Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports

    Planning Reform Action Plan to simplify and modernise the system

    13/08/2019 9:00 AM
    • Action Plan aims to support vibrant communities and encourage new businesses
    • Plan outlines 19 initiatives to improve Western Australia's planning system
    • Proposal for a simplified system that removes superfluous processes and red tape
    • Quicker, cheaper approvals for change of use in town centres and high streets

    Planning Minister Rita Saffioti has today released a 19-point plan to simplify and improve Western Australia's planning system.


    The Action Plan for Planning Reform: Better planning better places report was put together to address three key objectives:

    1. Make planning easier to understand and navigate
    2. Make sure planning systems are consistent and efficient
    3. Planning systems need to create great places for people

    The Action Plan is the McGowan Government's response to the Planning Reform Green Paper released in 2018.


    It reflects the McGowan Government's priority to deliver transformational projects such as METRONET and ensure liveable environments, well-connected communities and more housing choice.


    Planning Minister Rita Saffioti and Parliamentary Secretary John Carey have worked with the reform team to ensure key objectives align with policies such as METRONET.


    Initiatives outlined in the plan respond to community and industry concern about inconsistency, transparency, accountability and overly complex red tape.


    The 19 initiatives outlined in the Action Plan includes community-driven proposals, such as:

    • Slashing the number of land zones from over 1000 to less than 300;
    • Development assessment processes are streamlined and outcomes focussed;
    • Abolishing the need for small businesses to apply for change of use in town centres and main streets;
    • Targeted reduction in approval timeframes for low risk planning proposals;
    • State wide consistent community consultation processes for development proposals; and
    • Changes to Development Assessment Panels to boost consistency and transparency

    The next step for the Action Plan requires considerable stakeholder involvement to shape the detail of some of the initiatives and monitor for potential adjustment. More information is available at: https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/planning-reform


    Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:


    "This Action Plan is about the State Government setting the agenda that we want others to follow. That means working with local governments and other stakeholders towards better consistency, less red tape and more transparency.


    "We have listened to long-standing concerns that the planning system needs to be streamlined and that it needs to respond to modern requirements.


    "Our 19 initiatives outlined in our Action Plan are a great start to achieving some of the things we aspire our communities to be - vibrant, sustainable and well-connected.


    "It's also about removing unnecessary impediments that have restrained small businesses, such as change of use applications. Meanwhile, we are introducing measures to better educate the community about what can and can't be built around them.


    "Changes to Development Assessment Panels in particular will ensure decision-making is consistent and robust, and increase community confidence."


    Comments attributed to Parliamentary Secretary John Carey MLA:


    "This is part of a range of recent efforts to create a planning framework that fosters vibrancy, business opportunity and street activation - rather than discouraging it.


    "We can always do better - and this reform process provides a genuine opportunity to lift the performance of our planning system in Western Australia.


    "It's about creating a planning system that takes the community with it through the process, says "yes" to good ideas and responds to varying community needs.


    "Our Action Plan, together with Design WA, will go a long way towards creating positive change in our planning system to create the communities we want in years to come."


    Minister's office - 6552 5500