Team appointed to align WA’s planning system

A planning reform team has been established within the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage Team to deliver improvements to Western Australia’s planning system.

The State Government is committed to creating a more strategic and streamlined planning system that is open and understandable to everyone.

Parliamentary Secretary, John Carey, will work with the reform team to ensure key objectives align with policies such as METRONET.

“Our reform agenda will also seek out quick wins which either reduce red tape, streamline processes or make it easier for any stakeholder – residents, industry or councils – to use planning guidelines for their day-to-day business,” Mr Carey said.

“We can’t simply sit back and say the current planning framework is good enough. We can always do better – and this reform process provides a genuine opportunity to lift the performance of our planning system in Western Australia.”

Minister for Planning, Rita Saffioti, said this reform would aim to establish a line of sight between strategic, city, regional and local plans so that their relationships are clear.

“A good planning system will promote a more compact, connected and liveable city with greater diversity of housing close to public transport.

“We want to empower communities to know what can or cannot be built in their area and ultimately get more people involved in the planning process,” Ms Saffioti said.

These overarching policies will be to strengthen our suburbs by increasing housing choice, boosting public transport and enhancing the built and natural environment.

The reform team will have a range of objectives, which will address community concerns around how planning decisions are made.

Objectives of the planning reform team will include:

  • Making strategic planning the cornerstone of all planning decisions
  • Opening up the planning system so that it is understandable to all
  • Clarifying local and State planning roles and functions of the WA Planning Commission and Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage
  • Responding to community concerns about accountability and transparency of Development Assessment Panels
  • Formally recognising the need for community participation
  • Creating more certainty for industry and cutting red tape
  • Refining developer contribution schemes

The review team will provide regular reports on findings and measures that can be implemented subject to final ministerial endorsement and legislative changes if required.

It is the McGowan Government’s intention for the planning system to address modern requirements of the metropolitan area and regions.

Meanwhile, the position of WA Planning Commission chairperson will be advertised shortly, with the successful appointee to start in 2018. The current chairperson’s term was recently extended to December 31.

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