State Meeting Outcomes for the Charitable Sector

By Noel Grummitt
Principal Planner

I wish to thank our amazing clients and colleagues in the charitable sector for their inputs and encouragement for my recent meeting with State Government.

The meeting with State Government was quite incredible and very encouraging. Noel met with 2 of the very senior planning staff responsible for the statewide planning provisions and the head of department, James Coutts, was the son of a Methodist minister when growing up, so was very aware of the complexity of activities involved with Churches and community groups.

We worked on some word changes that would make the ancillary activities of churches and community groups, undertaken as part of their core community services, to be included in the Place of Worship or Community Use land use definitions, which should mean that the separate applications that some organisations have to undertake for food banks, Op shops etc., will not be necessary. They undertook to review the provisions for the Community Purposes Zone to open the zone up for the broader community sector, not just government, and the definitions for churches and the wider community sector to make their processes easier and cheaper.

The meeting was positive, so we are trusting for a positive outcome into the future for the community service / not-for-profit (NFP) providers of our society. I also has another phase of work with Gold Coast Council in their new planning scheme in the new year to facilitate the sector’s activities, so shall make you aware of progress on that also.

May we thank you again for your encouragement and wish you, our valued colleagues in this sector, the wisdom and fortitude required as you stand with the voiceless of our communities