DOZENS of community groups have gathered at State Parliament to rally against what they believe is a skewed planning system.
The groups include Sunsets Not Skyscrapers, City of Melville Residents and Ratepayers Association, Mount Lawley Society, Gnangara Residents Action Group and Save our Dunes Golden Bay.
Doubleview resident Stuart McDonald, who runs Save Doubleview, a group against the establishment of the International School of WA next to Doubleview Primary School, organised the rally to unite the groups that he believed shared many commonalities.
“We’re all having our own little fights around the city and we’re all losing so the only way is to join together and be a collective voice,” he said.
“You talk to them and you start seeing the same thing.”
Mr McDonald said their issues centred around feeling like community wishes were not being listened to by local and State government planning systems.
He believed phone calls and writing letters expressing their views were not working, and Development Assessment Panel meetings were often “confrontational” and lacked respect for community members.
“(What we want) is that government starts listening and taking our concerns seriously,” he said.
“We want a planning system that plans for the people rather than plans for the developer.”
He wanted public consultation to occur earlier during development applications so the community could point out any issues.
The State Government is undertaking an independent review of the planning system to identify ways to make it more efficient, open and understandable.
Nearly 250 submissions were made in response to a Green Paper released in May and is being reviewed by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage’s reform team.
Planning Minister Rita Saffioti has been contacted for comment.
Full list of groups supporting the rally:
Defending Public Spaces WA
Mount Lawley Society
City of Melville Residents and Ratepayers Association Inc.
Swan Foreshore Protection Association Inc
Save the South Perth Peninsula
Sunsets Not Skyscrapers
Melville Residents Action Group
Friends of the Mount Claremont Oval
Reverse the Education cuts Community & Rural
Save Midland’s Green Heart
Stirling Ratepayers & Residents Group
Joondalup Urban Development Association Inc (JUDA)
Save Our Suburbs
Build Better Burbs
Gnangara Residents Action Group
Woodlands Action Group
Stirling Business Network
Ewen Street Community Group
Save Our Dunes Golden Bay WA
Save Rokeby South
Innaloo Community Group
Bayswater Deserves Bette