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SA councils given reprieve from e-planning payments

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South Australia’s local councils have been granted a 12 month reprieve from paying fees for the State Government’s new e-planning system.

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Rather than being forced to pay between $4000 and $36,000 each, annually, starting this year, contributions to the cost of the SA Planning Portal will now begin in 2018/19.

Councils were informed early this year that they would have to make the first annual payment during the 2017/18 financial year, but no payments have yet been made.

Following lobbying from the Local Government Association (LGA) the State Government has agreed to defer the cost until next financial year.

The LGA is using the concession as an example of its effectiveness, amid calls from Adelaide city councillor Anne Moran for her council to abandon the organisation – following the City of Marion’s decision to do just that (but later backflip on the decision, reclaiming its membership) last year.

“While supportive of the efficiencies that can be achieve 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,” LGA president Lorraine Rosenberg said.

“Another concern that we raised was that council contributions were due to commence before the system was fully operational and the expected benefits could be realised and measured.”

The size of a council’s contribution will depend on the number of planning applications lodged in each jurisdiction.

An LGA spokesperson said the “first iteration” of the SA Planning Portal was live, but that it “doesn’t yet have full functionality”.

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