Designation identifies land for community infrastructure to facilitate:
- the integration of land use and infrastructure planning
- the efficient and cost-effective provision of the infrastructure.
A state minister or a local government may designate land for community infrastructure.
Types of community infrastructure are listed in the SPR, schedule 2 and include:
- hospitals and associated institutions
- educational facilities
- rail transport infrastructure
- facilities for parks and recreation
- emergency services facilities
- state controlled roads.
Summary of the designation mechanism
- Designated land must pass a public benefit test to ensure the designation is justified. For example, the designating minister or local government must be satisfied the community infrastructure will contribute to environmental protection or ecological sustainability, or satisfy community expectations for the efficient and timely supply of infrastructure.
- A minister, before designating land must also be satisfied that for development the subject of the proposed designation, there has been adequate environmental assessment, including adequate public consultation, and also adequate account of issues raised in the public consultation. One way in which the requirements for adequate environmental assessment and public consultation may be met is for the assessment of the proposed development to be carried out in accordance with Guidelines ( 767 KB) under the SPA, section 760.
- A designation may include requirements about the use of the land, such as plans showing the development height, shape or location of works on the land, or other requirements to lessen the impacts of works or use of the land.
- Both ministerial and local government designations must be noted on local government planning schemes. Ministerial designations are also listed on the Community Infrastructure Designation Database, maintained by the department.
- Development the subject of a designation does not require approval under the planning scheme, nor need to meet any scheme requirements. This facilitates the efficient provision of the community infrastructure at the time work needs to commence. However, state-level legislation and regulatory requirements continue to apply, e.g. building and environmental management legislation.
- If privately owned land is designated, the owner may apply for the early acquisition of the interest in the land based on hardship grounds arising from the designation.
- A designation ceases after six years if it has not been acted upon, for example, if construction of the community infrastructure has not started, or a notice of intention to resume the land has not been given, etc. Notwithstanding, a minister may give a local government written notice reconfirming a ministerial designation.
The Guidelines were remade by the Director-General on 5 April 2014 and gazetted on 17 April 2014.
- The remade Guidelines contain substantially the same process as under the previous Guidelines. As such, any designation process currently underway will be considered valid if following the process in the previous Guideline.