Achieve a better, transparent, egalitarian and ecologically sustainable town and urban planning system that will stop overdevelopment.(1)

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 plan stating the level of overall development (including total dwelling number, density and height limits) 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.
  • Legislate to ensure that local planning policies and decisions cannot be overturned by State Government ministers, government departments, or 'independent' panels, tribunals and boards.
  • Lower population growth / demand (see SUSTAINABLE POPULATION - AUSTRALIA policy).
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Provide more overarching Federal Government involvement in planning, by establishing a National Planning Framework, to both help guide Federal Government population policy and better align investment in infrastructure to sustain healthy, prosperous and resilient cities and regions.

Related policies

Also see HOUSING (re ban on all property developer donations and contributions to political parties) and ENVIRONMENT policies.


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