Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports

    Bold program of planning reforms continue to streamline process

    21/09/2022 11:40 AM
    • New reforms to provide central direction and strategic guidance for local planning
    • Legislative, regulatory and policy changes streamline processes and cut red tape
    • Successful delivery of Action Plan for Planning Reform creating contemporary system 

    Planning Minister Rita Saffioti has today announced new planning reform initiatives as the State Government's delivery of a modern, efficient system continues.


    In addition to delivering initiatives from the 2019 Action Plan for Planning Reform, the Government is introducing new reforms in response to requests from industry and community consultation.


    These new initiatives include:

    • improved co-ordination, consistency, and transparency of Developer Contributions, including creation of a dedicated unit in the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage;
    • centralised Developer Contribution policy to improve consistency and co-ordination of infrastructure delivery;
    • a centralised process for the management of development assessment
    • referrals to State Government agencies and departments through a State Referral Coordination Unit; and
    • centralised preparation and administration of structure plans at the district or regional level where areas are of key strategic importance and/or have fragmented land ownership. 

    The Western Australian Planning Commission will soon oversee the administration of Developer Contribution Plans prepared under 'State Planning Policy 3.6 - Infrastructure Contributions'. A dedicated team will assist with the streamlining, assessment and implementation of the process and ensuring the plans are well formulated, accurate, fair and reasonable.


    Another initiative will centralise the referrals process, as it is commonly known, streamlining technical advice on complex planning applications that are referred to State Government agencies and local government authorities.


    A streamlined process will support planners in assessing proposals and assist applicants to respond to specific matters arising for new development proposals, which could include environmental, traffic, health and design considerations.


    The State Development Assessment Unit pathway has incorporated a centralised referrals approach which has worked extremely well for referral partners and applicants, and which will now be extended as a staple of the planning system.


    A third new initiative will provide for a more strategic approach to planning our communities through Government-led structure planning, precinct planning and for large land areas where there are significant constraints to development or fragmented land ownership.


    Early reforms from the 2019 Action Plan are complete, others were fast-tracked to support the State's COVID-19 response and economic recovery, and work continues on final reforms in parallel with these new initiatives.


    More details on the achievements to date and future reforms, can be found online at http://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/planning-reform 


    Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:


    "The McGowan Government is delivering an ambitious program of planning reform to create a contemporary planning system that will underpin the future growth of Western Australia.


    "We've introduced new planning policies, improved engagement and consultation practices and implemented new Regulations reducing unnecessary red tape and exempting some development proposals from requiring planning approval.


    "By centralising and co-ordinating key elements of our planning system, we will ensure clear and consistent guidance is provided to users of the system and ensure a strong focus on good design and housing diversity with good amenity is at the centre of future planning and development.


    "We have always sought to put people at the centre of planning - these reforms reflect that approach and have been drawn from community and stakeholder views.


    "We'll continue to work with key stakeholders to scope, test, evaluate and refine these next priorities, and invite the Western Australian community to have their say on individual reform measures through future consultation processes."


    Minister's office - 6552 5500