In February 2011 the Minister for Planning appointed an Advisory Committee to examine the existing planning controls and processes for potentially contaminated land. The Advisory Committee is scheduled to exhibit an ‘Issues and Options Paper’ in the next few weeks and is expected to invite written submissions during September and October.

The Planning Institute of Australia recently held a seminar regarding planning for potentially contaminated land and that included as a presenter, Lester Townsend, who is a member of the Advisory Committee.

The topic (as always) generated a lot of discussion. The overriding feeling however was that the existing planning controls regarding potential contaminated land are outdated. The environmental audit overlay (the main tool used in the planning system to address potential contaminated land) is a blunt tool that lacks the flexibility often needed to address potential contamination.
We look forward to the release of the Issues and Options Paper.