Perth: Community groups rally at State Parliament for planning changes

Community groups from across Perth gathered at State Parliament today to call for more consideration to be given to community concerns. Picture: Jess Wariner.
Community groups from across Perth gathered at State Parliament today to call for more consideration to be given to community concerns. Picture: Jess Wariner.

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:

Save Doubleview

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 Subi

Save Rokeby South

Innaloo Community Group

Bayswater Deserves Bette