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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jeff Seeney

    State Government moves to reform planning

    Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jeff Seeney

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    State Government moves to reform planning

     The State Government today announced its plans to restore efficiency and consistency to Queensland’s planning and development system.

    Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the changes would make planning and development more effective and responsive across the state.

    “Fixing the planning system was one of this government’s key promises to the people of Queensland when we were elected,” Mr Seeney said.

    “The old system was tired, bureaucratic and mired in red tape – it was unnecessarily holding up construction and development across the state.

    “My Assistant Minister for Planning Reform Ian Walker has worked tirelessly with the planning industry and local governments since we took office and these reforms provide direct response to these groups’ concerns.

    “A key component of the reform involves streamlining the government processes by allowing developers to deal with one single office rather than multiple departments when seeking State Government assessment of development applications – reducing the complexity and increasing the certainty of development outcomes.

    “Other red tape reduction initiatives include the removal of master and structure planning arrangements that the industry deemed ineffective and the separation of state resource allocation and entitlement requirements from the development application process.

    “The powers of the Planning and Environment Court will be expanded to allow the awarding of costs to successful litigants – where the court sees fit - while at the same time providing a new streamlined “no costs” regime within the court for less substantial matters which do not require the attention of a Judge.

    “The reforms will also empower local governments – the new costs regime in the court will discourage appeals which have little merit – and local governments will now be able to recover their costs of investigating development offences and taking action in respect of them in the Planning Court.

    “Councils will have the discretion to accept development applications which do not include all required supporting information at time of lodgement, reducing red tape and streamlining the application process.”

    These changes will be implemented by way of legislative amendments to the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 introduced into Parliament today.

    Mr Seeney said the reforms, together with recent amendments to the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 to remove particular referral triggers, would streamline the involvement of the state in development assessment.

    “This will change how and to what extent the state is involved in the strategic planning process and in individual planning assessments,” he said.

    “This is another step in meeting our commitment to totally revamp the planning and assessment processes in Queensland.

    “Handing back control to local communities is a key aim of this government, and I’m pleased to implement these reforms to the planning system so soon after coming to government.

    “We made a commitment to the people of Queensland that we will get the state back on track, and this is another example of how we are doing that.”

    [ENDS] 13 September 2012

    Media Contact: Kate Haddan – 3224 4600