Media Statement: Shire of Mundaring Response to WA Government Proposed Planning Reforms

Published on Friday, 10 March 2023 at 2:19:53 PM

Following the McGowan Government’s announcement of planning reforms on Wednesday 22 February 2023, and recent reporting of this matter, Shire of Mundaring wishes to clearly state its position in regards to the reforms.

The Shire has long held the position that it does not support Development Assessment Panels (DAPs) in their current form, as they do not provide equal representation between professional planners and the community’s elected representatives.

Commencing in March 2018 the Shire has advocated with the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) for increased local government membership on DAPs.  This would mean there is equality of representation on the DAP to ensure the community’s views and concerns are appropriately represented. The Shire supports the advocacy position taken by the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) in this regard.

Notwithstanding this clear position, it is anticipated that the changes to be made to the DAP process as a result of the recently announced planning reforms are unlikely to have any significant implications for the Shire because of the approximately 364 planning applications received each year, only one or two are DAPs.

In addition to the changes proposed regarding DAPs, the announced planning reforms include the introduction of Medium Density Codes. It is considered that these codes will allow for improved energy efficient residential development, more trees and useable landscaped gardens, among other things.  This is consistent with the intentions and purpose of the Shire’s local planning and environment framework.  These new policy provisions will allow for good quality development which will benefit residents.

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