WA Chapter welcomes State’s decision to defer Development Assessment Panel (DAP) Reform

The Western Australian Chapter of the Institute welcomes the State’s decision to defer the Development Assessment Panel (DAP) Reform, including the Special Matters DAP, and extend the Part 17 pathway for significant projects until December 2023.

The Chapter has been working with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage throughout 2021/22 as a significant stakeholder and provided extensive comment via submission earlier this month.

Some of the key points in our submission are:

  • While the Institute generally supports the State Government’s planning reform agenda, the Institute does not support the State Government’s proposed DAP Reforms.
  • The Institute does not support the move from a pool of DAP members to an employee model. The employee relationship may impact the independence and impartiality of DAP members. Further, the reliance on just a few people (instead of a pool of people with diverse skill sets and areas of expertise) may impact the quality of decision making, and therefore built environment outcomes, across the State.
  • The Institute is concerned about the potential impacts on housing affordability of the new fee structure for the Special Matters DAP. Looking at METRONET precinct areas as an example, the proposed application and administration fee (of $96,600) applicable for the Special Matters DAP represents an additional cost of about $10,000 per unit for a ten-unit development. Coupled with current construction cost increases, the fees may render medium density urban infill developments unaffordable and/or unfeasible.

The Institute has worked with other built environment representative bodies to ensure consistent calls for certainty in the planning framework.

We look forward to further engagement with the Department to ensure the best outcomes in future reforms.

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For more information, please contact beata.davey@architecture.com.au