Property Council of Australia report

Media Response 9 September 2016

Background: The Property Council of Australia’s ‘Benchmarking Perth’s Local Government Report’ was released on 8 September 2016. The report rates local governments based on their strategic and statutory planning performance. The following questions were received from the Southern Gazette newspaper.

Please attribute the following quotes to City of South Perth Deputy Mayor Glenn Cridland.

Is the City of South Perth disappointed with its ranking?
The City is pleased to see that in terms of delegated approvals and percentage of applications dealt with in 60 days, our scores are 97.2% and 88.5% respectively, which shows a high level of efficiency in development approvals.

Why does the council believe it has ranked quite poorly?
The poor ranking does not reflect poor performance. Rather the test measures used are not a good guide to planning performance assessment. The quality of planning schemes, decision making and local strategies and how they fit with community expectations is far more important than the date on which the scheme or strategy were first made. The City has been working on developing its Local Planning Strategy for some time. The Strategy is not yet endorsed and the ranking in the report merely reflects that.

Why is the planning scheme so old?
Again, the date of the scheme is not as important a matter as is the quality of the scheme and how the scheme meets the requirements and aspirations of the local community - including protecting amenity, character and streetscape. Seventeen of the local governments who responded to the survey have older Town Planning Schemes than the City of South Perth. The scheme is kept under constant and continual review - proposed changes go out to community consultation and after council consideration are sent on to the Western Australian Planning Commission and Minister for final determination. New amendments are considered by Council on a regular basis, often several times a year, to improve the overall performance of development control, meet changing community expectations and State Government directives (eg greater infill), to introduce new strategic development precincts, such as the Canning Bridge Activity Centre and also occasionally to deal with individual properties.

Will the score affect the way the council is run?
The City will examine the recommendations of the report and consider and identify areas where improvements can be made.

Anything else to add?
Given that most of the recommendations are directed at the Department of Planning, Western Australian Planning Commission and State Government, who it should always be remembered have the final sign off or veto on local government planning scheme changes, there is less scope for improvement at local government level than there is at State Government.

Media contact

For media enquiries, please contact the City’s Communications Officer.