Anti-DAP mayor defends motion to abolish building approval panels

Anti-DAP mayor defends motion to abolish building approval panels

MOSMAN Park Mayor and Development Assessment Panel (DAP) critic Ron Norris has defended losing his motion to scrap the unelected building approval panels at the WA Local Government Association (WALGA) annual general meeting last Wednesday.

“We still got about 45 per cent of the council to vote against DAPs, and that included an AGM with about 100 country shires which don’t have a direct connection to the issue,’ Mr Norris said.

Community opposition to five-member DAPs comes from the panels having a majority of State Government appointees who can consider proposals more than $2 million resulting in allegedly unwanted, too dense and too high development.

Mr Norris said loss of the motion to scrap DAPs had resulted in many DAP-fearing community groups “realising their councils don’t really support them now”.

He said the Government and the Opposition should realise DAPs was now likely to “explode” as an issue before the State Election in March.

However, Bayswater Mayor Barry McKenna, whose city was overruled by a DAP allowing seven storeys in King William Street, Bayswater, said he was converted to reviewing and not scrapping DAPs after realising neither political party was interested in getting rid of the panels.

WALGA president Lynne Craigie said the AGM’s successful resolutions to change WA planning rules and review DAPs would now be discussed by the association’s State Council, because a majority of councils had shown they wanted a WALGA policy that reflected change.

“Our current audit work on DAP decisions and outcomes over the past five years will also feed in to this discussion and we’ll be seeking a commitment from the planning minister to work with us on addressing any issues that arise from that audit and our members’ feedback,” Ms Craigie said.