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Transparency of the WA Planning System

Understanding transparency in the planning decision-making processes.

Significant changes have been made to the Western Australian planning system as part of the State Government’s planning reform program.  

These reforms will modernise the planning system by:

  • creating more consistent, efficient and streamlined processes, and reduce unnecessary red tape to support the delivery of new housing and other critical infrastructure
  • creating better places for the diverse communities of Western Australia
  • making our planning system easier to understand and navigate
  • improving transparency in the decision-making processes

Providing greater transparency through legislative and regulatory change to cut red tape is key to increasing community understanding and participation in the planning system. Some actions to enhance this includes improving consultation and engagement processes, streamlining planning processes, improved governance and providing greater consistency and transparency. In addition, there has been greater access to the decision-making processes through:

  • publishing agendas and minutes for WAPC committees
  • publishing agendas and minutes for Development Assessment Panels, and details of applications made and approved and
  • providing for deputations to be made to the WAPC

The role and function of the WAPC has also been reviewed to make it more efficient, flexible and contemporary and to increase its focus on strategic planning.

Local governments also publish minutes and agendas and provide for public questions at the commencement of each Council meeting. Many local governments also live-stream proceedings.

People searching for historic publications can request assistance from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage’s librarians. Records of previous decisions can also be accessed through Freedom of Information requests. Planning officers at State and local governments can also provide information on planning processes.

Some planning decisions will remain confidential due to their sensitive nature and/or on the basis of commercial confidentiality.

Further reading

Planning Reform

Review of the Western Australian Planning Commission

Western Australian Planning Commission agendas, minutes and deputations

Development Assessment Panels

Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage Freedom of Information