Planning bodies facing review
A POTENTIAL review of WA’s planning systems has been welcomed by the City of South Perth and Town of Victoria Park as a win for the community.
The City of South Perth put forward a motion during the WA Local Government AGM on August 3 for an independent review of the Development Assessment Panels and the State Administrative Tribunal, which was supported by the other councils.
WALGA will now lobby the State Government to review the planning bodies following concerns both organisations were lacking transparency into decision-making and not including enough input from the community.
South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty said it was encouraging that the motion was endorsed and an independent review of the WA planning system could be undertaken.
“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,” she said.
“Two aspects of this review are important – that it be undertaken by experts outside of State Government and to look at other planning systems throughout Australia.”
Ms Doherty said it was important that the values of the community was incorporated into the decision making process.
“I acknowledge not all local governments hold a unanimous view of DAPS and some are of the view that they work for them; so calling for an independent review is a way forward where all voices and views can be listened to,” she said.
Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said he was pleased with the recommendation for a review because he believed the community should be listened to in relation to matters that went through DAPS or SAT.
“I don’t think it’s fair that the DAPS are made up of three people from specialist members and two councillors – it should be equal,” he said. “I don’t think the community is getting enough say or influence so I’m hoping the Government see some sense and hold the review.”