MEDIA: Business News - WA needs a more transparent and democratic planning system

Transparent and democratic urban planning is essential in underpinning good environmental and social outcomes and delivering liveable cities. This is particularly the case with large and complex cities like Perth.

Sadly, local communities across Perth and WA are increasingly losing trust in our planning system – not to mention our politicians.

Speaking to a Property Council lunch in late August, Premier Mark McGowan has labelled local communities that fight overdevelopment as “critics and naysayers”. Mr McGowan added that his government was "ambitious when it comes to development, housing or planning". [1]

This is a man without a sustainable economic plan. It’s time for WA to invest in secure jobs via a more diverse economy – not a continuation of the boom-bust ‘houses and holes’ model. WA must reduce its reliance on the housing construction industry to ‘grow’ our economy. Any industry that needs ever-more people to sustain it is a false economy.

Planning powers

To aid this false economy, state politicians from both major parties have tampered with the planning system. In the past, local councils with publicly elected members used to hold extensive powers over development approvals. While this system was not perfect and needed reform, at least local councillors were directly accountable to the community. Their voting on development applications before council could be easily reviewed by the local community.

Read the full article in WA Business News here: