urban planning
The WA Government is currently entering the next stage of planning reform. Image – Henry Thai.
  • UDIA welcomes the WA Government's process in planning reform
  • UDIA has called for a state referral coordination process

Adding to the positive response from the Property Council of Australia (PCA), the Western Australian division of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) has also welcomed the State Government’s consultation process on the next stage of planning reforms.

Tanya Steinbeck, UDIA WA CEO, said it is critical to implement a simpler and clearer planning system while making sure all stakeholders have confidence in the statutory process.

“This state government has worked hard to implement tangible improvements to the system including increasing the transparency of Development Assessment Panels (DAPs) and introducing the new Significant Development Pathway,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We are very pleased to see that the Special Matters Development Panel will be established to consider State-significant developments moving forward.”

“Perth is a growing and evolving city and enabling quality projects to proceed through the system in a streamlined and timely manner is beneficial to local communities, our economy and all importantly, affordability.”

Tanya Steinbeck, UDIA WA CEO

Ms Steinbeck said she expects consultation to reveal the broader community supports planning for Perth to facilitate a growing population, including appropriate infill areas and activity centres.

“Perth is a maturing city and it is time we heard from as many people as possible about the system in place to guide that growth, rather than just a vocal minority, which is often the case currently.”

“Consultation will provide an opportunity for the community to provide feedback as well as build a greater understanding of the decision making processes and what is involved currently.”

Ms Steinbeck has praised Planning Minister Rita Saffioti for her excellent leadership within planning reform, especially since the pandemic began last year.

The UDIA has announced it supports a state referral coordination process that allows State agency, utility and department referrals to be coordinated for significant development applications.

“Lack of coordination between government agencies and other stakeholders such as utilities and local governments consistently causes unnecessary delays that just end up adding to the end price of housing for consumers,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“An overarching structure that oversees that coordination is vital to achieve efficiency, transparency and timeliness.”

“We need to see local governments with consistent processes, adhering to statutory time frames and transparently reporting on their performance,” Ms Steinbeck concluded.

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