Both major parties push planning reform

Headlines continue to capture the daily argy-bargy and personal controversies of Queensland's 55th Parliament, yet at the same time, the future economic prosperity of Queensland is being debated.

With both the Government and Opposition acknowledging that communities and the property industry need certainty in our planning system, we now have the opportunity to carry out meaningful planning reform, to create jobs and prosperity for all Queenslanders.

This opportunity has transpired over the last few years, with the previous LNP Government identifying the property and construction sector as one of the four pillars of the economy- with the property industry providing 12.5 per cent of all full-time jobs in Queensland. After implementing important reforms such as the State Planning Policy and introducing the State Assessment and Referral Agency, the next step was the introduction of the Planning and Development Bill to Parliament in late 2014. However, with the election being called in January this year, the Bill lapsed.

Since the election, the Property Council has been encouraged by the level of engagement and commitment from the Labor Government to continuing planning reform. This led to the Government's release of the Better Planning for Queensland directions paper on the 25th of May.

The Property Council welcomed the release of the Government’s directions paper that includes many of the common sense reforms that were being proposed in the now lapsed Planning and Development Bill, and sets a deadline of 25 October to introduce new legislation to Parliament.

However, on the 4th of June, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Planning, Small Business, Employment and Trade, Tim Nichols MP introduced new planning legislation into Parliament, largely mirroring the LNP's Planning and Development Bill. This legislation has been submitted to the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee who will examine and seek feedback on the Bills over the next four months.

With both processes running simultaneously the Property Council will ensure that members are kept well-informed of the latest developments and we will continue to push the case for Queensland to have Australia's best planning and development assessment system.