Coun­cils back call for change to DAP

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STREET WATCH -

A NUM­BER of coun­cils have wel­comed the WA Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion’s de­ci­sion to lobby for changes to the De­vel­op­ment Assess­ment Pan­els (DAP) sys­tem fol­low­ing ques­tions about com­mu­nity in­volve­ment in de­ci­sion mak­ing.

WALGA’s State Coun­cil agreed on Septem­ber 9 to sup­port a push for changes to WA’s plan­ning sys­tems.

The de­ci­sion fol­lows sup­port for a City of South Perth mo­tion for an in­de­pen­dent re­view of the DAPs and the State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal dur­ing the WA Lo­cal Govern­ment AGM on Au­gust 3.

WALGA pres­i­dent Lynne Craigie said the up­com­ing state elec­tion pre­sented a valu­able op­por­tu­nity to change a flawed DAP sys­tem.

“WALGA’s five-year re­view of the DAP has proven that the cur­rent sys­tem has a num­ber of fail­ings,” she said.

“These in­clude ex­ceed­ing leg­is­lated time­frames for de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion out­comes, run­ning in­ef­fi­cient meet­ings and deal­ing with small-scale de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions rather than pro­jects that af­fect the state.

“The sug­gested changes will deal with these fail­ings and im­prove the sys­tem.”

City of South Perth chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ge­off Glass said the coun­cil sup­ported a WALGA-led cam­paign that lob­bied for changes to DAPs.

“As a Coun­cil and City we hope the cam­paign will pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­ple­ment greater trans­parency, cer­tainty, time­li­ness and con­sis­tency of the de­ci­sion mak­ing process,” he said.

“The City would like to see a wide-reach­ing re­view of not just DAPs but the en­tire WA Plan­ning Sys­tem that gives con­sid­er­a­tion to how the as­pi­ra­tions or values of the com­mu­nity are in­cor­po­rated into the de­ci­sion-mak­ing frame­work.

“Given the loom­ing March 2017 State elec­tion we would ex­pect WALGA to be seek­ing bi-par­ti­san sup­port for any changes to the DAP sys­tem.”

Plan­ning Min­is­ter Donna Faragher said DAPs were work­ing “ex­cep­tion­ally well” and had added sig­nif­i­cant value to the plan­ning sys­tem.

“DAPs rep­re­sent a ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion to the state’s econ­omy and there are no plans to abol­ish the ex­ist­ing sys­tem but I re­main open to sug­ges­tions re­gard­ing im­prove­ments,” she said.

Town of Vic­to­ria Park chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer An­thony Vuleta said the coun­cil agreed with the changes out­lined by WALGA.

“There are a num­ber of fur­ther changes to the DAP sys­tem that the Town would like to see,” he said.

“Most notably equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion be­tween lo­cal govern­ment and spe­cial­ist mem­bers, train­ing of DAP mem­bers on is­sues rel­e­vant to the lo­cal govern­ment and its strate­gic plan­ning di­rec­tion, and meet­ing times and pro­ce­dures be­ing mod­i­fied to al­low in­creased com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion.”

The DAP sys­tem needs change to clar­ify gov­er­nance is­sues and for process im­prove­ments, ac­cord­ing to the City of Bel­mont.

“As with any sys­tem there is room for im­prove­ment and these will ben­e­fit all stake­hold­ers im­pacted by the DAP process,” act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Neville Deague said.

“WALGA should be ad­vo­cat­ing a re­view of the en­tire plan­ning process sys­tem.

“It should also be re­quir­ing the WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion to en­force the pro­vi­sions of the Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Act for those lo­cal gov­ern­ments which fail to meet their statu­tory re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.”

Vic­to­ria Park CEO An­thony Vuleta.

Plan­ning Min­is­ter Donna Faragher.

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