In a win for Queensland councils, the LGAQ has been successful in its advocacy on the Economic Development and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill) regarding the need for stronger consultation with local government in the Economic Development Act 2012.
Passed by Parliament on 2 April 2019, the Bill included amendments moved by the Planning Minister, the Hon Cameron Dick MP, in the second reading relating to the making of a [provisional priority development area] PPDA to include the establishment of a local consultative committee that includes a representative from local government to better support localised decision making.
LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam applauded the amendments but cautioned that the removal of the Act’s ‘overriding economic or community need’ test and the requirement to ‘not compromise the implementation of a local planning scheme’, could further erode the transparency of State government decision-making.
“At a time when the community is acutely aware of the need for transparency and accountability in government decision making, ensuring a genuine open partnership exists between State and local government should be paramount when making decision about priority development areas”, he said.
“As per our submission on the Bill, it is important that Economic Development Queensland continue to engage with councils and the LGAQ in drafting the revised regulations to support the legislative changes.”
“Given the land in a PDA is ultimately returned to councils to manage, it is disappointing the proposed legislative amendments have not extended to provide for obtaining the full agreement of each relevant local government, in planning for, or developing in, a PDA; deciding on the terms of an infrastructure agreement for a PDA before the agreement is established, and prior to issuing a PDA exemption certificate.”
Notwithstanding, the LGAQ commends Minister Dick and the Palaszczuk Government on the Bill’s amendments made to the Planning Act 2016, which will result in greater certainty and improved efficiencies for industry, local government and the community.
A copy of the LGAQ Submission on the Bill can also be found on the Queensland Parliament website.