Fast-track plan for major projects positions WA for jobs and recovery       

Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer has praised the State Government’s decision to streamline Covid-19 recovery plans for the property sector, saying this will get more West Australians back to work quicker.

Premier Mark McGowan and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti will today announce a series of changes to simplify the planning system, cut red tape and increase support for small business.

Ms Brewer said the decision to make the Western Australian Planning Commission the decision-maker for significant, job-creating projects will create a more consistent approach to approvals in the 18-month pandemic recovery period.

Significant projects include those that cost $30 million or more, residential proposals with 100 or more dwellings, commercial projects with at least 20,000sqm of commercial floor space or regional tourism projects expected to contribute to post-pandemic recovery efforts.

“This innovation demonstrates a quick-thinking approach to putting experts in charge of resolving issues that can add expense and delay important economic projects,” Ms Brewer said.

“It will create an effective, transparent system that delivers projects and jobs as soon as possible.

“We support decisions that employ West Australians and revive the WA economy.

“We believe that WA’s recovery depends on ensuring there’s a clear pathway for decision-making about complex developments with design and economic merit.”

Ms Brewer said WA’s property sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, was responsible for more pre-pandemic jobs than mining and manufacturing combined. The sector was eager to get back to work.

Despite substantial progress in reforming WA’s complex and unwieldy planning system, without intervention, desperately needed projects faced unnecessary delays and extra costs, Ms Brewer said.

The Western Australian Planning Commission is made up of representatives across government, including planning, water, environmental regulation, energy and transport, bringing key decision-makers together.

“This provides a structure for effective decision-making, especially if there’s conflicting advice, because differences that used to lead to long delays can be resolved quickly,” Ms Brewer said.

The reforms, to be introduced to Parliament today, complement last year’s Design WA changes, first introduced by the Barnett Government, and will give the community and the property sector greater consistency.

Ms Brewer urged State Parliament to support the changes, which she said will deliver certainty and promote well-designed, high-quality projects and desperately needed employment opportunities.

Media contact: Helen Shield  | M 0403 877 015 | E [email protected]