Bill before Parliament to reopen significant development pathway

  • Extension of significant development pathway to secure long-term economic recovery
  • 50 State-significant developments worth $5 billion and 30,000 jobs approved or under assessment
  • Pathway set to reopen for applications from July 1, 2022 until December 2023
  • The McGowan Government is introducing the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2022 into Parliament to help address the significant economic challenges in the residential and commercial construction market.

    The Bill to be introduced into Parliament will:

    • reopen the Part 17 pathway for significant projects until December 2023; and
    • allow proponents of approved developments to apply for a one-off extension to the substantial commencement date.

    The changes come in response to industry calls for more certainty during this period.

    It also reflects the fact that the commencement of many projects has been delayed in the private, residential and commercial sectors due to significant supply chain pressures and price escalation.

    There is also the need to ensure more housing developments are facilitated to address the challenges of the housing market.

    Part 17 was initially introduced as a temporary, 18-month economic recovery measure to generate economic output and employment. The pathway has been working well, with a thorough design review process and the coordination of referrals of State agencies.

    It was intended that the Part 17 pathway would be replaced by a Special Matters Development Assessment Panel (DAP) by the end of the year, however, it is clear that further consultation is required on the ultimate form of this Special Matters DAP.

    As a result, the introduction of the Special Matters DAP will be deferred into next year.

    It has also become apparent that while applications that have been approved outside the Part 17 process have received extensions to their substantial commencement date, projects approved under Part 17 have not been able to receive the same treatment.

    This Bill seeks to rectify this.

    Approximately 17 projects valued at $1.7 billion and expected to support over 12,000 jobs have been approved in the first round of the pathway, which closed to applications in January 2022.

    Six of these projects are complete or under construction, including the State Football Centre in Queens Park, a wharf extension at Henderson, and an LNG plant in Mt Magnet, with some of the remaining projects facing delays due to supply chain challenges as a result of COVID-19.

    Another 33 projects are undergoing assessment by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage before being determined by the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC).

    A total of 50 projects already approved and under assessment represent an economic value of more than $5 billion and up to 30,000 jobs.

    Each application is subject to consideration by the State Design Review Panel, a review against the relevant local planning framework and State planning policies, public consultation and referral to regulatory authorities to inform the final determination by the WAPC.

    Proposed developments under consideration include the redevelopment of the Ocean Beach Hotel and extensions to Westfield Booragoon and the St John of God campuses in Subiaco and Murdoch.

    As stated by Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:

    “The significant development pathway has received strong support, including bipartisan support and has created a more coordinated approach to dealing with significant projects.

    “In particular, State Government agencies have been working more closely to ensure that projects receive the appropriate assessment, and design review has also been a key element of this new process.

    “This pathway has been successful in securing a pipeline of work for Western Australians over the short and long-term. We want to ensure this can continue to support our long-term economic recovery.

    “We will continue to consult on the Special Matters DAP, which was designed to replace the significant pathway. We have received strong feedback on the proposal, which we are keen to further consult on, to ensure the permanent replacement meets community and industry expectations.

    “This is about creating investment certainty, incentives to support further development, more housing and more jobs for Western Australians.”

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