LETTERS 14.10.23

Still waiting

IN March 2017, the then shadow minister for planning, Rita Safiotti issued a press release prior to the election which laid out plans “…to improve the accountability and transparency of the development assessment system”.

Even in 2017, DAPs were recognised as a problem.

Then in 2019, a more detailed Green Paper report was released setting out a broad number of initiatives to meet the objectives stated two years prior.  

In March 2022, a full set of planned changes were sent out for comment. 

Because of the changes proposed it was possible to see what the authors believed were the major problems, because of their proposed actions.

Minister Safiotti announced that this program was urgent, hinting that it would be in place by the end of 2022.

In March 2023, then premier Mark McGowan, flanked by minister Safiotti, repeated almost word for word the 2022 announcement.

Over this six year period, nothing has emerged to address the well known DAP problems identified since 2017!  

We still have directors general from five departments deciding applications at the WA Planning Commission. 

We still have a cadre of independent experts at Development Assessment Panels who are being paid less than $5 per hour if they are doing their job properly.

We still have the Department of Planning being unable to understand simple maths and economics – what chance of getting regulations right? 

The integrity of the whole planning regulations is being lost because zoning mean nothing any more.

The roles of councils and their planners are being undermined. 

There are tremendous wealth transfers from the community to the major property developers through unjustified development incentives.

And there are no third party rights of appeal, unlike NSW and Victoria.

By the way, there are also no bans in WA on political donations from property developers, as there are in NSW and Victoria.

There is a need for action. A Royal Commission will determine what and how the mess, and who is to blame.

Ken Perry
Via email

Yes for me

I HAVE read and heard many views on the Voice and agree with certain things for both sides. 

My thoughts change from Yes to No and back again. 

However, I think the article by Jenny Archibald and Brendan Moore in Thinking Allowed has finally made it very clear and swayed me to what I think is right. 

A very informative explanation of why the First Nations people should have our support.

Phew-just in time! 

East Fremantle

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