In the Media

Kelly Vincent – Vision Australia Interview on South Australian Planning Reforms

On Wednesday 30th March 2016, Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent was interviewed on Vision Australia radio station to discuss Dignity for Disability’s views on South Australian Planning Reforms. Here is the audio and transcript from the interview.

Pam Green: Time to welcome to 5RPH, Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent. Hi Kelly.

Kelly Vincent: Hi Pam.

Pam Green: We’ve talked a little bit before about the large Planning Reforms that have been discussed in two years of public forums and then in more recent months in the parliament. Can you tell us about the overall restructure of the system and what will it look like for most South Australians?

Kelly Vincent: Sure, Pam. Well many South Australians over the years have been very frustrated to say the least with our planning system. The forms, the delays, our waiting to get approvals and the expenses related with getting approvals for developments and so on is a general hassle. So the State Government commissioned an independent panel and with QC Brian Hayes at the helm they held, as you said, two years of public meetings across the States. The recommendations of those meetings have resulted in a 230 page Bill that we’ve been debating in parliament since around October last years. Although it didn’t arrive in the Upper House where I sit until December of last year. So this really is a huge once in a generation reform and it’s really important that we get it right for all South Australians so that we can have developments approved without so much hassle and meet all the needs of South Australians.

Pam Green: Well I understand after six weeks of debate in the Upper House, the Legislative Council and comprehensive amendments from government opposition and crossbenchers. The Bill is now back in the Lower House, the House of Assembly. So what happens now?

Kelly Vincent: Well as the Upper House has made many amendments, many hundreds of amendments including some requested by the government as issues were raised with the Bill and the government improved upon it. The Planning Minister basically needs to decide if he’s going to accept the Bill as it now is with the amendments now all in place. We certainly hope that that will occur as there has been a number of wins to improve the Bill and make it a lot better for everyone involved. So we certainly hope that the Planning Minister will accept all the compromises. Accept the Bill as it is and pass it without needing to go into anymore debate.

Pam Green: And of course Dignity for Disability have had some Australian first amendments inserted in the Bill. Can you remind us of those?

Kelly Vincent: Sure. So Dignity for Disability was successful in getting a number of amendments up to the Bill around Universal Design. And of course Universal Design is the basic principles of building things from the get go rather than retrofitting that are accessible and meet the needs of as many people as possible. Be that people with disabilities, or the ageing population, or even people temporary injuries or people with different heights and so on. So it really is about that universality of needing to access spaces. So for the first time Universal Design has made its way into the Planning Bill in being something that planners and developers will now have to give serious consideration when developing new public spaces including buildings and venues and so on. And so this really is a big win and I certainly look forward to continuing to push that we make sure that we get Universal Design recognised more and more as the way to go to build public spaces that meet all of our needs far into the future.

Pam Green: Brilliant. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us today Kelly.

Kelly Vincent: Thanks Pam.