WA to introduce development assessment panels

By Staff Writer

Major metropolitan infrastructure and development projects in Western Australia will be assessed by expert panels, under a proposed plan to streamline the approvals process.

Under the proposed changes, metropolitan projects valued at more than $2 million will be referred to the assessment panel, along with regional, commercial and retail projects valued at more than $1 million.

WA Planning Minister John Day has released a discussion paper on the new development approval process and called for local government, industry and other stakeholders to make submissions.

He said development assessment panels would provide a single point of contact for the approval of major projects.

“The development assessment panels will focus solely on determining development applications, creating a single and transparent decision-making authority,” he said.

“This is a major part of the Liberal-National Government’s agenda for reform of the State’s approval process.”

He said it would remove duplication between local and regional planning approvals, which was “costly and time consuming for developers, the State Government and local authorities”.

Under the proposal, up to 15 panels would be created throughout the State using a combination of single and joint panels, including three expert members and two local government representatives.

The discussion paper proposed one single development assessment panel for the City of Perth and an additional five joint panels working across multiple metropolitan local government areas.

In regional areas, it is proposed that nine joint panels would be created.

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