CHANGES to the Development Assessment Panel system were gazetted last week and will come into effect on February 1, 2017 to give local governments time to adjust, the West Australian Government announced last week.
Planning Minister Donna Faragher said once the changes took effect, more advance notice would be given for DAP meetings and decisions more clearly communicated to the public.
"These changes will ensure the DAP system remains flexible and responsive to community expectations while continuing to provide the best possible planning outcomes for Western Australia," Ms Faragher said.
"DAPs deliver an additional level of planning expertise in decision making by improving the balance between technical advice and local knowledge.
"These latest changes reflect the focus of the Government's planning reform agenda to simplify the planning system in line with community needs."
According to the government, recent figures indicate that nearly 1,150 DAP applications - with an approximate value of $32 billion - have been received since 2011.
"In the last year, around 150 additional applications have been received representing about $2 billion of potential investment to the State," the Minister said.
"These include those for the proposed Raine Square refurbishment and the Morley Galleria Shopping Centre redevelopment, which incorporates serviced apartments, a new cinema complex and upgrades to the existing bus station.
"With more people using the DAP system it is important that it continues to be accessible and adaptable to benefit all users, while delivering proper and orderly planning for the positive growth of WA."
The DAP system was introduced in 2011 as part of comprehensive reforms to the planning system in Western Australia, and has been reviewed twice since to ensure it remains relevant. The latest changes were announced in October 2016 and are a direct result of feedback from key stakeholders, including local governments, as well as recommendations made through the 2015 State Parliamentary inquiry.
"Their quick implementation represents the Government's commitment to improving the operation and responsiveness of the DAP system," Ms Faragher said.
More information is available from the Department of Planning website at <https://www.planning.wa.gov.au/Development-Assessment-Panels.asp>.