Regional Western Australia has the opportunity to benefit from expedited development projects following Agricultural MLC Rick Mazza of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party’s successful amendments to the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2020 in the Legislative Council.
The planning reforms give the Western Australian Planning Commission enhanced powers to grant development approvals for significant projects over a period of 18 months to help facilitate the State’s economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Mazza originally moved to amend the definition of a significant project in the metropolitan area from $30 million or more to $10 million or more, and in any other case, meaning regional areas, $5 million or more. After negotiations, a Government amendment reduced the $30 million metropolitan project requirement to $20 million.
Mr Mazza also removed the requirement for a project to be a residential development of 100 or more dwellings, or a commercial development with the total net lettable area of 20,000 m2 or more space – which would have only included large projects such as shopping centres or office buildings.
“I supported the intention of the proposed reforms to the Planning and Development Act 2005 because of their emphasis on removing regulatory road blocks and reducing red tape,” Mr Mazza said.
Mr Mazza said his amendments open the doors to more options for creating jobs and stimulating the economy, to get more people back to work sooner.
“Projects big and small should be encouraged during this difficult period,” Mr Mazza said.
“It would have been a shame for projects to have narrowly missed out due to restrictive criteria, denying them a reduced administrative process that helps not just metropolitan areas, but country areas as well.”