Infrastructure schemes

As part of the modernisation of South Australia’s planning system, a more equitable and transparent process for coordinating and delivering infrastructure has been introduced.

This will help unlock investment across the state and create vibrant, safe, healthy and affordable neighbourhoods.

About the scheme

Infrastructure schemes are a new planning mechanism that will supplement existing arrangements such as planning conditions, deeds and bonding arrangements.

They will help facilitate clarity around infrastructure projects by providing planning practitioners, developers, councils, infrastructure providers and landowners with a new legislative mechanism and suite of financial tools to assess their infrastructure requirements and delivery options.

Infrastructure schemes will further benefit the new planning system by:

  • ensuring that new infrastructure is fully scoped, costed, timed and financed before works commence
  • enabling infrastructure to be delivered when and where it is needed
  • enabling stakeholders to agree on, and commit to, quality standards and areas of responsibility ahead of time
  • ensuring that the cost of new infrastructure is spread fairly across all financial beneficiaries
  • replacing the need for numerous infrastructure agreements between individual landowners, which can slow the process down
  • enabling new growth areas to be unlocked for the benefit of the community
  • enabling new infrastructure to be delivered in a more simple, transparent and expedient manner
  • enhancing the quality of decision-making around infrastructure via the appointment of an independent, suitably qualified Scheme Coordinator for each new infrastructure scheme.

This new process will be realised through two new types of infrastructure scheme: a Basic Infrastructure Scheme and a General Infrastructure Scheme. Both of these schemes are set out in the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

There are two new types of infrastructure schemes that are being introduced under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016: a Basic Infrastructure Scheme and a General Infrastructure Scheme.

Basic Infrastructure Schemes

Basic Infrastructure Schemes will apply to defined ‘designated growth areas’ and provide the mechanism to ensure the delivery of infrastructure that is immediately needed to make a neighbourhood liveable, such as water, sewerage, gas, electricity, telecommunications, roads, bridges and stormwater management.

Specifically, Basic Infrastructure Schemes will support the following types of infrastructure:

  • roads or causeways, bridges, culverts associated roads
  • stormwater management infrastructure
  • embankments, wells, channels, drains, drainage, earthworks connected with infrastructure
  • water infrastructure and sewerage infrastructure (Water Industry Act 2012)
  • communications networks
  • electrical and gas infrastructure.

Basic Infrastructure Schemes will provide enhanced transparency and certainty around infrastructure funding arrangements for investors and communities by setting down what type of infrastructure will be provided within an area, who will fund it and when it will be delivered.

Through this type of scheme, basic infrastructure will be provided in step with the pace of development and delivered when actually needed, not at some time in the future.

Basic Infrastructure Schemes will also be useful for the coordinated delivery of infrastructure where there are complex land ownership arrangements or multiple landowners, thereby precluding the need to use infrastructure deeds.

General Infrastructure Schemes

General Infrastructure Schemes will help deliver a wider range of infrastructure than Basic Infrastructure Schemes and will include those related to health, education, community facilities, public transport, police, justice and emergency services. General Infrastructure Schemes will be especially important in generating urban renewal.

The types of infrastructure supported by General Infrastructure Schemes will include the following:

  • water infrastructure and sewerage infrastructure (Water Industry Act 2012)
  • communications networks
  • electrical Infrastructure
  • gas Infrastructure
  • transport networks or facilities
  • testing or monitoring equipment
  • coast protection works or sand replenishment facilities.

The following types of infrastructure will also be covered by General Infrastructure Schemes and will require landowners to opt-in 100%.

  • health, education or community facilities
  • public transport
  • police, justice or emergency services facilities.

General Infrastructure Schemes will be able to be used to facilitate partnerships between all levels of government and the private sector and have the potential to unlock considerable infrastructure investment.

General Infrastructure Schemes may also be used as leverage to attract additional funding sources, such as Commonwealth funding.

During 2017 and 2018, a pilot program was initiated to test the infrastructure schemes model in a live industry settingThe pilot program involved three separate projects that were undertaken following an Expression of Interest process.

The three projects were undertaken at the following locations:

  1. Bowden/Brompton – with support from the City of Charles Sturt and landowners
  2. Mt Barker Springs Road – with support from Mt Barker District Council and Lanser Communities
  3. Kilburn and Blair Athol - with support from the City of Port Adelaide Enfield

Mr John Stimson of Stimson Consulting and Greenhill Engineers Pty Ltd undertook the role of Scheme Coordinator for the pilot program.

The three pilot projects brought together consultants, councils, landowners and the Department to explore the preliminary steps involved in preparing and delivering an infrastructure scheme.

The learnings from the pilot projects have been summarised into the following report:

This report is supplemented by the following documents:

Infrastructure schemes will be overseen by a panel of independent, suitably qualified Scheme Coordinators nominated by the Department.

A list of pre-qualified Scheme Coordinators (PDF, 196 KB) has been established. Once a scheme is initiated, an independent Scheme Coordinator from the panel will be assigned by the Chief Executive of the Department, and will assume responsibility for preparing, consulting and overseeing the delivery of the scheme. Depending on the size and complexity of the scheme, a Scheme Coordinator Committee may be established to ensure that sufficient expertise is available.

The Minister has adopted a Code of Conduct for Infrastructure Scheme Coordinators (PDF, 344 KB) that sets out standards of professionalism to be observed by all Scheme Coordinators and members of Scheme Coordinator Committees.

Basic Infrastructure Schemes

Councils and developers can now prepare a proposal for a Basic Infrastructure Scheme but will not be able to commence their scheme until the infrastructure scheme regulations are proclaimed.

The Infrastructure Schemes Toolkit for Practitioners (PDF, 3654 KB) provides useful guidance on how to initiate and establish a Basic Infrastructure Scheme.

General Infrastructure Schemes

General Infrastructure Schemes will not be able to be implemented until the State Planning Commission has conducted an inquiry into the provision of essential and prescribed infrastructure and lodged a report to the Minister. This is a requirement of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act (PDI Act).


If you can't find a document, try searching PlanSA's resources library.