Motion on panels deferred

The original motion from Councillor Janet Powell called on the City to write to the Planning Minister to conduct a review into the operation and structure of DAPs.

Cr Powell said a number of local governments were up in arms over the system because the poor results of the planning body’s decisions were starting to show.

DAPs were introduced in 2011 and take power away from local governments to decide on developments worth $10 million or more.

An increasing number of DAP applications have arisen as the WA government embarks on an urban infill program to cater for the state’s population growth.

Council voted 8-1 to defer the decision to write to the Planning Minister, Chairman of WA Planning Commission and the Director General Department of Planning about a DAP review.

The reason for the deferral was for council to better articulate its concerns on DAPs at an information forum.

Last week, Southern Gazette revealed all six council administrations – except Canning – in the Central Metro Joint Develop Assessment Panel zone had concerns over the planning body.

A number of other local governments also voted last week on motions about reviewing the DAP system.

Cr Powell cited two recent examples in City of Belmont where DAP decisions had resulted in poorer outcomes.

She said a public art contribution, required by policy, was not imposed on the St John Ambulance on Cowcher Place, because it was a not- for-profit organisation.

“It is inappropriate to allow non-planning issues to free certain developments from obligations,” she said.

“We need a consistent approach over all developments.

A two-storey office block at the corner of Belmont Avenue and Great Eastern Highway got approval for a 20sq m sign which has not complied with local laws for more than 30 years.

Cr Powell said council policy was disregarded and the JDAP approved the building and the sign.