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Our new planning system is now operational in outback South Australia

1 July 2019

Phase 1 of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 implementation

Planning reform in South Australia has marked an important milestone with the release of the Planning and Design Code covering outback regions in South Australia. This means the way people apply for a development approval and the way in which development applications will be assessed in these areas will change.

Learn more about the implementation of Phase 1 for the outback

From today, the new Planning and Design Code (the Code) and supporting Development Assessment Regulations will be in effect in land not within council areas and non-metropolitan coastal waters. The Code now replaces all existing Development Plans that relate to land outside of council boundaries and aims to better address the planning needs of our outback communities.

Key features of the Code as it relates to the outback are outlined below:

  • Clear buffer distances have now been mapped around a greater number of airfields - including those airfields that support the Royal Flying Doctor Service - as well as an increased number of key transport routes, railway crossings, rivers and lakes.
  • New and updated policy has been introduced to lessen the risk of bushfire impacts on development.
  • New policy has been introduced to address inappropriate uses of land, such as industrial development close to housing and phone towers close to airfield runways.

The following instruments are also now in effect in the outback only:

  • three new sets of regulations to address fees, charges and contributions; swimming pool safety; and transitional provisions
  • a series of practice directions that address public notification; restricted and impact-assessed development; and out-of-council areas inspections
  • the first six new Ministerial Building Standards, which provide clearer building rules related to South Australian variations under the National Construction Code.

The new system has been informed by extensive public consultation over the past two years that has solicited more than 1,000 written submissions and involved more than 150 engagement events. Our reform team has also travelled more than 45,000km to visit councils and out-of-council regions over this time.

The Department would like to thank all councils for their valued contribution to the consultation process and for their ongoing participation in the reform program.

The new Code will be introduced across the state in phases over the next 12 months, as part of the biggest modernisation of South Australia’s planning system in more than 20 years. The release of the Code for outback regions (areas that do not fall within any council) is the first stage in the process.

Over the coming weeks and months, the Department will continue to liaise with councils to help inform the drafting of subsequent phases of the Code and assist with the ongoing conversion of Development Plans.

Learn more about the three phases of implementation and how you can get involved


Important: Once consolidated, the Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) (Development Assessment) Variation Regulations 2019 (PDF, 872 KB) become the PDI (General) Regulations 2017.




Ministerial Building Standards

Planning and Design Code


It is recommended that you use the South Australian Property and Planning Atlas (SAPPA) to view the spatial information represented in the PDF maps below. The SAPPA is an online mapping tool that allows users to more accurately identify Zones and Overlays of the Planning and Design Code that apply to their location.

Practice Directions