This article includes excerpts of Steven’s various debate contributions, Questions in Question Time, and Grieves Speeches in the House of Assembly in the sitting weeks in November, as well as tabled replies to previous questions lodged by Steven at previous sittings.
Please note, the November 2016 debate on the Dying with Dignity 2016 Bill is covered in a separate article on this website ("Voluntary Euthanasia Debate") which includes Hansard transcript of Steven's Second Reading speech made in the evening of Tuesday 15 November
Scroll to find items in relation to: Review of Character Preservation Areas, Local Government Informal Gatherings, Local Government (Mobile Food Vendors) Amendment Bill, Education & Child Development Department Employees, Examination of Auditor-General's Report, Agriculture Landuse Conflict
ESTIMATES REPLIES: REVIEW OF CHARACTER PRESERVATION AREAS
WEDNESDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2016: In reply to Mr GRIFFITHS (Goyder) (28 July 2016). (Estimates Committee B)
The Hon. J.R. RAU (Enfield—Deputy Premier, Attorney-General, Minister for Justice Reform, Minister for Planning, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Child Protection Reform, Minister for the Public Sector, Minister for Consumer and Business Services, Minister for the City of Adelaide): I have been provided the following advice:
The Character Preservation (McLaren Vale) Act and the Character Preservation (Barossa Valley) Act require a five yearly review. Both Acts came into operation in 2013 and as such the review is not required until 2018.
ESTIMATES REPLIES: LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
WEDNESDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2016
In reply to Mr GRIFFITHS (Goyder) (3 August 2016). (Estimates Committee B)
The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome—Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Local Government): I received a copy of the Local Government Association's 2016-17 state budget submission. While I noted the issues raised that are of importance to Local Government, most of the recommendations fall outside the area of my portfolio responsibilities and are matters for other Ministers to comment on.
One of the recommendations raised in the submission seeks a commitment to ensure adequate resourcing of the Office of Local Government commensurate with its role and functions. As stated during my Estimates hearing, the actual number of full-time equivalent staff within the Office of Local Government has remained consistent in the last three years.
QUESTION TIME: LOCAL GOVERNMENT INFORMAL GATHERINGS
3 NOVEMBER 2016
Mr GRIFFITHS ( Goyder ) ( 14:27 :02 ): My question is to the Minister for Local Government. Will the minister confirm why he did not provide the opportunity for the Local Government Association to consult with councils about the recently gazetted, and about to be implemented, regulations for council informal gatherings and conflict of interest, given that he committed to do so in a letter dated 1 July?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK ( Frome—Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Local Government) (14:27:24): These are the informal meetings? As the member for Goyder is very aware—
The Hon. J.J. Snelling interjecting:
The SPEAKER: The Minister for Health is called to order.
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: —when we put this bill through, there was ample time for the Local Government Association to have the consultation with the councils.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Point of order, sir: I am not talking about legislation passed last year. I am talking about regulations the minister has just gazetted.
The SPEAKER: That was an impromptu speech, and I call the member for Goyder to order.
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: The member for Goyder is very aware. We give him regular briefings on where we are with everything we are doing, including the regulations. The regulations have gone out there and, as you saw from the press release the other day, the regulations don't come in until 24 November. The issue is that we have gone out there, the regulations are going through currently at the moment and we have been communicating with the LGA, the parent body. The Local Government Association and councils have had ample time to make any comment.
Mr GRIFFITHS ( Goyder ) ( 14:28 :36 ): Supplementary: the minister refers to ample time for comment to be made, but he has gazetted actual regulations. The implementation is later this month, but it will be the ones that you have put in the Gazette, minister, so there is no consultation opportunity.
The Hon. G.G. BROCK ( Frome—Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Local Government) (14:28:54): Can I ask the member for Goyder whether he is talking about the informal meetings? We just gazetted some stuff here. In regard to the informal meetings, that went on through the Local Government Act. If I can just read through Hansard, I will not quote it, but in the conversation about that we made comment about open transparency and having meetings in the open, and the member for Goyder agreed with everything we were doing. It is on Hansard. He agreed with transparency and things like that. We have gone back on many, many occasions, and I have written to each of the mayors on three occasions explaining what we wanted. They did not do what we wanted, so I brought the regulations in.
BILLS DEBATE: LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MOBILE FOOD VENDORS) AMENDMENT BILL
THURSDAY 3 NOVEMBER DEBATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
(Continued from 1 November 2016.)
Clause 4 passed.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I will try to make sure that we use our 24½ minutes expeditiously and get through this; I have a general question, though. Given that clause 5 refers to the fact that the council must grant a permit, subject to the regulations, I have a general question which has been posed to me: would a permit be issued for the area surrounding Adelaide Oval? It is a roadway, so it meets the Road Traffic Act, but I do not know if there are contractual obligations that might exist with the
Oval management authority which might prevent that. Therefore, is that a decision that local government thereby determines, in being required to grant the permit under the regulations? Does the Adelaide City Council have to have, as part of its own regulations, the ability to refuse any request for a permit or not to grant one for that area and not have that identified on their plan?
Mr PICTON: As we have outlined previously, all the location rules for where food trucks can go are up to the council, so the council would look at it its area. I expect the Adelaide City Council would devise areas very much like it has at the moment, and I do not believe that that area (although we can check) is one of the areas they have available for food trucks to operate in.
Mr KNOLL: My first question is about how costs were arrived at, and I only caught it briefly.From the vague bit I heard, parliamentary secretary, you said that it was basically somewhere between this and that. Was any attempt made to actually understand what the actual cost of providing these permits was to council? Would that have included some sort of contribution towards infrastructure provision?
Mr PICTON: What we did—and this is in the draft regulations that we have circulated, but they are not in the bill yet—in devising those draft regulations is look at the work that Adelaide City Council did in determining its original permit fees and its current permit fees. They looked at what the council rates would be to apply to a very small premises in the Adelaide City Council area, which I believe from memory was a range between $900 and $4,000 that they estimated, and they came
up with an original figure that was lower than what we are setting as the maximum, and then in their revised figure it is slightly higher than what we have set. Most of the other councils that have these permits, although bearing in mind our previous
discussion about how a lot of councils do not allow these things, have their permits set at a much lower level than what we are contemplating as the maximum here. We have seen this as a balance between the work that the Adelaide City Council have done, bearing in mind that they looked at their council fees and all the work that might be associated with that.
Mr KNOLL: My second question is around the discussion paper that was put out originally on this topic in which you talked about exploring the option of having a single state-wide audit process for business. The process currently is that you have to go to every council to get a food identification number, I think it is called. Essentially, it is a council by council process and you were looking to
explore whether or not there was the ability to have a state-wide food safety permit.
Mr Griffiths: 'Passport' is the word used.
Mr KNOLL: Yes, passport. Why is that not part of this legislation?
Mr PICTON: I will just decouple that slightly. In our original discussion paper we put out about a year ago, we proposed two options for the permit of operation of the food truck on streets, one either being a state-wide permit for that or the second being the action we are now taking under the Local Government Act. There is a variety of reasons that we have gone for the Local Government Act, particularly so that the council can play a role in a number of the ways we have outlined already
in the debate, particularly in regard to location rules. I think those things are best worked out on a local level.
In terms of the Food Act, we have never proposed to amend anything about the Food Act and how that would apply to food trucks. What we have said, though, is that we think that there is a role to have something like a health passport that could best record previous inspections that would apply to a mobile food business whether or not they are actually registered under this bill. There might be things that just go to festivals, events, Royal Shows and things like that where it would be useful for those local councils to see the history of previous inspections in other local councils. That is something the councils are interested in, and SA Health is currently working with a working group of local councils to develop that. We are hoping that is going to be developed by early next year.
Mr KNOLL: If that does come to fruition, and if that would genuinely be a reduction in red tape, is there any opportunity for that to be extrapolated out to all food businesses who operate across multiple council sites?
Mr PICTON: Potentially, that would be something to look at. Obviously most food businesses operate from a fixed site. There are businesses, like food trucks, but there might be other people who operate at multiple sites. I am very happy to raise that idea with SA Health.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I will expand on a couple of things. The parliamentary secretary has been rather generous to talk about these things when they relate to a different area of the regulation, and I appreciate that. If we can talk about the fees, no doubt the parliamentary secretary is having chats with people as part of his responsibility to get this bill through the other place, as I have had chats with some people. There is a variety of opinions about the fee structure. One person I have spoken to, and the parliamentary secretary probably has as well, believes that the fee should be much more.
Mr Picton interjecting:
Mr GRIFFITHS: Yes, true. Others believe that there should be a removal of the upward amount and that the council should have the ability to determine the structure of that. I presume that the parliamentary secretary has done that to ensure that it is not set at such a rate that it makes it financially impossible for the business to achieve, so I can understand that. As part of his ongoing discussions, has he given consideration to a review of what the regulations state as to what the fee structure will be?
Mr PICTON: We have put out our draft regulations and we are happy to continue to talk to people about them. I have already outlined the process we looked into for developing them. Some people say, 'You should add up the rent plus the council rates, plus water, plus electricity, plus every single business cost that there might be and make that the permit cost.' I think that would be slightly unreasonable on the basis that these vendors have to pay for the truck. Obviously, if you are renting something, you do not have to pay for a truck in that case, but you are also not getting all the benefits of a rented premises, such as toilets and places to sit when it is raining, which makes it slightly less attractive. There is also the fact that there is no electricity and gas on site, and there are a lot of costs involved in doing that. I think you have to look at the whole continuum of costs that a food truck might have to operate. That is how we have arrived at what we have here, but I am always happy to talk to people about ideas that they might have.
Mr GRIFFITHS: It is interesting because, while I do respect the parliamentary secretary's comments just then, for those who rent a structure there are fit-out costs, presumably, as part of their commencing operations in an establishment. No matter which method is pursued by the entrepreneurs out there—God bless them and the fact they are actually pursuing business opportunities—there is a cost structure in place, too. I think this is likely to be an area that is going to require some further discussion. No doubt it will be a focus for the person who represents the parliamentary secretary in the other place when it comes to a debate about this too. If I can come back to the health inspections, which the member for Schubert also referred
to, there is nothing in the regulations that determines a fee structure. So, it is just part of the policy and decision-making of local government to determine, as it does for many different operations, what the fee would be for that. I understand and support the principle of the passport system, but does it allow councils that have not done the initial inspection and have a mobile food vendor operating in their area to undertake inspections at random? If so, the regulations appear to me to be silent for a fee structure in place. If a council wants to determine a deed as part of its own regulations and wants to be assured of the cleanliness of the facility, for a health inspection to be undertaken, is it deliberately missed out so a fee cannot be charged, or is that an accident?
Mr PICTON: Again, to be completely clear, we are not changing any requirement under the Food Act. Any person who gets a licence to operate a food truck has to comply with the Food Act, and that includes any fees that a council might wish to impose under the Food Act as they currently do already. They will do that no matter whether the food truck is on the road under this regulation, whether it is in a park under a council permit, or whether it is on private premises. The council will still need to inspect, as is currently does, so there is no change in terms of fees that councils can do for their Food Act regulation at the moment.
Mr GRIFFITHS: For the benefit of the parliamentary secretary, the questions I have in relation to the regulations that have not already been raised will be within this clause. Under 24A, a council is prohibited from imposing a condition restricting the operating hours of the mobile food vending business. Why is that in place?
Mr PICTON: This is one of the things that was raised with us in the original discussion and then the original consultation around the bill. There were limits put in place around saying that food trucks could not operate during particular hours and this was limiting the way that those businesses would be able to operate. We took the view that that is something for people to work out on the basis of what the best time for them to do that is, as well as the fact that the council would be able to work out the location guidelines to address whatever other concerns there might be.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Is the parliamentary secretary saying he is concerned that some councils that were granting permits were putting in place time restrictions that made the permits unworkable? Is that why the condition is being attached in regulations?
Mr PICTON: Yes.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I have a question about health inspections. It has been raised with me and it is a valid question. While I understand that some mobile food vendors actually prepare their food at a fixed property—and that has been referred to—the question has been put to me about those that involve a process that has waste fat. Because of the potential health issues associated with that and the disposal of the fat, has the parliamentary secretary given consideration to how that disposal
in particular is to be dealt with? I do not think any of us want to see a situation where a mobile food vendor who does not have a fixed venue to prepare food—how will it ensure the disposal, and what is an alternative method for the disposal of that waste?
Mr PICTON: In terms of the disposal of waste, we have made it clear in our draft regulations that, if there is any doubt, the Food Act would apply to these businesses as part of getting a permit, as well as any other legal or legislative requirements relating to health, safety and the environment. People have to dispose of the waste in an appropriate way within the law, as you have to at the moment.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I appreciate the words, but I am not sure how that is intended to work in a practical application. The easy equation is from a fixed premises where they have a regular waste disposal they pay for as part of their local government rates, or they have a different form of waste disposal that is required to remove waste from the site. Given that this relates to properties that, by their very nature, transit between the locations they operate from, ensuring that disposal is done
appropriately is very important. I do not think there is a need to set up waste disposal sites all over the city or the state, but I would hate us to come to a situation where illegal disposal takes place. I am not sure if regulations can even encompass this and how it is done. It might be that it is part of local government; if it is a review of a permit that has been granted, it can ask those sorts of questions about how waste is to be disposed of. I know the regulations set the opportunity for council to determine the range of conditions it might have, but could there potentially be a template prepared for local government to use, and is that part of the negotiations and discussions that the parliamentary secretary and the government will have with the Local Government Association on behalf of all councils?
Mr PICTON: We have had discussions with the Local Government Association and I am not aware that this issue has been raised specifically. I think they have seen what we have put in the draft regulations around needing to comply with environmental and other conditions as part of the condition of having a licence. The member talked about the illegal disposal of waste; if you were to illegally dispose of waste that would be a breach of the conditions of having a licence—and a serious
one, I would think. So, that is a concern.
If you look at Adelaide City Council, for instance, they have detailed guidelines, a lot of which they will be able to maintain, and at the moment they include maintenance, cleaning and waste. It might be that other councils see what Adelaide City Council have done and look to adopt that. That is something that we can certainly talk to the LGA about. Sitting extended beyond 18:00 on motion of Hon. Z.L. Bettison.
The CHAIR: Order!
Mr GRIFFITHS: I now go to the third page of the regulations, up the top under (d). It says that the council must ensure the permit is subject to insurance of a kind specified by the council. This one really intrigued me. I would have thought there would have been a public liability put in place, at the absolute minimum, which would have stipulated a dollar figure of insurance that was required.
Can the parliamentary secretary just expand on that?
Mr PICTON: The Adelaide City Council, for instance, has, in their guidelines, that you need to have public liability insurance to the value of $20 million. This is another area where we have made it important about insurance but have given the councils the flexibility in terms of the type of insurance they might want to add. They might want to go further than that and require other types of insurance. That is something we are happy to work with the LGA on, but I would have thought that what the
Adelaide City Council have got would be appropriate for most other councils to do as well.
Mr GRIFFITHS: As would I, but based on the explanation I can understand that you are giving some flexibility to be in place, so I accept that. If I can ask the question now, which I also flagged during my second reading contribution, on car parking and time limits that were in place. I am sure that the parliamentary secretary is dying to give me a response that alleviates the fears that I expressed at that time.
Mr PICTON: Yes, I am very happy to. A food truck will have to comply with whatever the car parking rules and regulations are for wherever the space is. There is no exemption from signs and other car parking regulations. If it is a timed space, they can only be there for that time. If it is a no standing space, they cannot be there.
Mr GRIFFITHS: The response actually gives me some questions. If I can work on the basis that the mobile food vendors will be approximately 11.30am until about 2pm, presumably, so that they can maximise the peak need opportunity, given that, yes, there are many public parking spaces that do not have time restrictions on them within suburban areas—that is a very different scenario—if it is, for example, a one-hour restricted space, how do you deal with that? There is a requirement to get there, to have the space, to set up, to have the food hot and to be in a position to serve it to people. Presumably, your whole time limit is just about taken up in that.
Page 7696 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Thursday, 3 November 2016
Mr PICTON: This is where common sense would prevail, in terms of the council looking at their location guidelines to determine some locations that correlate with what the parking restrictions for that time would be. I absolutely get the member's point, that an hour would be too short, but the council may not look to make their location rules apply for food trucks in an area where there is only one-hour parking. They may look to put them in another area.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I will finish on this one now. If I consider the extrapolation of that, does that mean that, where it might have been required to issue a fine or an expiation notice for staying beyond the required time, as occurs, there is a need for some form of legislative change in another act of parliament to ensure that a council has the flexibility in this scenario, on a discretionary basis or as part of their regulation and permit requirements, not to issue a parking fine?
Mr PICTON: My advice is that councils would have the ability to look at their own council rules and to apply them and, if they wanted to, they could change their own permits for particular locations.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I have some other areas now. Right down at the very bottom of that page it states that, a mobile food truck does not engage in the sale of ice-creams, that they are removed from it. Can the parliamentary secretary give me a brief reason as to why?
Mr PICTON: Yes, absolutely. This is not the most elegant of sections we have put in our draft regulations, but I was conscious that by setting clear location rules—for instance, if a council determined a particular map of areas where food trucks could operate—we are not restricting the wonderful experience of being a kid and having Mr Whippy come down your street and stopping. I did not want to be the member of parliament who banned Mr Whippy. That is why we have put that section in there.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is there such a thing?
Mr GRIFFITHS: Absolutely—I have seen them. On the version of the draft regulations I have, and I am over the page now—
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Goyder, but you are still on regulations, aren't you?
Mr GRIFFITHS: Yes, I am.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: We do not have a copy of that in front of us. We only have two pages.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I am talking about location rules now. I note that there is an explanation at the very front that talks about three months for it to come into place, and therefore one would assume that it provides local government across all 68 councils with the opportunity to determine within the next three months. Presumably, that is going to have to be a matter, though, that they will have to consult on with the community, too, in some cases, because there might be some fixed business operators who have a very strong opinion about what the distance from them or others should be before it applies. Is there any flexibility on that three months and can it be longer?
Mr PICTON: Yes, we have spoken to the LGA and said to them that we think it is appropriate that councils have some time to consult on the particular location rules that they would want to adopt.That is why we have tried to be clear with members that we would not see this being enacted and the regulations coming in until at least three months afterwards. We are always happy to talk to councils. If they need slightly more time, we would be happy to discuss that, although I imagine that a consultation process would be able to happen within three months.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I presume there are some that already have their requests in place and have permit systems that are already running and others that do not and never have been approached but probably should be. I am really concerned that some might just consider, 'We have never been asked this.' It is a very low priority of the staff of councils to actually progress this matter
but for those who actually deal with the issue it is more of an urgent need. So I would suggest to the parliamentary secretary that there might need to be some discretion regarding that. And for those who have not had the need in the past to do it, it might be a slightly longer period not because they do not want to do it, or they do not respect the fact that the legislation would demand it, but because there has never been a need for them to have it so they do not see it as a priority.
Thursday, 3 November 2016 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Page 7697
Mr PICTON: I think for those councils that have never seen the need, and it might be unlikely that people might want to apply for them, our suggestion might be to them that they adopt a broad metre rule, so they would not have to identify a particular location but they could satisfy existing bricks and mortar businesses in their area that, if there were to be applications, they would be sufficiently away from those existing businesses. But I am happy, as always, to talk to any council or the LGA further about that matter.
Mr GRIFFITHS: If I could ask a question on (4)(b), where you talk about requirements relating to the minimum distance. I can only imagine that this will vary considerably from council to council. I am not saying it would have been appropriate to put in a suggestion on what it is, but it will be a really difficult one because potentially there will be councils that might not be quite as supportive of the parliamentary secretary and would like to see them be on this and put a longer distance in as a way of stopping opportunity. I raise this point on the basis of (5), where it talks about 'A council's location rules must comply with any requirements specified by the Minister by notice in the Gazette'.
To me, that still very clearly gives a minister, and I am not sure which minister it actually is, the ability
to say no—
Mr PICTON: The planning minister.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Is it? Okay. The parliamentary secretary puts on the record that the planning minister has responsibility for it. Because it is an unknown area that a minister can insert into a Gazette, via regulation, and change how local decisions are made—and I know they are disallowable, I can appreciate that—that is of concern to me. Is there going to be not a policing unit
but some authority that will review the conditions attached by councils on their permit regulations to determine appropriateness and therefore make a recommendation to the planning minister if they believe that a change needs to occur?
Mr PICTON: I can assure people that there is not going to be a new policing unit established to look into this. It will be something that the Office of Local Government will look at, as they look into this whole act from time to time. Really, that has been put in our draft regulations—it is not in the bill—as a sort of just-in-case provision if somebody really goes out of their way, to a particular council, to cause trouble, to try to limit it, far more than is necessary. We are hopeful that councils will not
play games with that and we will not need to use that provision.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Just to clarify, in relation to (5) and the minister being able to specify any requirements, is that in the form of a regulation that is disallowable? I know I posed this question to the parliamentary secretary during the earlier discussion we had about this. I hope I am not misrepresenting you, but you were not sure at that stage, but you got back to me and said that you believed that it was going to be a disallowable matter.
Mr PICTON: I do not believe I said that. I did check that after you raised it, and I am advised that something that goes in the Gazette in such a way is not usually disallowable, but the whole regulation is disallowable, and that is how parliament has the ability to get rid of that.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I have leapt over the page, and 10 is the area. I have notes here about sizes. The member for Unley talked about vehicle registrations, trade plates, and all that sort of stuff, but I do not want to go into that area. What if it occupies more than one parking space? Some entrepreneurs might want to set up an enormous thing. Does that become an issue, or is it fixed within any type of vehicle that would occupy a single parking space?
Mr PICTON: What we have in our draft regulations is that you cannot unduly obstruct the roadway. That is something that would obviously need to be looked at in the context of the area and the particular vehicle that is being used. One example put to me was that if you were to have a double-decker bus as a food truck in a narrow laneway with overhead poles and wires and things like that, then that might obstruct. If you were to have something that is unduly large for the roadway, then that might unduly obstruct as well. We have to use common sense in terms of the interpretation and management of that section.
The CHAIR: This is not really normal practice to examine regulations in such depth. How much more do you have?
Mr GRIFFITHS: I have about two more questions.
Page 7698 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Thursday, 3 November 2016
The CHAIR: Two more questions, and that is the very end, or just this clause?
Mr GRIFFITHS: Just this clause.
The CHAIR: We are going to have to nip it right there, then, because it is not normal to ask questions on regulations because they are not part of my two-page bill. We might give you two more questions and you can pick them from either clause. That is generous.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I have a question about the cancellation of permits. When I read through it, some sections confused me. If during the prohibited period a person who has lost a permit applies to another council for a permit for the purposes of a mobile food vending business, the person must inform that council of the cancellation. Therefore, it becomes self-regulating, does it not? Even with the passport system that is in place for the health inspections, when council has cancelled a permit, how do you ensure that other councils are aware of it? Is the intention to rely on the operator to advise other councils that they do not have permission to operate? What is the likelihood of that?
Mr PICTON: Because they have separate permits in those separate councils, we have said that, if you do lose your permit, you are obliged to inform the other councils where you might have a permit. The onus is on those people to do it, and it is an offence if you do not do that and comply with that section.
Mr GRIFFITHS: This is an important area for me. I can understand, when a council removes a permit opportunity for any reason other than health reasons where it is a health issue and the concern about it therefore translates across to other councils in which the mobile food vendor operates, it is important for me to ensure that those other council bodies know that it has been
cancelled. There is a need for them to ensure that, before it operates in that area, it has corrected the problem. The issue then becomes that, if you have lost it, you cannot reapply for six months. I believe the regulations state that. It is a confusing area for me, parliamentary secretary, and I think work needs to be done on it.
Mr PICTON: Again, I clarify that this does not change any of the requirements under the Food Act. If I were to run a food truck—and some people have suggested that maybe I should do that—and if I were to breach the Food Act, then the penalties under the Food Act would apply. That would apply no matter where I was operating or in what context I was operating.
The penalties there are much more severe in terms of this regulation which is really about how the on-street trading works. If I can give the member some confidence, it is that those Food Act provisions about significant breaches of the Food Act apply. No matter where my food truck was to go, I would not be able to trade if I had breached that significantly.
Mr GRIFFITHS: This relates to the last question also. For me it is the six-month issue, too.
I am not sure if the parliamentary secretary is responsible and I apologise if I was distracted. It actually makes it clear in my mind how it is to work if the reason for which the council denied a permit to be available is fixed within a six-month time period that cannot be re-sought again. No, it says 'not exceeding six months'. Is it the case, if an inspection is undertaken to ensure that the issue has been rectified, that another permit can be issued straightaway if all the authorities are happy with it then?
Mr PICTON: Again, I stress that there are two issues: there is the ability to get a permit under this act and our proposed regulations for trading on the street, but then there is the ability to run a food business in general which you need to apply for under the Food Act . Those penalties,and obviously I do not have the details in front of me now, can be severe and I believe can include even imprisonment as a more severe penalty.
In terms of the on-street trading issues, there would be a lot of the things that could cancel your permit, such as if you were obstructing a road or pedestrians and things like that. If they were significant, they could be grounds for the breach of a permit, or perhaps if you did not have insurance. Then we have added a six-month time frame so that you cannot necessarily go straight back to apply. However, if you were to reapply, you would have to confirm to those councils that you have met all
the requirements to reapply. For instance, if you breached it for not having insurance, six months later, when you reapply you would have to confirm to the council that you did have insurance in order
to apply for a new permit.
Thursday, 3 November 2016 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Page 7699
Remaining clause (7), schedule and title passed.
Bill reported without amendment.
Mr PICTON (Kaurna) (18:13): I move:
That this bill be now read a third time.
Bill read a third time and passed.
EDUCATION AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES
CHILD PROTECTION SCREENING
15 NOVEMBER 2016
EDUCATION AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES
Mr GRIFFITHS (Goyder) (15:23): My question is to the Minister for Education and Child Development. Will the department be seeking to amend its industrial agreement to allow emergency relief teachers to continue to receive a salary loading in lieu of long service leave?
The Hon. S.E. CLOSE (Port Adelaide—Minister for Education and Child Development,
Minister for Higher Education and Skills) (15:24): I don't know. I will seek advice and get back to the chamber.
EDUCATION AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES
Mr GRIFFITHS (Goyder) (15:24): A supplementary to the minister: in providing this fulsome answer, can the minister confirm that the emergency relief teachers will receive a salary cut of 2½ per cent in 2017 as identified on page 91 of Part B of the Auditor-General's Report?
The Hon. S.E. CLOSE (Port Adelaide—Minister for Education and Child Development,
Minister for Higher Education and Skills) (15:25): I can't see any reason why emergency relief teachers wouldn't be receiving the same industrial conditions but, given that the member is operating off some detailed information, I would rather take it on notice and make sure that I get an exact answer.
CHILD PROTECTION SCREENING
Mr GRIFFITHS (Goyder) (15:25): Another question to the Minister for Education and Child Development: how many schools have chosen not to observe the minister's new relaxed police screening rules for parent volunteers and are instead continuing to require screenings for all volunteers?
The Hon. S.E. CLOSE (Port Adelaide—Minister for Education and Child Development,
Minister for Higher Education and Skills) (15:25): I believe that one school has been raised with me, but there may be others, and I will endeavour to find out if we have collated that information centrally
EXAMINATION OF AUDITOR-GENERAL’S REPORT
TUESDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2016
Local Government and Regional Development Portfolios, questions to the Hon. G.G. Brock from Steven with Shadow Minister for Regional Development Mr Van Holst Pellekaan (full transcript):
The CHAIR: The time having expired for examination of this portion of the Auditor-General's Report, we thank the Treasurer and his advisers for their attendance here today and the member for Stuart for his questions. We ask the Minister for Regional Development and Local Government to move into place as we begin the next portion. The member for Stuart and the member for Goyder are going to take these questions.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: We will start on Appendix to the Annual Report, Volume 4, page 95.
The CHAIR: Is it local government or regional development first?
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Regional development. For the minister's benefit, we will take roughly half the time on regional development and roughly half on local government. On page 95, about a quarter of the way down, the table of finances, Regional Development Fund, what funding has been allocated to Regional Development Australia organisations beyond 2016-17?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: I am advised that the government has committed $3 million per annum for three years, beginning in 2015-16, then 2016-17 and 2017-18 to support the seven regional RDAs.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Is there any money forecast beyond 2017-18?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: I have not committed any funds after that.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Thank you for the confirmation of the money that we know is available; it might be revised, but we know it is there. I am intrigued, though, because you talked about the $3 million for each of those three financial years, but page 95, about a third of the way down, refers in the 2014-15 year to $2.768 million in expenditure and, in the 2015-16 year, to $2.515 million, so you are underspent on the $3 million for each of those financial years. Do the unspent funds automatically roll over to be available in the 2016-17 year?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: At the time of the Auditor-General's Report being handed down, there were some milestone payments yet to be completed to fully spend the $3 million committed. The remaining payments will be made to RDAs as Regions SA receives confirmation of milestones achieved.
Mr GRIFFITHS: To confirm the full $3 million expenditure for each of those two financial years, even though there are timing issues on payments being incurred, my question is: when you have the benefit of some funds from 2014-15 that have not yet been paid, why was 2015-16 not above $3 million?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: I am advised that it is very hard because it is a running thing. It is achieving the milestones. As each milestone is achieved, we need to pay that out, and the continuation of that keeps flowing on.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Again, on page 95, the next line down, Jobs Accelerator Fund, did the additional $2 million for the local government traineeships program announced in October this year come from the Jobs Accelerator Fund?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: The $2 million announced in October is coming from the Regional Development Fund.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Just to be sure, I was asking whether it came from the Jobs Accelerator Fund. You are confirming that it comes from the Regional Development Fund?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: The first $2 million came from the Jobs Accelerator Fund and the $2 million that was identified or announced in October is coming from the Regional Development Fund. I am not sure whether you are getting confused with the Treasurer's Jobs Accelerator Fund, which he also announced recently. My Jobs Accelerator Fund, as such, had $10 million in it and that is fully committed.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: I appreciate that clarification. I was definitely talking about your Jobs Accelerator Fund under Primary Industries and Regions. Is it your intention to continue to use the RDF for that traineeship program and, if so, for how long?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: Yes, we will continue to use the Regional Development Fund to maximise job opportunities throughout the regions. The final allocation or decision about how we use the rest of the funds is being identified currently as we speak. I want to be working with the councils, working with industries and the federal government to try to maximise the opportunities for jobs in our regions.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: The Local Government Traineeship Fund may or may not continue out of that RDF money?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: Yes.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: I want to move on to Part B of the Agency audit reports. I am moving to a different book now and I refer to page 331. Minister, I note that there is only $2.3 million in grants in the 2014-15 year and then $17.6 million in the 2015-16 year. What is the total amount of funding approved for projects in the Regional Development Fund?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: We need to get the answers to you. I could take that on notice but we do not want to do that. The $15 million per annum from the Regional Development Fund is fully committed for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years. In addition, I brought forward round 3 of the RDF to ensure that the 2016-17 funding was committed to projects before the end of the 2015-16 financial year, to be invested in our regions without delay. All projects that have been approved are or will be the subject of formal funding deeds. We need to have that. The total actual expenditure for 2015-16 against RDF commitments was $17.6 million.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I appreciate the information from the minister. That is total expenditure, that is, dollars that have gone out, but what are the committed dollars, including the sum that had been granted to various recipients, but the transfer of the funds has not yet occurred in the 2015-16 year for which it was granted?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: $33 million in grants were awarded in rounds 1 and 2 of the RDF, supporting 61 projects worth a combined $5.6 billion to the state's economy and leading to the creation of more than 900 new, ongoing full-time equivalent jobs. Eighteen applicants have accepted grants of offer under RDF round 3. Their projects will create around 420 new ongoing full-time equivalent jobs and generate more than $139 million of direct investment.
Several projects have already been announced, and I look forward to further announcements of successful projects in the next few weeks. This shows that there is confidence in our regions and businesses out there are ready and willing to invest. One of our aims is to create new opportunities and advance our regional communities and economies.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Thank you, minister, and I agree with the importance of providing money to regional areas. What the member for Goyder and I are trying to understand is this: you have a budgeted amount, then you have a committed amount, but then you actually have a paid out amount. Of the money that you just gave us that is committed to programs, how much has actually been delivered, and how much is still actually outstanding, still to be paid out of those commitments?
The CHAIR: Can you put it on record so that Hansard can hear it, maybe, and explain it?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: I was asking the member if he is talking about the first two rounds, and I just reaffirmed with the member.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: What I am asking about is that there are actually three rounds. Of any money that has been committed, how much of that in each round has been actually paid and how much of that is outstanding, still to pay?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: That is a lot of information and we want to give you the right answer. We will take that on notice and get back to you as soon as we can.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Thank you, minister, I appreciate that. Are there any grants that have been committed that the minister has any concerns about that will not actually be delivered? For example, if an application has been put in, a grant has been made and then the company changes its mind, pulls out or does not fulfil the conditions in any way.
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: Grant funding is offered to the successful applicant on a number of conditions, including that the project is completed at the same scale of investment and that the same job outcomes, as stated in the application, are achieved. Despite the best efforts of the successful applicant and the comprehensive due diligence process by the government, circumstances can and sometimes may change.
For example, a company or organisation may change the direction of their project, be unable to meet their co-investment contribution or face a sudden industry downturn that affects the demand for their product or service. These factors may lead to an organisation withdrawing from or not accepting an offer of grant funding.
While it is disappointing when projects are not able to proceed as planned, I respect that commercial decisions need to be made. Any funding that has been offered to a withdrawn project is reinvested in the Regional Development Fund, and I reinforce that the payments are made at the milestones being achieved.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: I understand those principles. Are there any projects or any grants that you fear will not be fulfilled and that money might be returned for any number of reasons?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: Not to my knowledge, at this stage.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: With regard to the $7 million from the Regional Development Fund that was transferred to the Whyalla interest-free loan scheme, how much of that money has been actually loaned out? Do you believe that the balance will be loaned out and, if you do not think that it is all necessary, what is your estimate of how much of the balance will be loaned out and when those loans will be repaid?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: That money was transferred to the Treasurer, and those questions should be asked of the Treasurer or the Small Business Commissioner. They are facilitating that on behalf of the $7 million I took across.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: When will the RDF get the full $7 million repaid from the Treasurer?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: When Arrium went into administration, there was a lot of uncertainty in Whyalla, and small businesses there had an issue, having cash flow problems, going forward. We were able to facilitate that quickly by transferring money from the Regional Development Fund across into Treasury and allowing those small businesses to take an interest-free loan to be able to keep the cash flow going on there. By doing that, we secured those small businesses to be able to continue trading with Arrium under administration. By working this way, we also saved the potential loss of hundreds of jobs in the Whyalla region.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: I am happy to be on record to say that I support the government running that program. What my question is about, though, is that $7 million of money, which was going to be granted to appropriate regional development programs, has been transferred to the Treasury so that the Treasury could then lend that money to businesses in Whyalla for very good reasons.
Essentially, money that was going to be given to regional South Australia is now being lent to South Australia. I have no concerns with that as long as that money comes back from the Treasury and back into the Regional Development Fund. I understand that you do not administer that money, that you have handed it over to the Treasurer. When will you get it back from the Treasurer so that it can be used for its original purpose?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: I would hope that the member is not implying that, by allocating this money across to Whyalla, it is not part of the regional locations in South Australia. The inference I took from that was that Whyalla may have transferred this money over to protect those jobs and those small businesses to allow them to continue. Your question to me was about getting that money back for regional opportunities. I believe that we have done that. Those jobs could have gone, I understand that. By doing that, we have secured and saved hundreds of jobs in Whyalla and, irrespective, it comes from the RDF. It has been utilised for job opportunities and retaining jobs.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: As I said before, I fully support that. What I want to know is: when does the money come back from Treasury into the Regional Development Fund? Is the agreement that you have with the Treasurer, 'Yes, here's the money from the regional development bucket into the Treasury. Transfer it back in one year, transfer it back in two years, potentially transfer it back when the money is repaid by the businesses.'?
I do not question that it was used for a good purpose, but what I want to know is: when is it going to go back to the original purpose—after the money is repaid by the recipients of the loans from the Treasury? What agreement did you enter into with the Treasurer to make sure that the regional development money came back to you so that it could be used for the interest-free loans but that, when those loans were repaid, it would come back for the original purpose? That is what I want to know.
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: I reinforce what I said a minute ago: irrespective of where the money comes from, it is money that has gone across for opportunities in regional South Australia into Whyalla to assist those businesses—no matter where it comes from. The issue was that we put that money across there and, if I go a bit further, I asked the commonwealth to match my money and they did not do that. However, no matter which bucket it comes out of, it is saving those hundreds of jobs in Whyalla and the surrounding regions and keeping up the prosperity of those Whyalla businesses, making certain they have health and wellbeing.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Certainly, I support that, minister—for the third time, I support that. Let's just say you transferred $7 million from RDF into Treasury, Treasury lent $7 million to the businesses of Whyalla for all those really good reasons and then those businesses paid it all back to the Treasurer. Do you get your $7 million back so that the money can be used twice? That is what I am getting at. I am not questioning the interest-free loans—those are fantastic.
If those people pay it all back to the Treasurer and you do not get it back into the Regional Development Fund, then the regions have missed out on an opportunity to use the money twice: once to lend it and have it paid back, and then once for it to go back where it came from and be used for grants. Is there any agreement like that at all between you and the Treasurer to make sure that you get the money back?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: I think I have answered the question. If you remember back in round 2, I got another six point something million dollars from the Treasurer to fulfil some of round 2. I think I have answered the question.
Mr GRIFFITHS: We will stop here. I think there is a bit of a difference on the emphasis of the question, so we will swap over to local government questions, minister. It is very frustrating to me to look through the Auditor-General's Report to try to find references to local government in the papers. I refer to Volume 3, page 553. Under DPTI, and Activity 4, Office of Local Government, the report states: 'The Office of Local Government provides policy and other advice to the Minister for Local Government.'
That is all I can find about the Office of Local Government in the Auditor-General's papers. As the Office of Local Government—and my long-term understanding of this was to provide support and advice for councils—I would have thought there would have been a reference to interaction with local government individually, regionally, via collections of councils and the Local Government Association. Why is it that this only talks about the office providing advice to the minister?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: As the minister, I am responsible for the system of local government, as you are aware. The Office of Local Government (OLG) provides advice on the operation of the system to me as minister and, in doing so, the OLG can talk to individual councils.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Having been at regional meetings, I am aware of your staff's attendance at some of them. It is not that I think that they never get out of the city—I understand that occurs—but I was hoping for a more fulsome explanation of the relationship that exists between the Office of Local Government and local government and the minister, as part of those papers. You referred to the traineeship positions that were announced in October and the $2 million that was allocated to that. My recollection is that you said 47 were to be created. Can you confirm that number?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: From memory, for regional councils—and this is only for regional councils—the number of traineeships is 57, but I stand to be corrected.
Mr GRIFFITHS: We both have the number seven in it, so hopefully we will get the right answer. I support the effort that is being made and commend you for the second round for this to occur. In considering the contribution towards that—and I believe that $2 million was put into that—in your previous response to a question from the member for Stuart, you referred to dollar commitments and therefore the total spend for private investors also coming in and jobs created as part of that.
As part of the consideration of the effectiveness of this commitment of $2 million over two years, can I get the best bang for my buck by investing in this way? I like the idea that it has been put there. I think it is good to invest in the involvement of future generations of local government people. I am not going to argue with that, but was consideration given to another opportunity within local government to invest and get a good return also for the community at large?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: To be quite frank, this is a regional development question, but I am happy to answer it; it is administered through the Local Government Association. The 57 positions have been created by councils taking that on board. Every time I have been out there to see these young people, I see the joy on their faces because they have a full-time job in their own area. To answer your question, I believe that this is the best bang for those dollars for this particular project, bearing in mind that I am still to decide how I will allocate the rest of the Regional Development Fund.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I appreciate the minister answering questions that are slightly out of his portfolio area, but I just wanted to get that on the record. Part of the ministerial responsibility that rests with you as the Minister for Local Government relates to the Local Government Research and Development Scheme. My understanding is that the legislation controlling that requires that you, as the minister, are advised of recommendations on the expenditure within that program. I would like to confirm that that actually occurs.
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: I am advised that the Local Government R&D Scheme comes under the Local Government Finance Authority Act, which is administered by the Minister for Finance.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I am looking at the Local Government Finance Authority Act 1983, section 31A—Tax equivalents, subsection (4) where it provides:
Amounts held under subsection (2), together with interest accrued under subsection (3), will be applied for local government development purposes recommended by the LGA and agreed to by the Minister in accordance with principles agreed between the Minister and the LGA.
You are talking about the Minister for Finance, are you?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: Yes, that is correct.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Can I clarify then about the staff member who represents the minister on that? Is that a staff member of the Minister for Finance or a staff member of the Minister for Local Government?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: I am advised that the Department of Treasury and Finance, through the Minister for Finance, is very at ease with the Office of Local Government being able to give advice and work through the process. Certainly, it comes under the Minister for Finance.
Mr GRIFFITHS: To clarify, I recognise that Ms Hart is an ex-officio member and is defined as being Manager, Office of Local Government; therefore, I presume that Ms Hart reports back to the Minister for Finance but does Ms Hart also report or provide a CC to you some of the relationships and decision-making of the Local Government R&D Scheme?
The Hon. G.G. BROCK: The Minister for Finance is responsible for these questions. I recommend that the member direct those questions to the Minister for Finance.
The CHAIR: The time having expired for the examination of this portion of the Auditor-General's Report, we thank the minister and his advisers for making themselves available. We thank the members for Goyder and Stuart for their questions.
Progress reported; committee to sit again.
GRIEVANCE DEBATE: AGRICULTURE SECTOR
WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2016:
Mr GRIFFITHS (Goyder) (15:27 :40): I will be taking a few minutes of the chamber's time to talk about agricultural land use, where adjoining land uses are sometimes in conflict and the challenges that creates. I am not alone in this chamber in having been contacted by several landowners, including Mr Peter Grocke and Mr and Mrs Charles and Kirstin Teusner, who are concerned about the impact of land uses adjoining their broadacre operations.
In a broadacre sense, adjoining farms actually work quite well. People respect each other, there are rules about spraying operations, drift issues are controlled, and it works. However, where you have adjoining properties where conflicting land uses occur and management practices are challenged because of their not being supportive of each other, it has created some significant problems. Indeed, it is putting some significant financial pressure upon those property owners.
I have been to Mr Grocke's property, as I have been to Mr and Mrs Teusner's property. I have spoken to them and inspected what it is, and they have quoted examples of where, in a broadacre sense, they would normally spray to control weeds. With an adjoining broadacre farmer it would not impact upon them but, because vines are planted in the adjoining property, it is impossible because they run the risk of being sued.
This is a real risk because, as part of the controls over the spraying operations, it talks about distances to adjoining crops and different styles. He has taken an appropriate response because he is concerned about being sued, but his appropriate response is actually making it very challenging for him to have a viable financial operation when it comes to his broadacre farm—and that is what worries me. It has left him unable to ensure that the maximum benefit is achieved from his property.
For our state's economy to be strong we need to ensure that farming is able to prosper and that farmers are able to work diligently to ensure that their yields are up and then, depending on what prices they might get for it, they get the best possible return. By association, our economy is strong from it.
I am aware that there is a working group that is involved in pursuing this. I have posed questions through the chief of staff of the Department of Agriculture about it. I have had a response from a departmental officer that says the group has focused efforts to date on potential conflict between neighbouring primary producers over chemical use and, in particular, requirements for downwind no-spray zones when using certain herbicide sprays adjacent to sensitive crops such as grapevines.
That is a real issue, and from it comes the need to consider what buffers need to be in place and the interface management, which is one of the key things. My hope is that this working group which has been considering the matter for some time, but for which I am unable to obtain a copy of the terms of reference, which is frustrating, or a time line and expectation of reporting and actions, works diligently.
If I can use the example of Mr Grocke, he is very concerned about the fact that, at the moment, he is required to continue to farm in that area, but he cannot make a profit because of the management practices and challenges that are in front of him. He has sons who want to continue the operation, but those sons are at that desperate time now when they have to consider their future, which is likely to be in a different form of operation where they are removed from the farm, which is a tragedy.
I want this working group to report. I want the Minister for Planning, who I asked questions of during the debate on the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Bill, to be responsible for actions. I want the Minister for Agriculture, who I have also asked questions of as part of questions on notice, to be responsible for actions, and I want all those involved in the working group, which is made up of councils, the landcare group, Grain Producers SA and a wide variety of people who have skills in this area, to continue to work diligently to get the outcomes because these outcomes have to occur.
I know there are members in the other place who have spoken to Mr Grocke and Mr Teusner also. I know there are commitments that have been given as part of negotiations about a variety of things for actions to take place, from which nothing has occurred. I implore the government to work in respect of the fact that this needs to be taken care of and to ensure that, as part of development controls, adjoining property owners—who are not in an agricultural sense normally contacted, but in this case it is a significant change of land use—are given a chance to have input into it. If we do not have that, we will have people in far too many areas who see they have no future in agriculture.
I am from an agricultural area, and I want it to be strong, but controls need to be in place to ensure that, when diversification occurs—and I support the principle of that—if that diversification has such a dramatic impact upon an existing, long-term use of agricultural land in a broadacre sense, then really serious considerations have to be given to buffer distances and the interzones and interface between management practices.
I ask the government to work on this diligently. I hope there is an outcome within a reasonable time frame that gives not just Mr Grocke and Mr and Mrs Teusner an outcome that will assist them in ensuring that their farm remains within the family long term but, in all agricultural senses, gives a long-term commitment to give agriculture a future. If this does not happen, I have great fears about what the impact will be.
REPLIES TO QUESTION 16 NOVEMBER 2016
In reply to Mr GRIFFITHS (Goyder) (28 July 2016). (Estimates Committee B)
The Hon. J.R. RAU (Enfield—Deputy Premier, Attorney-General, Minister for Justice Reform, Minister for Planning, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Child Protection Reform, Minister for the Public Sector, Minister for Consumer and Business Services, Minister for the City of Adelaide): I have been provided the following advice:
The Planning and Development Directorate of DPTI currently employs 130.9 staff to work across the range of portfolio responsibilities, including (but not limited to) development assessment, building policy, development plan policy, strategic and regional planning and demographic analysis.
The transition from the Development Act 1993 and into a new system under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 will mean that DPTI staff will be reallocated into delivering the new system. A dedicated team of 29 currently work on delivering the new system, which includes a team building the new electronic platform (e ‑ planning portal), as well as a team working on the creation of the new instrument s and governance arrangements. The six team members currently working on delivering the e-planning solution are counted in a different directorate (Customer and Information Services Directorate) and as such do not form part of the 130.9 FTE count as at 30 June 2016.
Seven vacancies have recently been filled in the Planning and Development Directorate.