Australia’s planning gets C-

A recent nationwide survey of planning professionals has showed Australia should push harder to lift its performance in planning.

The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) has released its annual planning report card, which asked some 800 industry experts to grade each state and territory in 12 areas, including infrastructure, housing, transport and climate change. 
Despite Australia’s overall performance receiving a (C-), down from last year’s (C), PIA national president Neil Savery suprisingly said the results showed Australia was doing “reasonably well”.

He said Australia performed particularly well against criteria of growth management, public participation, governance and streamlined assessment, which all were given a C grading.

The ACT and South Australia were the best performing states, while Tasmania and NSW continued to be the bottom two.
The most underperforming areas were transport and demographic change.  

Mr Savery said while investment in urban planning was hitting an all-time high, the transport sector was in urgent need of capital injection.

“We are not moving quickly enough on investment in public transport infrastructure. As a nation, Australia’s transport score reflects public concern and the current importance of national debate about where to invest and why,” he said.

“It also affirms the need for Infrastructure Australia and the Building Australia Fund.”

Despite the lukewarm results, he said there was room for the grade to improve in coming years with the comprehensive reform processes underway.

“Australia is undergoing a significant period of legislative change and infrastructure development, with investment planned to support growth.

“Strong reform agendas and strategic plans, such as Melbourne 2030, the SEQ plan and the SA Review, are keeping planning high on the public agenda,” he said.


The best: ACT, SA, NT (C)
The worst: NSW, TAS (D+)
Growth management
The best: ACT (C+)
The worst: TAS (D+)

Sustainability indicators
The best: ACT (C)
The worst: TAS (D)

Governance structure
The best: NT (C+)
The worst: TAS (D+)

The best: ACT, QLD (C)
The worst: NSW, TAS (D)

The best: SA, WA (C)
The worst: NSW, VIC, TAS (D)

Demographic change
The best: ACT, QLD, VIC, SA (C-)
The worst: TAS (D)

The best: SA (C)
The worst: NSW, VIC, TAS (D+)

Public participation
The best: TAS (B-)
The worst: NSW, SA (C-)

Professional planning workplace
The best: NT (C)
The worst: WA (D)

Planning assessment
The best: NT (B-)
The worst: WA (D+)

Urban Design
The best: ACT, VIC, WA (C)
The worst: TAS (D)

Climate change
The best: ACT, SA (C)
The worst: NSW, QLD, VIC, WA (D+)

More on this story including expert analysis will be featured in the Dec/Jan edition of Government News magazine.

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