Views differ on DAP threshold

State Planning Minister John Day announced the changes on Tuesday, April 21, dropping the opt-in threshold from $3 million to $2 million and extending the mandatory limit from $7 million to $10 million.

City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said given the City had only had two �opt in� Development Assessment Panel (DAP) applications since the regulations were established, she believed developers were already satisfied with the application process and outcomes.

�That said, we do welcome the increase to the mandatory threshold from $15 million to $20 million, as well as the expansion of the discretionary �opt in� threshold relevant to applications valued between $2 million and $19.9 million,� she said.

However, City of Vincent Mayor John Carey said he did not support the increased threshold.

�Ultimately, it is my belief that the community should determine their future developments,� he said.

�More and more power is being stripped from Local Government. DAPs can take a very laissez-faire approach to developments � developers are continually pushing the envelope.

�I’m greatly concerned by the approach of some developers.�

Applications to the specialist DAP grew by more than 40 per cent between 2011 and 2014, with more than 321 applications received last financial year.

The DAP approved more than 90 per cent of the applications submitted in 2013-14, not including those deferred.

Mr Day said the modified threshold would provide developers with more flexibility and create a more transparent system. �At a community level, the reduction of the opt-in threshold recognises that some smaller-priced developments may benefit from being reviewed by an independent panel,� he said.

Urban Development Institute of Australia chief executive Debra Goostrey welcomed the changes.

�This is not about choosing one approval process above another across the board,� she said. �Rather, it is about increasing the choices that are available to each proponent so that they can make decisions appropriate to their circumstances.� The changes to the DAP threshold came into effect on Friday.