City calls for independent review of WA planning system

Media Release 4 August 2016
At the West Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday 3 August 2016, City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty moved a motion to request WALGA to advocate for an independent review of the Western Australian planning system. 

The motion, which was passed at the AGM and will be tabled at WALGA’s State Council Meeting in September 2016, calls for a wide-reaching review that gives consideration to; how the aspirations or values of the community are incorporated into the decision making framework; improvements to the statutory framework, including Local Planning Schemes, that would improve the transparency, certainty and consistency of the decision making process; ensuring that decision making occurs at appropriate levels that promotes good and efficient decisions for the community; ensuring that local governments have a third party right to present local community views to the State Administrative Tribunal; and examines the erosion of the roles of local government in planning for their communities.

“It is encouraging that WALGA endorsed the motion to advocate for an independent review of decision making processes in the WA planning system, including the roles of local government, delegated authorities, Joint Development Assessment Panels and State Administrative Tribunal appeal processes,” Mayor Sue Doherty said.

“An independent, wide-reaching and thorough review of the system will provide opportunities to implement greater transparency, certainty, timeliness and consistency of the decision making process. 

“Two aspects of this review are important – that it be undertaken by experts outside of state government and also to look at other planning systems throughout Australia.

“Decision making in the WA planning system needs to occur at appropriate levels as well as in a proper, timely and efficient manner. It is also critical that the aspirations and values of the community are incorporated into the decision making framework. 

“I acknowledge not all local governments hold a unanimous view of JDAPs and some are of the view that they work for them, therefore calling for an independent review is a way forward where all voices and views can to be listened to.”

“The City of South Perth is committed to work with WALGA and the State Government to achieve the best outcomes for the communities of all local governments.” 

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