20/09/2005 - 22:00

Frustration behind proposed ‘super agency’

20/09/2005 - 22:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

The state Government proposal to establish a ‘super planning agency’ is seen by many as the result of its frustration with the decision-making processes of local governments in relation to planning issues.

Frustration behind proposed ‘super agency’

The State Government proposal to establish a ‘super planning agency’ is seen by many as the result of its frustration with the decision-making processes of local governments in relation to planning issues.

Although the move was opposed by several local governments, City of Wanneroo deputy Mayor Sam Salpietro said he wasn’t totally against the idea of an overarching planning authority.

“As long as the State Government came in and actually achieved it and had an overall planning template for the coast and inland, but left the details up to local government, we would have nothing against it,” Mr Salpietro told the WA Business News forum.

“The problem with Alannah MacTiernan’s template was that she wanted the hand as well as the arm, and what she was proposing was like an EPRA to cover the whole metro area, which is probably unpalatable.”

Phillips Fox special counsel and former principal of the Town Planning Appeal Tribunal (TPAT), Belinda Moharich, said the numerous different planning policies from local governments unnecessarily compli-cated the process for developers.

“There are 144 local governments in Western Australia and each one of them has at least one town planning scheme,” she said.

“Many have four or five town planning schemes, and each one of them has a different set of rules and standards. Every one of them refers to and incorporates the residential design codes in a different way, so for a developer trying to work across different boundaries, it is a minefield.

“Apart from that, each local government has its own development approval process within its planning scheme, whereas in every other state in Australia it is enshrined in state legislation.

“So at least you have the major framework in there and know that you have to lodge your development approval.

“And you know it is going to be advertised in a certain way, and you know that if you don’t get approval by this stage then you have a deemed right of refusal.

“But in WA you are at the behest of each local government and that is a frustration.”

Ms Moharich said that, during her time at TPAT, people were frequently caught out by not understanding the different processes in each of the local government areas.

The frustrations with local government are widely acknowledged, according to Professor of Transport Studies at Curtin University, Dr Fred Affleck, who said the Government’s recent initiative to establish a larger redevelopment authority was a sign of its policy frustration, and inability to get things to happen when dealing with local governments.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options