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Labor promises to cut property red tape

THE WA Labor party has promised to streamline the bureaucracy surrounding property development and reduce red tape if it won government at the next State election.

“We would be looking at simplifying the current multi-layered planning system,” Shadow Planning and Transport Minister Alannah MacTiernan told a recent Committee for Economic Development of Australia luncheon.

“For a start we would like to reduce the number of development control matters that are required to go before the WA Planning Commission after having approval by local authorities.

“This would reduce costs to Government but also costs to business as holding costs would also be reduced.

“We are also going to make the Town Planning Appeals Tribunal a far more flexible body and give them strict time lines for decision making and again providing more certainty in terms of the time line for the development sector.”

Ms MacTiernan said the Department’s of Transport, Planning and Mains Road all had different barrels to push which did not always lead to the best outcome.

Under Labor, these departments would be amalgamated to form the Department of Infrastructure which would take a holistic view of the transport needs.

“This will deliver a better coordination between land use and transport planning and will ensure that the public transport strategy of one agency and indeed of the Government are not being undermined by the road construction agendas of another agency,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“It will allow for a more strategic approach to be adopted in developing transport infrastructure so instead of having for example road funds we would have transport funds.”

Ms MacTiernan said there would be four themes in Labor’s planning policy.

“Firstly, we will be taking a holistic view, secondly, streamlining the bureaucracy, thirdly involving the community and fourthly and most passionately turning the plan into a reality,” she said.

Opposition Leader Geoff Gallop also risks putting the Property Council off side with comments playing down the role of the City in WA’s economic future.

Responding to a question from City of Perth Planner Max Hipkins about Labor’s vision for Perth, Dr Gallop said he was interested in the City centre but was much more passionate about the outer suburbs and regional WA.

“I’m interested in the City Centre, I think its important but I think the obsession the Government has and its expenditure priorities towards a few square kilometres of real estate is way out of proportion with the needs of WA.

“I do believe that one of the weaknesses of this Government is that when it talks tourism it talks CBD and I have learnt from moving around the State.

There are huge infrastructure issues not being addressed in terms of our tourism needs there are many development projects which need to be addressed outside of our CBD.”

The Property Council has long been advocating the need for Government’s to recognise the importance of the CBD in WA’s economic development.

Premier Richard Court, speaking at a Property Council luncheon recently reaffirmed his commitment to the development of the City.

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