THE West Australian Government has announced the appointment of a planning reform team, led by highly experienced town planner Evan Jones, to deliver improvements to the state's planning system.
In a statement, Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said the State Government is committed to creating a more strategic and streamlined planning system that is open and understandable to everyone.
"Through this reform, we will aim to establish a line of sight between strategic, city, regional and local plans so that their relationships are clear. A good planning system will promote a more compact, connected and liveable city with greater diversity of housing close to public transport," Ms Saffioti said.
Parliamentary Secretary John Carey will work with the reform team to ensure key objectives align with policies such as METRONET. These overarching policies will be to strengthen suburbs by increasing housing choice, boosting public transport and enhancing the built and natural environment.
The reform team will have a range of objectives, which will address community concerns around how planning decisions are made. These objectives include:
- Making strategic planning the cornerstone of all planning decisions;
- Opening up the planning system so that it is understandable to all;
- Clarifying local and State planning roles and functions of the WA Planning Commission and Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage;
- Responding to community concerns about accountability and transparency of Development Assessment Panels;
- Formally recognising the need for community participation;
- Creating more certainty for industry and cutting red tape; and
- Refining developer contribution schemes.
The review team will provide regular reports on findings and measures that can be implemented subject to final ministerial endorsement and legislative changes if required.
Meanwhile, the position of WA Planning Commission chairperson will be advertised shortly, with the successful appointee to start in 2018. The current chairperson's term was recently extended to December 31.