Second award emphasises planning team's success

Published on 20 November 2023


The second accolade was presented by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) at their 2023 annual awards on Friday 17 November in the Improving Planning Processes category. Team representatives Tim Bourner, Nick Bolton, Sandy Beaton, Michelle Penta, and Don Donaldson attended the event.

Team Leader Planning Don Donaldson said he and the working group were thrilled to have received this follow-up recognition for their efforts.

‘This honour complements the previous award for our team’s achievement in transition to the state’s new planning system, in which we took out the Leadership Excellence in Customer Service category at the Local Government Professionals SA awards earlier this year’ Don said.

The Transitioning to the PDI Act project demonstrates a considered, structured approach to improving the City of Unley’s service standards during South Australia’s implementation of the Planning Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

The citation by the Planning Institute for this latest award included the following statements:

‘The transition team took the unique opportunity presented by the Act’s implementation to undertake a broad review of their existing process and to implement change, setting an example for local government authorities across the state.’

‘These changes resulted in the team being able to consistently meet legislative time-frames, reduce customer complaints and receive regular positive feedback.’

‘This project can be successfully transferred to other assessment authorities and shows how leadership and creative thought in planning can help to address challenging tasks.’

‘The Council’s pro-active and systems-oriented preparation for a transition to a complex new planning system is a standout performance, not just in improving planning processes but in managing change within local government.’

The team was the focus of a video recording the process produced by Bee Squared, a consulting company specialising in business and process improvement, who assisted our team in the transition, guiding them in strategy, service review and change management.

Watch the short video: