THE Queensland Government last week released its 'Better Planning for Queensland' directions paper, which outlines a strategic course for the next steps in planning reform, and is particularly focussed on the immediate legislative reform agenda.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad said the new directions paper will support community and industry consultation and guide the development of a new Planning Act.
"Queensland needs a fair and practical planning and development assessment framework to secure the long-term liveability, sustainability and prosperity for our communities, both now and into the future," Ms Trad said.
"Better Planning for Queensland honours the Palaszczuk Government's promise to Queenslanders that we would listen to councils, communities and the development industry to ensure new state planning and assessment laws were sensible, well-structured and easy to follow."
Ms Trad said the 'Better Planning for Queensland' directions paper will be discussed in workshops with community, local councils and industry from June ahead of a Planning Summit in July.
"Better Planning for Queensland will bring together the community, industry and council to help formulate a new Planning Act that can respond to the challenges of urban growth and is fair, open, transparent and easy to understand," Ms Trad said.
"I want residents to have a strong voice in the planning and development decisions that affect the neighbourhoods and communities where they work, live and play."
The new Planning Bill, which is due to be introduced to State Parliament by October 2015, is based on the following principles:
- Enabling responsible and sustainable development;
- Stimulating economic growth and innovation
- Ensuring genuine public participation in the planning process, and
- Delivering clear and concise legislation that supports effective and efficient planning and development assessment.
Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) Queensland President, Kate Isles, welcomed the release of the paper and consultation plan.
"We contend that investing in strategy and policy generates better planning outcomes and that means a better Queensland now and into the future," Ms Isles said.
"We support the principles on which the new legislation is proposed to be based including the recognition that legislation can stimulate economic growth and innovation.
"We also support the need for the legislation to ensure genuine public participation in the planning process, and welcome the proposal for a new statutory guideline for community engagement in the plan-making process.
"PIA has however also maintained the view that legislation is only one piece of the puzzle and therefore we are pleased to see that the Better Planning agenda acknowledges this and seeks complementary activities to build capacity and a positive planning culture here in Queensland.
"Whilst the commitment to the planning reform agenda is supported we call upon the Government to ensure that any new legislation incorporates the appropriate transition periods for Local Government as well as financial support for system change," Ms Isles concluded.
More information about the 'Better Planning for Queensland' directions paper is available from the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning website at <http://www.dilgp.qld.gov.au/directions-paper/planning/planning-framework/directions-paper.html>.