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Insights | PDI Act - Assessment Panels to Begin Operation

JULY 2017

  • Assessment panels
  • Constitution of panels
  • How will we transition?

DPTI anticipates that 1 August 2017 will see the commencement of the assessment panels provisions of the Planning Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act), with 1 October 2017 to be the designated day. This means that assessment panels under the PDI Act will be operating and making assessment decisions from this designated day.

Assessment panels will be relevant authorities by virtue of the PDI Act, not because they receive delegated authority from another body, such as a council or the Minister.

Assessment panel of a council or joint planning board (s83)

A council or a joint planning board may have more than one assessment panel, if so the classes of development each panel will assess must be specified.

If a council is part of a joint planning board or a regional assessment panel then it cannot also constitute its own panel.

Transitional arrangements (schedule 8)

  • After the designated day (1 Oct 17) a reference in the Development Act 1993 to a DAP will be taken to be a reference to an assessment panel of a council (CAP).
  • If no panel has been constituted the Minister may appoint a local assessment panel which will act as the delegate of the council under the Development Act 1993.
  • An assessment panel may
    • adopt a determination of a DAP that may be relevant to the assessment of an application made before the CAP was constituted
    • deal with a reserved matter, reserved before the CAP was constituted
    • deal with a requirement or grant a variation regarding an application made before the CAP was constituted.
  • Section 83 of the PDI Act regarding assessment panels will apply as if it is part of the Development Act 1993.
  • Section 56A of the Development Act 1993 will not apply to require a council to establish a DAP, but if it would otherwise be so required, it must establish one or more CAPs under s83, and the CAP will act as the delegate of the council for the purposes of the Development Act 1993.

Similar transitional provisions apply to regional assessment panels.

Members of panels (s83)

  • must be accredited professionals (the accreditation scheme remains suspended) or have appropriate qualifications to act on a panel
  • there must not be more than five members
  • only one member may be a member of a council
  • the council or joint planning board may constitute panels of different numbers of members for different classes of development.

The council or joint planning board must also determine the

  • procedures of the panel
  • terms of office of members
  • conditions of appointment, remuneration, removal
  • deputies
  • presiding member

The council or board is responsible for arranging staffing and support for the panel, costs and liabilities.

Assessment panels constituted by the Minister (s84)

Local assessment panels

  • may only be constituted on the recommendation of the State Planning Commission pursuant to s86.

Combined assessment panels

  • if the panel is to act as a relevant authority under the PDI Act and also be involved in the assessment of a licence, permission, consent, approval etc under another Act

Regional assessment panels

  • part or all of the areas of two or more councils
  • areas not within a council area.

Assessment managers (s87)

Every assessment panel must have an assessment manager

An assessment manager

  • may act as such for more than one panel
  • must be an accredited professional or of a prescribed class
  •  may be a council or public employee, but need not be
  • will be appointed by
    • a joint planning board
    • CEO of a council
    • CE of the department (Minister’s panel)
  • will act as a relevant authority under the PDI Act, and in so doing will not be subject to direction of a panel or anyone
  •  will manage the staff and operations of the assessment panel
  • will advise the assessment panel as appropriate.

Transitional arrangements (schedule 8)

The provisions relating to assessment managers will apply from the designated day (1 Oct 17) as if those provisions are part of the Development Act 1993.

An assessment manager may act as the delegate of the council or other relevant authority for the purposes of the Development Act 1993.

Private certifiers continue as per the Development Act 1993 despite the repeal of that Act.

Delegations – relevant authorities

Generally speaking relevant authorities may delegate any functions or powers (s100).

The SPC must delegate its functions and powers as a relevant authority for development assessment (s30(3)). Transitional provisions state this must be to one or more of the committees established under the PDI Act, or to a person occupying a particular position.

 

 

Disclaimer

The content of this newsletter is for general information purposes only and should in no way be treated as formal legal advice.