Productivity Commission backs UTF on retail

10 August 2011

This week the Productivity Commission released its draft report: Economic Structure and Performance of the Australian Retail Industry.

The chapter of the report on the planning and zoning draws heavily and directly from the Urban Taskforce research and submissions.


The planning-related recommendations are that:

  • State and territory governments should broaden zoning within and surrounding activity centres to facilitate new retail formats locating in existing business zones.
  • Local governments should significantly reduce prescriptive planning requirements to facilitate new retail formats locating in existing business zones and ensure that competition is not needlessly restricted.
  • Governments should not consider the viability of existing businesses at any stage of planning, rezoning or development assessment processes. Impacts of possible future retail locations on existing activity centre viability (but not specific businesses) should only be considered during strategic plan preparation or major review.
  • Local governments should facilitate more as-of-right development processes to reduce business uncertainty and remove the scope for gaming by competitors.
  • State and territory governments should ensure third-party appeal processes within planning systems include clear identification of appellants and their grounds for appeal and allow courts to award costs against parties found to be appealing for purposes other than planning concerns.
  • State and territory governments should reduce the compliance costs associated with planning systems and development approvals by implementing the leading practices identified in the Commission’s recent benchmarking report on planning, zoning and development assessments.


For the details see chapter 7, from PDF page 241 here.