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Review of the Western Australian Planning Commission

The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) is more efficient and strategically-focused.

The State Government’s 2019 Action Plan for Planning Reform outlines a series of initiatives to achieve an efficient, effective, contemporary planning system which promotes well-designed land use and development solutions that respond to changing needs. Review of the WAPC to increase its efficiency and focus on strategic planning was included as a recommendation in the Action Plan and was completed in 2022.

A key finding of the review was the WAPC plays a critical role in the WA planning system, but that its structure and operation could be improved to allow it to respond to the changing context in which it operates, and to take on a clearer role as an independent planning advisor and decision-maker.

Recommendations regarding its structure and committees include a smaller, more focussed membership with greater utility of the expertise available to the WAPC through its committees, staffing and other agencies, and greater integration with its standing committees. These recommendations require legislative change and were included in the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2023 (Bill).

The Bill also included:

  • Introduction of a statement explaining the role of the WAPC.
  • Refinement of the statement of functions to provide a clearer and more comprehensive outline of the WAPC’s responsibilities.
  • Provision for administrative matters to be transferred to regulation to allow for easier updates and maintenance of contemporary practice (such as recognising capacity for on-line meetings).
  • Update of the list of standing committees.

Other operational recommendations relate to how it conducts its business and focus on its efficiency, integration and governance. Some of these require legislative change, but the majority can be progressively implemented.  

The new legislative provisions related to the WAPC are anticipated to come into effect on 1 July 2024.  In preparation for this, the Minister for Planning has announced new board membership under transitional provisions incorporated in the Act.

Read the new announcement

More information about the legislative changes can be found on the Planning and Development Amendment Act 2023 and Associated Regulations web page.

 

Information Sessions

The Department hosted a series of online and in-person information sessions about the Bill. These sessions were open to the public.