NOW Council staff are preparing a full draft of the Planning Scheme. Views and advice from the community, other stakeholders and the State Government will be used to guide the preparation of a final Strategic Framework and the rest of the Planning Scheme, including the detailed zoning and development code components which will be subject to a further formal public consultation process. The incoming mayor and councillors can expect to be briefed on a draft new Planning Scheme within their first six months in office. Community members can expect formal public engagement on a draft new Planning Scheme by late-2020. SUPPORTING LINKS: Ipswich.qld.gov.au/residents/planning-and- development/new-ipswich-planning-scheme Ipswich.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_ file/0014/113207/Statement_of_Proposals.pdf
All major local governments operate within a framework of delegations for dealing with development applications under their Planning Scheme. It is entirely reasonable for residents and ratepayers to expect that your council has an open, transparent framework that allows development applications to be managed effectively and efficiently, while ensuring that the community, through elected representatives and, for impact-assessible applications an effective community engagement process, can have insight and involvement in major contentious or challenging applications. BEFORE ADMINISTRATION Prior to administration, your council did not have an overarching policy setting out the framework and core principles for processing development applications and development-related activities. Instead, your former council relied predominantly upon the basic requirements of relevant legislation. The operating processes were then a combination of legislation, delegations, policies dealing with individual matters (such as the resolution of historical appeals), or procedures adopted from dealing with individual matters. In some instances, work practices were undertaken based on directions, agreements or established practices that have existed for many years, which were not expressed in any single delegation, policy or procedure. The previous framework lacked transparency and in some instances was administratively burdensome and inefficient, which caused inconsistencies and stakeholder confusion. Of significant concern in terms of governance and transparency was the previous requirement that draft reports and/or recommendations by officers be provided to the then-mayor, planning committee chairperson and local divisional councillor prior to finalisation by the officer. While it was claimed this process enabled the elected representatives to request the application be presented to a formal council meeting to consider, in fact it enabled unofficial interaction by councillors with staff and/or the applicants without the full and open transparency of a council or committee meeting.