City of Stirling could become an anti-DAP ally

STIRLING councillors will decide tonight on whether they will join the City of Vincent in calling for the abolition of contentious Development Assessment Panels (DAPS).

The report said DAPs represented a “significant erosion of planning powers” by elected representatives.

“Some previous decisions made by the Metro North-West JDAP have gone well beyond the purpose, intent and application of relevant Local Planning Policies adopted by the City of Stirling,” the report said. Planning Minister Donna Faragher said she had begun discussions with councils about DAPS.

Ms Faragher said while she was aware of “concerns” over DAPs, the process had been working well.

“There have been over 1000 applications that have gone through the DAP system since it commenced in 2011 and at the end of the day around 94 per cent have been in line with councils recommendations,” she said. “I am already embarking on meeting with local councils.

“I am keen to hear their views not only in relation to DAPS but also other planning matters.

“I’m keen to hear about particular issues and some constructive suggestions on how we might tweak the system.”

The council report supported a push for DAPs to be solely for applications of $20 million or more. Councillor Elizabeth Re, who originally put the motion forward, said DAPs failed to give the community a voice in planning |matters.

“We’ve got unelected people speaking on behalf of elected people and they have got nothing to do with the neighbourhood, they can walk away, they do not get the complaints, our staff are the ones getting the complaints,” Cr Re said at a March 15 council meeting.

The minister did not confirm whether there would be a review of DAPs before the State election.