Planning reform program in Western Australia - Calls for submissions

26 November 2013

The Department of Planning is progressing the State Government’s reform program for the planning system in Western Australia with the release of the following three documents for public submissions:

Planning Reform Phase Two Discussion Paper
Review of the Planning and Development Act 2005 (PDAct)
Review of the Development Assessment Panels

Submissions for the three Planning Reform documents close on Friday 13 December 2013. Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s Perth office can assist clients interested in making a submission on any of these documents.

Planning Reform Phase Two Discussion Paper

This Discussion Paper has put forward a number of possible reform initiatives to streamline approvals processes and for improvements to the planning system. Some of the initiatives proposed are:

  • Introducing sub-regional structure plans to amend region planning schemes
  • Concurrent rezonings for both region planning schemes and local planning schemes for all types of rezoning amendments
  • Exempting scheme amendments that have no environmental concerns from referral to the EPA
  • Streamlining the amendment process for region planning schemes
  • Introducing a track-based (risk assessment) development assessment model where the assessment process is linked to the level of complexity, scale and likely impact
  • Introduction of a private certification system comparable to the private accredited certification system for building permits.

Review of the Planning and Development Act 2005 (PDAct)

The objectives of this review is to consider the operation and effectiveness of the PDAct and also to open a dialogue with stakeholders on broader reform as part of the Governments reform program. The Report sets out issues and proposals for reform for discussion, but also invites other suggestions for measures to help clarifying , streamlining and improving the planning system.

Among the issues and proposed reforms are the following:

  • Providing a more formal resolution process for clearing subdivision conditions in particular where another authority is to certify compliance
  • Increasing penalties for non-compliance with PDAct requirements
  • Allowing the WAPC some flexibility to deal with an original plan received after the expiration of the prescribed time limits
  • Various provisions to amend and clarify provisions in the PDAct concerning compensation for injurious affection.

Review of the Development Assessment Panels

The Development Assessment Panel (DAP) system was introduced in 2011 to provide a new framework for planning decision making for planning applications for approval of major development. This review analyses statistical data on the operation of the DAP system and outcomes of forums and surveys as to the effectiveness of the DAP system. The Review concludes that the DAP system is meeting the objectives of providing a greater measure of transparency, consistency and reliability in decision- making.


If you would like more information, or seek assistance in making a submission please contact us.

The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.