Planner's role


The role that planners can play in delivery of a clean energy future is largely dependent on their position and location:

The following matrix identifies some of the tasks involved in the various parts of planning work. When the opportunities presented by the CEF package are integrated with the various tasks undertaken by the broader planning profession it’s clear that there are better links with some tasks than others, the key is to identify the  synergies.

Planning roles

Statutory - public sector

Liaises with: public, applicants (and consultants), courts and tribunal, council decision-makers, referral authorities (e.g. Roads, AEMO, State).

  • Pre-application meetings, request further information, permit conditions
  • Detailed development application assessment
  • Enforces planning scheme (incl. state & local policies)
  • Manages referral processes
  • Planning tribunal representation
  • Customer service, general planning enquiries 

For an example of local government statutory planning teams taking a pro-active flexible approach to development assessment see the The Ecovillage at Currumbin case study (Opens in new tabPDF download)

Statutory - private sector

Liaises with: council officers, council decision-makers, courts and tribunal, clients (private & public sector), other consultants.

  • Planning advice & advocacy on development proposals (incl. renewable energy proposals)
  • olicy & site opportunities review
  • reparation of detailed  proposal
  • Project management, coordinating input of various consultants & stakeholders
  • Planning tribunal representation & expert evidence


Strategic - public sector

Liaises with: applicants (and consultants), council decision-makers, planning panels, state government representatives.

  • Preparation of planning scheme amendments (incl. rezonings)
  • Drafting local policy
  • Development, assessment and approval of structure plans and strategic frameworks
  • Management of major development and urban renewal projects

For an example of local government strategic planning teams developing policy which supports greater environmental performance standards for buildings see the City of Melbourne C187 amendment case study (Opens in new tabPDF download)

Strategic - private sector

Liaises with: council officers, council decision-makers, planning panels, clients (private and public sector), other consultants, state government representatives.

  • Preparation of planning scheme amendments (incl. rezonings)
  • Preparation of structure plans (precinct and activity centre)
  • Masterplanning
  • Strategic frameworks (incl. urban design frameworks)

For an example of private sector strategic planning involvement in delivery of a project see the Cape Paterson EcoVillage case study. (Opens in new tabPDF download)



The planning industry will be affected by the CEF in both the planners’ ability to leverage opportunities created by the CEF into their work and the downstream push from developers looking to take advantage of CEF programs. How planning tasks may integrate with the CEF package depends on the tasks, for example:

Developing planning policy

Policy makers at the state and local level are in a unique position to help endorse the CEF Plan intention and facilitate a clean energy future. The early focus will be on removing existing barriers. then using policy to actively promote and incentivise opportunities to help aligning the policy agenda.  Local government has been particularly active in this space with the development of local policies to encourage more sustainable built form. See CoM case study (internal link)

Growth Area Planning

Growth area planning represents a particular opportunity for delivery of a clean energy future, based on a number of factors. These include the reduced cost associated with alternative energy supply in Greenfield areas when compared with retrofitting existing areas and the ability to integrate alternative energy supply with certainty of future land uses and how development will be staged. Planners who undertake growth area planning wll increasingly consider clean energy alternatives to the traditional electricity grid and could also help integrate urban planning and energy planning processes.

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