to your communities and want to see addressed. (much more detail is available on the Councils website – council agenda for 4 March)

Community Alliance will also be writing a submission, which will be considered by the Committee next Thursday before it goes out to members for feedback.

Your individual submissions do not have to be long, just a few poignant dot points will suffice. They can come from individuals as well as member groups. It’s important to have as many submissions as possible to make sure ordinary residents have as much say as the developers do.


NPSP March Agenda Item 11.1 Planning Regulations

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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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