Planning & Development

Related policies

  • Environment
  • Housing
  • Sustainable Population & Immigration
  • Taxation

Policy

Achieve a better, transparent, democratic and environmentally sustainable town and urban planning system that will stop overdevelopment of both high-rise density and sprawl, while properly protecting our natural environment, built heritage, backyards and urban amenity.

"The new [sprawling] suburbs mostly lie beyond the suburban rail network, and many worry proper government investment will only follow years after residents move in, as has occurred in other estates. Adjacent suburbs already suffer from significant road and rail congestion." The Mandarin

"The assumption that high-density is environmentally superior seems to be based on intuition as no proof is provided to support this claim. Rather, considerable evidence is emerging that this is not the case." New Geography

"A COVID-19-struck community with severely limited open space has been asked to review a plan to increase the number of homes [density] by more than 70% while enduring the strictest lockdown the city has seen." Sydney Morning Herald

Policy Methods (Federal & State)

To help achieve this Sustainable Australia Party will:

  • Return real planning power to local communities through proper engagement. This would include:
    • Empowering local citizen juries / panels by local council area to:
      • Determine a local area plan stating the level of overall development (including total dwelling number, density, height limits, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and green and recreational space) on a 10-year basis
      • Deliver new community infrastructure before more housing is approved (including new schools, hospitals, public transport, roads, recreational and sporting facilities, green space, etc)
      • Determine projects proposed outside of the scope of the local plan, including State-significant projects, to ensure any trade-offs are reflective of community desires
      • Ensure that planning and zoning changes adhere to relevant environmental and heritage regulations

“There is global concern about narrowing opportunities to influence where people live, to influence their street, their neighbourhood, their city. Those narrowing opportunities are a source of frustration for local residents.” Westender

  • Legislate to ensure that local planning policies and decisions cannot be overturned by State Government ministers, government departments, or 'independent' panels, tribunals and boards

"Perceptions that the appointees themselves are individuals who are first and foremost loyal to the developer cause, and will forever be sympathetic to industry over communities in applying discretion, has added fuel to the fire of community opposition to developments." WA Today

"These boards are appointed from well-established business networks and mates’ clubs. There is little about these appointments that points to a commitment to and having a background in this city’s urban planning or heritage." City News

  • Lower population growth / demand (also see Sustainable Population & Immigration (Australia) policy).

"We can stabilise our population and take this demand for housing pressure off immediately...It is simply a federal government policy decision." Redland City Bulletin

  • Capture for the public the land value gains (unearned profits) from planning and rezoning, rather than gifting them to private sector developers. This would include:
    • Charging a 75% developer betterment tax on the total land value gain (between current use and the new approved use) at the time of a new planning approval. This tax reflects the fact that the value of the new property rights allowing higher value developments is created by the community.(2)
    • Introducing an ACT-style 75% developer 'betterment tax' on the total land value gain (between current use and the new approved use) received from favourable land re-zonings. The tax would be applicable only at the time of a new planning approval. This tax reflects the fact that the value of the new property rights allowing higher value developments is created by the community through the political process(2)
  • Stop sprawl wherever possible
  • Ensure that any 'urban renewal' and infill is not at the expense of our built heritage, backyards and urban amenity
  • Reject the myth that high-rise density is either environmentally sustainable, has little or no sprawling ecological footprint, or is preferable to ending Australia’s rapid growth in population (also see Economy policy)
  • Properly assess the risks of increasing and high density in relation to the spread of diseases like COVID-19
  • Preserve, rehabilitate or plant corridors of biodiversity in new developments, in accordance with fire regulations, to both preserve wildlife and provide recreational opportunities for local residents.
  • Ensure that new and existing homes and associated landscapes adapt to latest innovations in thermal and water efficiency and ecological design, including north facing, effective insulation, solar panels and water tanks
  • Support Council employed Building Inspectors rather than privately employed Building Surveyors
  • Impose a moratorium on planning rezoning for higher intensity uses, such as from rural conservation to farming zone
  • Properly account for and report on the increasing per unit costs of providing infrastructure to communities in already built areas
  • Remove caps on developer infrastructure charges and give councils and state governments the flexibility to charge developers the real cost of infrastructure delivery
  • Ban development in flood prone areas
  • Penalise developers that submitting development applications outside of local planning guidelines including height limits
  • Stabilise Australia’s population size as soon as practicable (also see Population & immigration policy)

"We can stabilise our population and take this demand for housing pressure off immediately...It is simply a federal government policy decision." Redland City Bulletin


Footnotes:

  1. Overdevelopment in the form of both sprawl and densification.
  2. This policy has been successfully functioning in the ACT since 1971.

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