Local Government in South Australia (SA) will not contribute to the State’s new Planning Portal this year, saving some councils as much as $36,000.
Councils were scheduled to come on board this year with establishment and maintenance costs, before the portal was fully functional, but will now commence payment in 2018/19.
The annual cost to each council will depend on the extent of development activity and level of assessment fees collected.
Local Government Association (LGA) of SA President Lorraine Rosenberg said the LGA requested this deferral on behalf of the sector after members expressed concern about the financial impact on councils and communities.
“While supportive of the efficiencies that can be achieved through an e-planning system, the LGA has identified and is working through a number of potential issues with the Government’s cost-recovery model.
“Many councils had already commenced their budget planning for 2017/18 when they received advice of their proposed contributions for this year, forcing them to consider funding cuts to other priorities.”
Mayor Rosenberg cited the deferred schedule of payment as an example of the LGA’s support for councils in the transition to the State’s new planning system.
“The LGA recently produced model templates to help councils establish terms of reference and meeting procedures for the new Development Assessment Panels they are required to set up by 1 October.
“These resources – combined with the deferral of SA Planning Portal contributions – are expected to save our sector around $1million.”
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