Town Planning and Related Services

Town Planning and Related Services

C026_16 - Expires 30/March/2020 Danielle Buitenhuis Procurement Specialist 9213 2009


 WALGA operates a suite of non-mandatory Preferred Supplier Arrangements (PSA’s) for its members.

To build our communities and regulate our urban development, Local Government undertakes a range of diverse planning tasks and responsibilities under Statutory delegation that require technical expertise and knowledge. Urban and Regional Planners apply a set of planning skills, draw upon a knowledge base, and use a variety of tools to facilitate and influence the way that the built environment is arranged spatially, connected and used.

Local Government in Western Australia also currently manage, maintain and renew $28 billion dollars of assets and infrastructure, much of which features within the growth and development of town precinct’s and revitalisation projects. 

Local Governments often require external services of an advisory and operational nature to support their technical services. Town Planning consultancy services are often procured to support Local Government Town Planning activities within specific projects, and to assist with the creation of additional capacity within Local Government workflows. 

Under the WALGA PSA’s Local Government can access Suppliers directly, without the need to independently tender. Through its Panel of Preferred Suppliers for Town Planning Consultancy and Related Services, WALGA aims to undertake a pre-qualification and due diligence process on behalf of its Members.  

Suppliers appointed to the WALGA panel will demonstrate high levels of expertise and competence, experience, knowledge and understanding of contemporary Local Government planning needs, and high service standards with the sector. 



In recent years, Governments internationally have sought to modernise planning systems to meet the evolving needs of the twenty-first century; the development of global economies and rapid urban population growth.

During the years since the current WA planning system was introduced, the system has been incrementally modified and adapted to meet this ever changing environment. 

Over time, this has led to the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments agreeing to broad reform of planning systems and regulations to ensure Australian planning systems are efficient, responsive and appropriate.   Local Government Planning Improvement Program

WALGA’s State Council has committed to improving Local Governments involvement in planning through development and implementation of a Local Government planning and development improvement program. The goal is to ensure Local Government effort, guidance, processes and regulations are applied where they are effective. Policy and procedure should be proportionate to the issues and facilitate good planning outcomes whilst increasing business efficiency, customer service and community satisfaction. 

WALGA’s State Council endorsed an Action Plan to establish a Planning Improvement Program specifically for the local government sector, with the key mission of:-

“Ensuring better outcomes through consistency and efficiency”.

The Planning Improvement Program is based on local government’s planning aspirations for:

  • Planning Improvements to be led by Local Government, not reform;

  • Improving the quality of planning decisions, not just efficiency;

  • Assisting in knowledge, information and experience sharing; and

  • The program to be inclusive and integrated.   State Government Planning Reform

The WA Planning Commission (WAPC) is the statutory authority with statewide responsibilities for urban, rural and regional land use planning and land development matters. The WAPC responds to the strategic direction of government and is responsible for the strategic planning of the State. The Planning and Development Act, 2005 (section 16) provides for the delegation of the functions of the WAPC by resolution to a member, committee, officer of the WAPC, public authority or a Local Government. 

The State Government launched its comprehensive reform program Planning Makes it Happen: a blueprint for planning reform in September 2009. These reform initiatives aim to improve the planning system in Western Australia. Implementation of the reforms included amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2005, undertaken in 2010, as well as the delivery of several other non-legislative reforms. 



The overall objectives of the Town Planning Consultancy and Related Services PSA are:

  • To gain access to professional services for Town Planning knowledge, experience and advice

  • Increased capacity for Local Government to support service delivery

  • Increased effectiveness and consistency in achieving agreed service levels

  • Simplification of procurement process to access Town Planning consultancy services

  • Support of Local Government compliance

  • Delivery of high quality consultancy contracts

  • Mitigation of contractual risk

The Planning Institute of Australia includes in its Registered Planner Benchmark the following indicators for developing, maintaining and applying a professional knowledge of the far-reaching issues affecting and shaping our wider community. These specifically include, but are not limited to:  

  • Climate change and Resilience
  • Economic development

  • Environmental sustainability

  • Healthy lifestyles and liveability

  • Heritage and culture

  • Native Title Rights and Interests

  • Placemaking and design

  • Risk and emergency planning

  • Social justice / inclusion

  • Social and cultural diversity

  • Transport and infrastructure


Local Government is responsible for a wide range of strategic and statutory planning services that it delivers to the community to meet their needs and expectations, including services that require Local Government to administer Local Planning Schemes and to process development applications and approval processes. These services require effective management through good governance so that Local Governments can continue to provide service delivery and grow communities in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner for present and future generations. 

Under this PSA Local Governments will directly engage Town Planning consultants for specific projects and general services. Local Governments can utilise this contract in a number of ways including consultancy engagements for: 

  • Technical services for zoning and other planning scheme amendments

  • To undertake preparation of Local Planning policies and processes

  • Special project design, development and management

  • Provisioning of overflow work capacity, including processing Development Applications, scheme amendments, and individual projects

  • Provide locum services including relief and casual services during periods of staff leave or organisational vacancy

  • Internal skill and knowledge development and the preparation of tools and processes to guide and improve capacity

  • Feasibility study, process design and technical consultancy including support for Local Government engagement and consultation with the community (e.g. urban design concepts)

  • Specialist technical services, including advocacy and representation (e.g. expert witness)

  • Strategic Planning guidance

  • To undertake various Town Planning work to ensure that the Local Governments operational processes are maintained and continually improved

  • Review systems, processes and policies to improve administrative efficiency

  • Inject additional expertise into specific projects or developments

Under WALGA Zone structures, regional buying groups, shared service activity and other joint initiatives WALGA Members may collectively engage Town Planning consultancy services under this Preferred Supply. The further ability for suppliers to aggregate activity, knowledge and expertise, and to reinvest this into the Local Government sector as a whole will be a targeted value added product of this Preferred Supplier agreement. 


The broad specialisations of Town Planning services include: 

  • Urban & Regional Planning

  • Social and Community Based Planning

  • Community Engagement and Consultation

  • Urban Design and Placemaking

  • Heritage and Conservation Planning

  • Disaster Resilience Planning (may include Risk and Emergency Management)

  • Public Open Space and Recreation Planning

  • Environmental Planning

  • Economic Development

  • Transport Planning

  • Industrial and Infrastructure Planning

  • Planning Law 

These service areas will all be within the scope of the WALGA Preferred Supply. 

The following broad service categorisations are core to the provision of Town Planning consultancy services to Local Government and further define the scope of engagement by WALGA Members. The services and categories below are not prescriptive, noting that each Local Government engagement will entail a range of processes and services that can often integrate multiple planning needs.          Strategic Planning

Service delivery may include the preparation of Local Planning Strategies and Schemes, Activity Centre Plans and Structure Plans, location specific strategies, master plans and guidelines, policies and other strategic planning tools and undertaking due diligence and other investigations, to help inform context and site analysis.          Statutory Planning

Service delivery may include development and subdivision assessment, assessment of local Planning Scheme amendments and other Statutory Planning matters.          Regional Planning 

Service delivery includes both strategic and statutory provisions to facilitate town planning in regional and rural communities.          Project Management

Service delivery may include the coordination of a consultant team in all project deliverables, lead presentations and project design reviews, assist with establishment of the project partnerships and make recommendations on project delivery and implementation. Service delivery may include urban design and master planning studies, revitalisation and enhancement projects and other town planning projects. Advocacy and Representation 

Service delivery may include the review of planning decisions, relevant legislation and documentation, as well as representation through mediation, or in other ways in relation to State Administrative Tribunal and/or other legal matters.          Policy and Research

Service delivery may include undertaking research on various urban and regional planning matters; evidence based planning research and analysis or development of policy options that address problems or issues.          Heritage Planning

Specialist skills for heritage planning including an interface between planning requirements and heritage strategy sit within the scope of service delivery where relevant qualifications are held. This excludes architectural design, however does allow WALGA Members to access planning expertise to support architectural service work undertaken particularly with respect to conservation and heritage impact assessments. 

Service delivery may specifically include:  

  • Preparation of heritage plans, strategies and plans policies and other assessments relating to the declaration of heritage areas and undertaking due diligence and other investigations to help inform context and outcomes.

  • Specifically review nominated places for inclusion on the Local Government Inventory

  • Review requests to elevate places from the LGI to the Heritage List

  • Review and provide advice on applications for approval to commence development which affect either places on the Local Government Inventory, places on the Heritage List and/or places on the State Heritage List

  • Review and provide advice on Scheme amendment or structure planning proposals which affect either places on the Local Government Inventory, places on the Heritage List and/or places on the State Heritage List

  • Heritage advisory services 

3.3.4   Limitation of scope

Local Governments on occasion source professional expertise, information analysis, risk evaluation, strategic advice and facilitation of consultation with Aboriginal people in relation to compliance with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972, specifically with respect to the planning function. These services can be indirectly provided through Town Planning consultancies where not core to the project. WALGA has not included this within the scope of its prequalification however does intend to develop a separate contract for Aboriginal Heritage Services which incorporates planning and broader Aboriginal heritage advisory. 


Urban and Regional Planners apply a set of planning skills, draw upon their knowledge, and use a variety of tools to facilitate and influence the way in which our built environment is spatially arranged, connected and used. 

Planning is a critical function that needs to be undertaken by qualified, experienced competent professionals in order to protect the public interest for current and future generations. 

To become a WALGA Preferred Supplier of town planning services, a company must demonstrate that they have the necessary experience, technical capacity, available resources and management systems within their company to competently undertake the defined scope of work. Preferred Suppliers recruit and retain staff with up to date knowledge of planning policies/processes 

It is a mandatory requirement that the planning professionals who undertake work under the framework of this PSA must have tertiary qualifications in Urban Planning or closely related field. 

Contractors may either hold membership or evidence eligibility for Full Membership of the Planning Institute of Australia. Planning companies with Members of the PIA or Registered PIA Members (RPIA) and with planners qualified through accredited PIA courses will be able to represent these credentials through the Preferred Supply. However, it is not a mandated requirement of the WALGA PSA that companies appointed have PIA Member or Registered Members on staff.


A Member Contract established under this PSA is a consultancy engagement and is acknowledged by the parties concerned that the services are not provided in the nature of general employment. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent to the greatest extent possible a Contractor being considered at law an employee.

To effectively differentiate between the engagement of Consultants and for the avoidance of doubt that activity may be in the nature of an employment contract, the following minimum characteristics will apply to Member Contracts initiated under the framework of this WALGA PSA. 

  • No Member Contract under the WALGA Preferred Supply will be with an individual. Each Member Contract will have as its Principal an Entity, registered with an ABN, in order to be eligible for use of the WALGA Preferred Supply.

  • Member Contracts will incorporate a clear statement of the scope of work and the manner of charging.

  • The specification associated with duties required will be task oriented, and non-prescriptive with respect to regular working hours and day to day control, outside of prescribed presentations and formally arranged meetings with respect to the engagement.

  • Should the Contractor to be permitted to engage other organisations in the provision of the consultancy services, it must be made clear in the Contract that such organisations are the consultant’s sub-contractors.

  • The Contractor shall not be subject to the use of a Local Government payroll to remunerate.

  • The Member Contract will outline tasks to be performed, but operational control over the Contractor and its staff will not rest with the WALGA Member.

  • The Contractor is responsible for the standards of the services provided.

  • The Contractor is responsible for their own assets and equipment.

  • The Contractor is engaged for a specific task and is not engaged to work beyond the completion of the job.

  • The Contractor is not prohibited from accepting work from other businesses while engaged by the WALGA Member.

  • The Contractor must tender a tax invoice before being entitled to payment.

View qualified sub-categories

View pricing and conditions of contract


All Preferred Suppliers under this Panel are legally required to provide their best prices and conditions of supply to Local Governments purchasing through the WALGA Preferred Supply Panel. 

Preferred Supplier rate cards and discount levels can be accessed by WALGA Members in eQuotes (commercial in confidence).

WALGA has also undertaken due diligence and pre-qualified the competency and service structure of each panellist to deliver Town Planning services within select category areas. 

 Conditions of Contract 

Comprehensive General Conditions of Contract that support this arrangement are available on request. Members must reference the WALGA Contract and related Member Conditions in all communications with Preferred Suppliers.


Town Planning & Related Services

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