EIANZ SEQ Division’s Policy and Practice Committee Submission

Published 27 June 2016 by Scott Hanna MEIANZ CEnvP (IA Specialist)

Beginning in September 2015, EIANZ SEQ Division’s Policy and Practice Committee became involved in the State of Queensland’s consultative process for the Draft Planning Bill 2015.  Two workshops were attended by committee member, Howard Briggs, and committee chair, Scott Hanna, in September and December, and reviews were carried out on the draft Bill and planning instruments. 

On 18 January 2016, EIANZ SEQ Division submitted a position paper to the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee (the Parliamentary Committee) on the Bill.  EIANZ SEQ endorsed the stated objectives of the Bill of delivering better planning for Queensland, but challenged the premise that the draft Planning Bill would achieve the objectives better than the existing Sustainable Planning Act 2009, which the new Planning Bill would replace. A key concern was that the focus of the Bill was still on the process to be followed, rather than on how to achieve the outcomes that communities expect.

Additional concerns raised by SEQ Division included:

  • Planning schemes need to move from being an instrument aimed at regulating development to one of implementing the land use and development outcomes sought by an informed community. Greater predictability is needed in decision-making that would come from the use of quantifiable and measurable criteria to determine both a preferred land use, as well as to assess the positive and negative impacts of any development proposal. 
  • The Bill and supporting documentation remain complex and difficult to understand and are not written for public comprehension.  
  • The Bill needs to be clearer on the measurable outcomes being sought through planning scheme preparation and implementation, and less on operational detail.  
  • The draft Bill is written such that local government is given too much responsibility for management of natural resources and land uses for which the State Government has constitutional responsibility. Therefore, local government should be supporting the State Government rather than the reverse.

Recommendations were made to the Parliamentary committee regarding changes that could be made to Planning Schemes and Development Assessments, to ensure the objectives of the Act are achieved.

Review the complete submission here →

All EIANZ's policy submissions can be found here →