The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) has welcomed the introduction of a suite of planning reforms by the Minister for Planning today that are aimed at boosting economic activity and driving jobs growth in response to the impact of COVID-19.

In particular, a new mechanism that will prioritise the assessment and approval of Significant Developments has been welcomed by industry.

“The Minister for Planning has shown that she is willing to listen to industry feedback and take action where needed so that we can deliver the critical projects that will support Western Australia’s economic recovery and maintain as many jobs as we can through these challenging times,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said.

“These planning reforms have been several years in the making, with industry consultation continually outlining the issues related to a complex, slow and at times contradictory decision making process,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“The focus on streamlining and recognizing the need for leadership from a Western Australian Planning Commission perspective is to be commended,” Ms Steinbeck said.

In particular, the new mechanism for significant projects will apply to projects with a total value estimated at a minimum of $30 million; or 100 residential dwellings or more; or commercial developments with a minimum 20,000 sqm floor space.

The Premier will also have the power to refer any proposal deemed to be of state significance, which is especially important when considering tourism and regional projects that may not meet all of the criteria.

“UDIA WA has been reinforcing the importance of supporting the property and construction industry and the need for a customised assessment and approval process for developments that drive critical economic outcomes for the State,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“The property and construction industry represents 15% of employment in Western Australia and for every job created there are a further two jobs created in the broader economy,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“These reforms show that the Planning Minister appreciates the importance of our industry and is willing to provide the support needed to keep things moving,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Of course, all developments must adhere to due process to ensure the best outcomes for the community, however due to the complexity of the assessment and approval processes involved particularly in large projects – it is necessary that there is a separate mechanism to ensure the economic outcomes are realised in a timely way,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“This is a really positive outcome for WA, to ensure that development proposals that have an important role to play in rebuilding our economy are treated as a priority.”

“Streamlining approvals processes has been a focus for UDIA WA for many years, and the State Government has made great strides in planning reform thus far. The Minister’s responsiveness to our industry’s concerns is commended, and we stand ready to play our part in delivering high quality developments that will deliver jobs and economic dividends for years to come,” Ms Steinbeck said.

Gemma Osiejak
Executive Manager Communications and Marketing
P: 0421 506 819