Mr BELL (Mount Gambier) (15:21): My question is to the Minister for Planning. Can the minister inform the house when the Planning Portal clock will be reinstated? Is there any reason why the clock was removed from the Planning Portal? With your leave, sir, and that of the house, I will explain.
Mr BELL: The Planning Portal operates with a clock that allows applicants and planning consultants to follow the time left for approving authorities such as councils to assess and make decisions on development applications. I have had a number of planning consultants contact my office saying that the clock has not been showing on the portal for the past two months and without the clock operating, applicants and planning consultants are unable to hold the approving authorities to account.
The Hon. V.A. CHAPMAN (Bragg—Deputy Premier, Attorney-General, Minister for Planning and Local Government) (15:22): I thank the member for the question. I haven't had the same concern raised with me and I do have regular meetings with industry and also with the department to ascertain, since 19 March, how that portal is going. I know there was one incident when there was a short time of several hours in relation to the transmission of services on that portal.
Otherwise, I haven't heard of the removal of the clock or time. I am receiving regular reports as to the compliance of the obligation to have turnaround times within the turnaround times which are now a matter of days, mostly five days, and they are being done in three days. But certainly, I will follow that matter up and get back to the member on that.
Additional answer provided on 23rd June 2021.
The Hon. V.A. CHAPMAN (Bragg—Deputy Premier, Attorney-General, Minister for Planning and Local Government): I have been advised that:
All development applications are now lodged and processed through the planning portal. This replaces what was largely a paper-based development application system lodged across 68 councils.
The online development application system includes a dashboard for applicants, as well as dashboards for relevant authorities. This allows both applicants and relevant authorities to keep track of applications. Part of the new system includes clocks, which track the number of statutory days remaining in the application process.
I can confirm that the clocks are working, however the department has noted that for 5 to 10 per cent of applications that the clocks are disappearing on applicants' dashboards. The PlanSA service desk has fixed this issue to ensure applicants can keep track of their applications. The department is always looking to improve the system and will continue to refine the dashboards with users of the system.