Swing from panels gains support

THE swing against Development Assessment Panels (DAPs) that started with the City of Vincent’s motion this month to abolish DAPs is gaining traction.

However, Planning Minister John Day lashed out at the City, and other local governments that have followed suit, in an address to the Legislative Assembly on March 17.

Mr Day said Vincent did not put in a submission in the reviews of DAPs.

“I think there is a bit of political opportunism going on the part of some, Mr Speaker,” Mr Day said, hinting at Mayor John Carey’s State political campaign for Labor.

“It is interesting that the City of Vincent has not raised any concerns about DAPs with me.

“It has not put in a submission in the review.”

Mr Carey said the last review of DAPs was in 2013, when there was much less community agitation over the assessment panel system.

“I think it’s a bit silly to say that,” Mr Carey said.

“Maybe if it was just Vincent and no other councils – but I don’t think it’s appropriate to target Vincent.

“Since then it (the issues) have grown. In the last year there has been much greater scrutiny of DAPs.”

Mr Carey said if he had to choose to stand with ratepayers or developers, he would always choose ratepayers.

“A number of councils are expressing issues,” he said.

“It is the ratepayers of the community telling us they have problems with it.

“I am happy to stand on the side of ratepayers rather than with developers.”

The City of Vincent’s motion has called for the abolition of DAPs because they are made up of unelected membership, not democratic bodies.