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SA Government unveils reforms to support private sector development

SOUTH Australian Premier Jay Weatherill last week announced a package of reforms designed to support private sector development, simplify regulation and improve the public's access to government.

Department of Premier and Cabinet Chief Executive Jim Hallion will take on a new private sector development coordination role to assist lodged projects with an investment construction value of $3 million and greater and address.

In undertaking the role of State Coordinator-General, Mr Hallion will be supported by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure's Planning Division case management team, as well as a Senior Government Task Force.

Eligible developers with projects valued over $3 million across the state will be invited to contact the Department's case management team for help to address 'blockages', including issues related to planning, environment, water, liquor licensing and council regulations.

Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA) event in Adelaide, the Premier also announced significant reforms to government boards and committees and the establishment of a new Simpler Regulation Unit to work with industries to remove or improve regulations.

"Businesses have told me that whilst there is growing confidence when it comes to pursuing development projects in South Australia, more needs to be done to ensure they are realised in a timely way," Mr Weatherill said.

"Developers with projects valued over $3 million across the State will be invited to contact Mr Hallion so he may assist them through any blockages they might have in front of them across all levels of Government.

"Many businesses I have spoken with since the election have raised the need for simpler regulation with me, particularly in regional South Australia."

The Premier also announced that every government board and committee will be abolished unless it can be demonstrated it has an essential purpose that cannot be fulfilled in an alternative way.

"The large number of boards and committees currently in existence contribute to duplication, unnecessary complexity and inefficiency within government," Mr Weatherill said.

"Whilst this process will reduce much of this duplication and red tape, it is also about giving the community more direct access to government.

"Views expressed to government are too often confined to board chairs or experts selected to be on committees – this is something I am very keen to change in favour of the public being closer to decision making processes."

Legislation will be introduced to remove the requirement of certain boards and committees within current Acts and a letter has been sent to the chairs of all government boards and committees advising them of the reform.

More information about the Coordinator-General's role is available from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure website at <http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/coordinator_general>.

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