THE State should start planning for a second city that is not Bunbury, as well as a second international airport, according to the WA Planning Commission.

WAPC chairman David Caddy, speaking to an Urban Development Institute of Australia WA function about the short-term planning agenda — including implementing Metronet, overhauling the State’s strategic planning regime and improving transparency and communication — said it was important to identify a site for a second city and a curfew-free second international airport.

Unlike Sydney and Melbourne, Perth did not have an airport curfew, but the pace of urban development meant this would not last.

In making the case for a second international airport in 30 to 50 years, Mr Caddy said WA needed to plan to make the most of economic opportunities as a fresh-food producer, in tourism and in international education.

“Sixty per cent of the world’s population will be living in the same time zone as WA,” he said.

He said the State’s current share of international students, in one example, 800 of the 18,000 Indonesian students in Australia, was “a sad indictment”.

On food production, he said WA’s vast agricultural lands and sound food production policies gave it a significant strategic edge as a major “clean” food supplier, particularly for Asia.

He reiterated his commitment to good planning as a fundamental element of creating the right conditions for economic growth.

“Without doubt the way we do business is an impediment to the future of orderly and proper planning growth,” he said.

A review of WA’s convoluted planning system, led by independent planner Evan Jones, has set itself the task of creating a streamlined approach to land use and planning so that most “difficult” steps were resolved prior to development.

“This will improve the timeliness of later development steps because many of the important decisions will have been resolved prior to development and rezoning proposals being put forward,” Mr Caddy said.

“Importantly, this will facilitate collaboration with local communities to identify their goals and aspirations for the future leading to, hopefully, a consensus of how land should be used to achieve those goals.

“This integrated big picture approach will be crucial to the efficient delivery of government priorities.”

Mr Caddy alluded also to controversy about new planning schemes being negotiated in Nedlands and Subiaco.

“I am open to negotiation,” he said in reply to a question from Nedlands mayor Max Hipkins.

“As far as the ‘urban blight’ or ‘planning blight’ as you called it, obviously the take up of density is not compulsory.”

He said he would be looking “quite carefully” at the town planning schemes for the City of Nedlands and the City of Subiaco and had called for a briefing on both.