sandra brewer
Sandra Brewer said it is vital to deliver planning reform that benefits both industry and community. Image – LinkedIn and Canva.
  • The report comes after the WA called for submissions in June
  • Red tape cuts could save $80M
  • Property Council acknowledges aspects of the state's planning system work well

Unnecessary red tape in the planning system puts a burden on the Western Australian economy in the tens of millions, a new report from the Property Council of Australia (PCA) has revealed.

To counteract this, the Planning to Deliver: Ideas to transform the Western Australian Planning System report has provided 36 ideas it says have the potential to transform planning, ensuring a system that delivers for both industry and the community.

The report comes as the Western Australian government called for submissions in June regarding planning reform that could enhance transparency and consistency, while reducing red tape.

Modelling conducted by the PCA has estimated $80 million of savings could be made by cutting red tape costs – equal to 1% of the value of all building permits recorded during the first six months of this year.

“We must reinvent and reframe our built environment to meet the challenges of a changing world. Progress can only occur where the planning systems underpinning our built environment support innovation and encourage new investment,” said Property Council WA Executive Director, Sandra Brewer.

“A robust, well-resourced planning system empowers decision-makers to analyse the potential of projects with confidence while giving the community a clear future vision and channels to contribute to the process.”

Sandra Brewer, Property Council

The 36 areas for improvement include greater certainty, concurrent approvals, stronger implementation of infill targets and an approach to planning that is more “digital-first”.

Ms Brewer said the report also underscores the inherent strengths of the WA planning system.

“There are many aspects of the planning system that work well. The Western Australian Planning Commission has a clear purpose and approachable people, we have a mature infill policy and leadership from our state government,” she said.

She added that the government’s appetite for reform is refreshing, and is a good opportunity for the PCA to work with the WA government.

Planning to Deliver provides a clear roadmap for planning reform that will elevate the WA planning system – delivering streamlined processes, empowered decision makers and a state-of-the-art built environment for the community to enjoy.”

“As WA grows, so too will the demands on our planning system. We will need homes, schools, hospitals, retail spaces, ports, transport links and tourism precincts, and our aspiration should be to deliver these efficiently so everyone can benefit,” Ms Brewer concluded.

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