The importance of Local Government in meeting the demand for housing in Western Australia has been acknowledged by the Cook Government, as part of planning reforms announced today.

In noting the reforms, WALGA President Karen Chappel highlighted that Local Governments deal with the overwhelming majority of development applications across Perth in a timely manner.

However, changes to Development Assessment Panels and the establishment of a permanent significant development pathway further erodes the role of Local Government in providing a valuable community perspective on planning proposals.

“WALGA is pleased to note the retention of Local Government representation on DAPs, the removal of mandatory thresholds, and the provision of a completely opt-in pathway for proponents,” said Cr Chappel.

Changes that delegate authority on single dwelling approvals to Local Government CEOs and Planning staff are consistent with the current level of delegated decision making already in place in most Local Governments.

“We have highly skilled officers in Local Government that make timely and good decisions under delegation.

“There is, however, an important role for Elected Councillors to represent the interests of their constituents and the broader community.”

“We will continue to work with the Government to address critical issues facing our State, but Local Government is doing its share of the heavy lifting, any suggestion otherwise is a red herring.”

Changes to the Western Australian Planning Commission that ensures membership will include significant experience in Local Government and in regional areas will be welcomed by the sector.

To interview WALGA President Karen Chappel, please contact:

WALGA Communications Manager Simon Beaumont on 0448 896 435. Or via