Vincent Mayor Carey calls DAP reform ‘window dressing’

Vincent Mayor John Carey has criticised reforms to the controversial Development Assessment Panel process (DAP) that were announced last week.

The Labor candidate for Perth electorate expressed his disappointment on Twitter, calling the reform “window dressing”.

“WA Planning Minister announced reforms today to DAP process is simply window dressing: doesn’t address genuine concerns,” he tweeted.

“We need higher benchmarks across Perth for landscaping and canopy targets in density buildings: local governments are failing.”

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

Planning Minister Donna Faragher announced the reforms in a bid to make it more transparent.

She 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.