The Development Act 1993 (SA) requires the State Government to maintain a Planning Strategy for South Australia. This document is a statement of government policy on desired future directions on a range of economic, social and environmental issues. The Planning Strategy is usually published in two volumes covering Metropolitan Adelaide and the remainder of the State. The concept of an overall strategy is supposed to provide guidance to government agencies and local government in carrying out its various planning functions. Development Plans (usually based on local government boundaries) are required to be consistent with the Planning Strategy.
Because the Planning Strategy is basically an expression of government policy (formed after consultation with Government agencies and the community), it has little practical day to day application and does not affect legal rights or liabilities whether of a substantive, procedural or other nature. Thus, whilst it receives statutory recognition in the Act, it is essentially a non-statutory document and, apart from decisions on major projects (see environmental impact assessment), is not to be taken into account for the purposes of any particular development decision making.
The Development Act 1993 (SA) expressly precludes any legal action being brought on the basis that a Development Plan (or an amendment to one) is inconsistent with the Planning Strategy or that an assessment or decision on an individual development application is inconsistent with the Planning Strategy.