High time for DAPs’ re­form

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion - Jon Bassett - reporter

PLAN­NING Min­is­ter Donna Faragher says 94 per cent of devel­op­ment as­sess­ment panels’ (DAPs) de­ci­sions fol­low coun­cil rec­om­men­da­tions. That means 6 per cent do not, po­ten­tially caus­ing coun­cil, ratepayer and voter ire. It is not just the ob­vi­ous, such as un­wanted high rise, but al­low­ing some less glam­orous projects such as re­fur­bish­ing shop­ping cen­tres or sub­di­vi­sions in places al­ready thought to be crowded. These more mun­dane de­ci­sions also ag­gra­vate communities. Some sort of DAP re­form should ad­dress this. What Ms Faragher also does not say is that coun­cil plan­ning schemes now fol­low rules and guides set by State Gov­ern­ment plan­ning, which many re­gard as al­low­ing DAP-friendly de­ci­sions. While vot­ers must un­der­stand their coun­cils now have far less power, if they want DAP re­form the time is be­tween now and the March State Elec­tion.

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