The planning system

Layout Plans

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The Department of Planning manages the Planning for Aboriginal Communities Program on behalf of the WAPC in partnership with the Department of Housing.

The Program provides a town planning service to Aboriginal communities in WA, in accordance with State Planning Policy No.3.2 – Aboriginal Settlements.

The primary purpose of the Program is to prepare Layout Plans for Aboriginal settlements. Find out more, below.

Layout Plans

Layout Plans are a type of town plan developed specifically for Aboriginal settlements in WA. Layout Plans are prepared and endorsed under State Planning Policy 3.2.

The Layout Plan map-sets are layered pdfs that include the latest available air photo images. Details on how to use the pdf can be found here.

To see which Aboriginal settlements have a Layout Plan view the map here.

To find a pdf version of a Layout Plan for an Aboriginal settlement search by community.

For historical reasons, in some instances, Layout Plans have been prepared for localities within towns. These places are generally referred to as 'town-based Aboriginal communities'. To find a pdf version of a Layout Plan for town-based Aboriginal community search by town.

Housing Services Plans have been prepared for selected settlements, as agreed by the Departments of Planning and Housing. Unlike Layout Plans, Housing Services Plans (HSPs) are not statutory planning instruments. The HSP plan-sets identify essential services and features, and include the latest available air photo image. As with Layout Plans map-sets, HSP plan-sets are layered pdfs.


State Planning Policy 3.2 – Aboriginal Settlements State Planning Policy 3.2 Aboriginal Settlements was published in the Government Gazette on 11 May 2011, revoking the August 2000 version.

The objectives of the Policy are:

  • To provide for the recognition of Aboriginal settlements through local planning schemes and strategies.
  • To collaboratively plan for the orderly and coordinated development of Aboriginal settlements.

The Policy is available from either the WAPC or the State Law Publisher.


State Planning Policy 3.2 Aboriginal Settlements provides that operational policies described as guidelines may be prepared to address a range of relevant matters. The following Aboriginal Settlements Guidelines have been endorsed by the WAPC:


This is a printer friendly version of the web page available at http://planning.wa.gov.au/Layout-plans.asp