- Job-creating planning reforms pass through both houses of State Parliament
- Western Australia's planning system to undergo a once-in-a-lifetime reform
- Major planning reforms fast tracked to help support COVID-19 economic recovery
- Reforms will cut red tape, help create jobs and get the economy moving again
The McGowan Government's historic planning reforms, which will bring a once-in-a-lifetime change to the current planning system, have passed through State Parliament.
The majority of these reforms are the culmination of three years of extensive consultation, which are now being urgently brought forward to support the wider economic response to the pandemic, protect Western Australian jobs and create new job opportunities.
Now that the legislation has been passed, a new development application process will be immediately introduced to support significant, job-creating projects for the next 18 months to provide immediate support for the State's economic recovery.
As part of negotiations with minor parties, a number of changes have been made to the original legislation including the definition of a significant development.
A significant development will now be defined as:
- development proposals with an estimated cost of $20 million or more in the metropolitan region; or
- development proposals with an estimated cost of $5 million in areas outside the metropolitan region (excludes warehouses).
This model will ensure that large and complex developments receive a State co-ordinated approach with referral agencies and streamlined assessment processes to ensure job creating projects can start as soon as possible.
The legislative reforms will be supported by changes to planning regulations and State planning policies, and add to the launch of Design WA policies last year which prioritise the importance of good design in planning and development.
The McGowan Government is continuing to engage with local government on the reforms with the Western Australian Local Government Association invited to nominate members for three reference groups to shape specific regulation reform measures.
More than 25 proposed amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 have been identified which relate to local planning frameworks - including planning schemes and policies - structure and precinct planning and development applications processes and consultation.
The majority of the proposed amendments are part of the State Government's Action Plan on Planning Reform and follow three years of consultation to remove barriers in the planning system, provide greater clarity and consistency for users of the system and reduce the administrative burden on the State's 139 local governments.
To assist with the assessment of development applications through the new "significant development' pathway a new team is being established within the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage to support the Western Australian Planning Commission with its temporary decision-making role.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Our historic planning reforms have now passed through the Parliament and will shortly become law.
"These reforms will cut red tape, create local jobs and help drive economic activity following COVID-19.
"By introducing new laws to simplify the planning system Western Australians will be able to better navigate the system. This will help get more people onto new developments and into jobs that help build and benefit local communities.
"Now the legislation has been passed, a new development application process will be immediately introduced to support significant, job-creating projects for the next 18 months to provide immediate support for Western Australia's economic recovery."
Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:
"We have worked hard to put together a strong package of planning reforms that will immediately respond to the economic challenges ahead and I am proud that we have passed this important legislation.
"Innovation and growth thrives when the right systems are in place to support them. Our planning reform package sets the foundation for businesses to overcome barriers and jobs to be created.
"We have already moved to establish a team in the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage to support the Western Australian Planning Commission with its temporary decision-making role, while also continuing to engage with local government on the drafting of supporting regulations.
"The changes to the planning system this legislation and associated regulatory and policy changes will bring, combined with our major road and rail infrastructure projects, will help create jobs and drive the State's economy."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Planning Minister's office - 6552 5500