Strategic Directions Report


Section 30 of the Development Act 1993 requires that all Councils in South Australia prepare a Strategic Directions Report, addressing the strategic planning issues for the region, identifying amendments to the relevant Development Plan, and setting out Council’s priorities with respect to land use planning, transport and infrastructure provision, and delivery of the relevant strategies and targets contained within the Planning Strategy.

Every Council must prepare or update their Strategic Directions Report on a regular basis, in particular following an alteration to the South Australian Planning Strategy (i.e. publication of the Far North Regional Plan in 2010).

The Strategic Directions Report is the key instrument that allows a Council to outline a vision for growth in the Council and establish a concurrent set of priority actions for planning policy change. This is primarily achieved by means of a programme of Development Plan Amendments (DPAs) to transcribe envisaged policy into Development Plan provisions. In particular, the Strategic Directions

Report should identify the council’s priority actions for:

  • achieving orderly and efficient development through the implementation of planning policies
  • integrating transport and land-use planning within its area
  • implementing the relevant policies and targets in the Planning Strategy
  • implementing the affordable housing policies in the Planning Strategy
  • infrastructure planning (including both physical and social infrastructure)
  • any other projects or initiatives considered to be of strategic importance by the council.

Refer to section 30 (2) (b) and (1) (c) of the Development Act 1993 for further information

Guide: Preparing Strategic Directions Reports June 2011 (Department of Planning and Local Government)

In June 2011, the Department Planning and Local Government published a guide for the preparation of Strategic Directions Reports. This Guide outlines the legislative context for the preparation of an Strategic Direction Report, what information should be contained in the document and a short set of recommended consultation actions and strategic reports to be consulted.

Key messages identified in the Guide include:

  • The Strategic Directions Report is intended to outline a strategic vision for growth in the council area by means of a program of Development Plan Amendments (DPAs) to translate the strategic vision into Development Plan content. A Strategic Directions Report must be consistent with the Regional Planning Strategy for the area (Far North).
  • Two or more councils may choose to jointly prepare a Strategic Directions Report or jointly undertake processes or procedures related to its preparation (for example, public consultation).
  • The state government does not intend the preparation of Strategic Directions Reportss to be a work-intensive process for councils.
  • While the Development Regulations 2008 do not identify the authorities and bodies that councils must consult in connection with the preparation of a Strategic Directions Report, councils are encouraged to consult with state government agencies where they consider it to be appropriate and necessary.
  • Councils must provide opportunities for community members to make written submissions and to be heard in connection with the preparation of a Strategic Directions Report.
  • The time period within which councils must undertake their reviews and produce Strategic Directions Reports is specified by the Minister.
  • The Minister may exempt a council from the section 30 review process or postpone a council’s obligation to meet section 30 requirements where a council has undertaken or is committed to undertaking a broader strategic review.
  • Councils must submit their Strategic Directions Report to the Minister for consideration.

Proposed Strategic Directions Report process

The proposed process to be undertaken to prepare The Flinders Ranges Council Strategic Directions Report is as follows:

1.  Overview

  • The South Australian Planning System
  • Purpose of the Strategic Directions Report
  • Recent projects by the Flinders Ranges Council

2.  Previous Development Plan Review

  • Previous Development Plan Review Report
  • Recent/Current Development Plan Amendment’s
  • Implications and Outcomes

3.  Strategic Context

  • Far North Region Plan, A volume of the Planning Strategy
  • Flinders Ranges Council Strategic Management Plan (2012-2022)
  • Other Relevant Plans/Strategies

4.  Planning Issues and Challenges

  • Introduction
  • Population
  • Townships
  • Tourism, the Economy and Jobs
  • Transport, Services and Infrastructure
  • Hazards and Environmental Issues (including Bushfire Management)
  • Landscape, Interface and Natural Environment
  • Heritage and Character
  • Administrative

5.  Consultation

  • Consultation prior to preparation of Strategic Directions Report
  • Consultation during Strategic Directions Report project

6.  Future Development Plan Amendments / Project program

Overall, the Strategic Directions Report should be

  • relatively short and graphical in presentation (approximately 20-3 pages)
  • includes legislative requirements (such as Ministerial agreement)
  • draw on a workshop/working session with Council staff and Elected Members

Council adopted The Flinders Ranges Council Strategic Directions Report - August 2014 at the Ordinary Meeting held on 12 August 2014. The Strategic Directions Report has subsequently been sent to the Minister for approval.