QUEENSLAND Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad has called on the community to have their say on the draft planning bills released last week for public consultation.
"The draft Bills support jobs and economic development through streamlined assessment processes, whilst ensuring ecological sustainability remains at the core of our planning system," Ms Trad said.
"We are also delivering on our commitment to ensure the community and local government continues to play a key role in planning.
"Right from the start I've said we wanted Queenslanders to come along on our planning reform journey - to get excited about planning and understand how it affects their neighbourhoods and communities."
Ms Trad said the focused state-wide engagement program, will include workshops, agency briefings, meet-a-planner sessions and community conversations around the state and will run until 23 October.
"The consultation starting today builds on the work my department has been doing around Queensland, talking with the community, local councils and industry, since the release of the planning directions paper in May and June's Planning Summit," Ms Trad said.
"Our focus on accountability and transparency, removing unnecessary state intervention, and listening to the community is putting us on track to have the best planning and development assessment system in Australia.
"And this is important because having such a system positions us strongly to promote economic development, instil investor confidence and create jobs.
"Our Budget commitment of $59.4 million for planning reform shows just how serious we are about getting it right.
"Queenslanders can have their say in a variety of ways and I encourage people to view the website and attend local sessions to become involved."
The Property Council of Australia welcomed the release of the draft planning legislation, saying it incorporates many of its recommendations to streamline the planning system, reduce the cost of housing and provide certainty for the community and development industry alike.
The Institute's Queensland Executive Director, Chris Mountford, said the Planning Bill 2015 and associated legislation reinforces the consensus that has emerged across stakeholders and political divides that a better planning and development assessment system is a priority for Queensland.
"The Planning Bill 2015 has retained many of the former Government's commonsense reform initiatives that were proposed in earlier drafts of new planning legislation and in the Private Members' Bills introduced into Parliament in June," Mr Mountford said.
"In addition, the draft bills introduce many of the positive initiatives foreshadowed in the Government's Better Planning for Queensland Directions Paper released in May, including the introduction of a statutory guideline to promote better engagement with the community early in the plan-making process.
"The Property Council looks forward to providing further feedback on the draft bill prior to its introduction into Parliament later this year, and throughout the subsequent deliberative process."
More information about the draft Planning Bill, Planning and Environment Court Bill and Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill is available from the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning website at <http://www.dilgp.qld.gov.au/planning-reform>. Submissions are due by 23 October 2015.