Leaders of the state government’s planning reform team presented at the Urban Development Institute of Australia’s (UDIA WA) industry luncheon at Crown Perth today, outlining initial ideas for reform and a timeline for consultation.

Member for Perth and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Planning; Lands and Heritage the Hon. John Carey MLA opened with an enthusiastic call for a more strategic and faster approvals process.

“It is encouraging to hear how enthusiastic Mr Carey is about the reform agenda and the government’s commitment to a more compact, connected and liveable city,” UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes said.

“UDIA is hopeful that we are actually going to see some real results stemming from this reform agenda,” Ms Hailes said.

“The industry regularly has to navigate a planning system that is too complex and development applications are expected to adhere to often conflicting and contradictory requirements from a range of government agencies,” Ms Hailes said.

“In particular, land use planning policy is multi-layered, conflicting and often fails to balance the competing demands of environmental, economic and social development effectively,” Ms Hailes said.

Principal of the Planning Reform Team, Evan Jones highlighted several critical issues that need to be addressed in his presentation including the fact we have extended timelines for strategic planning, a poorly connected decision making system and outdated and inconsistent local planning schemes.

“The key themes of the reform program are laudable and we hope that the practicality and common sense approach that was reflected in Evan’s presentation is extend throughout the reform process,” Ms Hailes said.

“UDIA also welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback during the consultation periods that will be available over the next six months,” Ms Hailes said.

“An improved planning system will not only benefit the development industry in terms of delivering projects more efficiently, it will also benefit end consumers who are paying more for land and housing due to the added costs of delays in the system,” Ms Hailes said.

“We also need to see more support for developers to provide a greater diversity of housing in a range of areas that people want to live, Ms Hailes said. “The current system is does not encourage innovation and the Perth region deserves better.”