Ideas to transform WA’s planning system

Planning red tape is costing Western Australia’s economy millions of dollars each year, but a new report from the Property Council of Australia provides 36 ideas to transform planning – ensuring the system delivers for industry and the community.

Against a backdrop of evolving community expectations, stretched resources, development constraints and COVID-19, the Property Council has launched Planning to Deliver: Ideas to transform the Western Australian Planning System.

The report responds to the WA Government's call in June for submissions on planning reform which would enhance transparency and consistency and reduce red tape.

Modelling prepared by the Property Council has estimated that savings in red tape costs would exceed $80 million if they were to equal just one per cent of the value of building permits in the first six months of 2021.

“We must reinvent and reframe our built environment to meet the challenges of a changing world. Progress can only occur where the planning systems underpinning our built environment supports innovation and encourages new investment,” says Property Council WA Executive Director, Sandra Brewer.

“A robust, well-resourced planning system empowers decision-makers to analyse the potential of projects with confidence while giving the community a clear future vision and channels to contribute to the process.”

Planning to Deliver identifies 36 areas for improvement – including greater certainty, concurrent approvals, stronger implementation of state infill targets and a 'digital first' approach to planning. Ms Brewer says the report also underscores the inherent strengths of the state’s planning system.

"There are many aspects of the planning system that work well. The Western Australian Planning Commission has a clear purpose and approachable people, we have a mature infill policy and leadership from our state government.

“Our governments' collective appetite for planning reform is refreshing, and an unmissable opportunity for us to work together,” she says.

Planning to Deliver provides a clear roadmap for planning reform that will elevate the WA planning system – delivering streamlined processes, empowered decision makers and a state-of-the-art built environment for the community to enjoy.”

“As WA grows, so too will the demands on our planning system. We will need homes, schools, hospitals, retail spaces, ports, transport links and tourism precincts, and our aspiration should be to deliver these efficiently so everyone can benefit,” Ms Brewer concluded.

Media contact:  Emily Young | P 0475 161 328 | E [email protected]

A copy of Planning to Deliver is available to download here.