Development assessment panel reforms announced by Planning Minister

PLANNING Minister Donna Faragher has announced reforms to the controversial Development Assessment Panel process (DAP) in a bid to make it more transparent.

DAPs have long drawn criticism from local governments and community groups across Perth.

Mrs Faragher said the changes were due to feedback from stakeholders, including local governments, and suggestions made through the 2015 State Parliamentary inquiry.

“The system has been comprehensively reviewed twice in the last five years and today’s changes will ensure DAPs continue to provide the best planning outcomes possible for WA,” she said.

“More information will be available around reasons for decisions, to ensure that the decision-making process is clearly communicated and can be better understood.”

“Local governments will also be required to contact each person who has provided a written submission to a development proposal in their area, to let them know when the relevant DAP meeting will take place.”

Other changes include providing an option to opt out of a DAP in favour of local government for developments, such as industrial warehouses, that will not “significantly impact local amenity”.

DAP agendas will be published at least seven days before a meeting instead of the current five days and more governance support will be provided to DAP members and local governments.

DAP presiding members will now be able to intervene if parties disagree about the level of information that has been provided for an application. The minister will now be able to remove DAP members who do not undertake appropriate training.