Planning team's customer service award

Published on 22 May 2023


Unley Council undertook early review of the impacts of the transition to the state’s new planning system to ensure a smooth transition for staff and the community. The award is recognition for work during the changeover to the PDI Act, which saw Unley’s planning team embrace legislation changes to align resources, systems, and processes to provide customers with an exemplary level of service.

The work also reflects the team’s collaborative approach, which involved significant input from other council teams including Customer Experience, City Design, and Assets & Operations, who aligned their internal services to support new planning evaluation timeframes and help achieve these results.

This involved a comprehensive examination of resourcing and staffing, resulting in more tailored processes and revised delegations to best meet customer expectations

Their approach resulted in reduced development assessment schedules which took, on average, half of the statutory timeframe. The refocusing of resources and processes ensured times for turnaround of applications were not only met but exceeded. Average times of 10 days were achieved compared to the stipulated 20 days in applications not subject to public notification.

This award recognises an approach that now sees the City of Unley being engaged by external organisations and other councils who have not experienced the same success transitioning to the new planning code, to provide our experience and assist them in business improvement. There is also interest from state planning agencies due to this project’s success.

The City of Unley garnered the award against two other worthy finalists - City of Adelaide’s Election Project team who created a voting eligibility checker tool, and the City of Charles Sturt’s Community Connections team for their work on the Ngutungka West Lakes Library and Community Hub.