Why we must #ScraptheDAP

The State Government’s highly controversial Development Assessment Panels (DAPs) planning approval process is under increasing scrutiny.

DAPs were introduced by the Minister for Planning in July, 2011, “he said they would streamline the planning process, make the system more flexible and be more transparent.”

There were warnings by planning experts about the dangers of DAPs before they were introduced.  Here is a excellent paper by Denis MacLeod, a leading planning lawyer, at a Local Government forum in October 2009.

Then one year after the system had been introduced, in 2012, Ian MacRae, President of Local Government Planners Association, delivered this paper at the UWA.  More information about DAP concerns can be found here on Councillor Julie Matheson’s page.

Unsurprisingly, we are now seeing a growing number of residents and Local Government Councillors from all over Perth up in arms and speaking out, over what they see as an inherently flawed, undemocratic system that favours developers and gives them no say or right to appeal (third party appeal rights) against inappropriate developments in their areas that negatively affect them.  

Disputes go behind closed doors  to the SAT (State Administrative Tribunal), where only the developer can appeal, not community stakeholders negatively affected by the developments.

On the Thursday the 29th of July, 2015, a public meeting was held in Como to discuss the DAP system.   Following is a copy of the media release from the event and some of the media that followed;

Dap R

Though many from the media were invited, only one reporter attended, ‘Rhiannon Shine’ from The Post Newspaper.  Her story was on the front cover on the 1st of August ;

Dodgy DAP System Slammed and part 2

Dodgy DAP system slammed Post 01 08 15






Dodgy DAP system slammed pg 68

Following that in the 8th of August edition there were two responses to the article in defense of the DAP system.   One on page 12 by from the Director-General, Department of Planning, Gail McGowan;

DAPs strike balance between expertise and local knowledge

Gail McGowan letter Post 080815

The other was by David Caddy on page 2, who described himself as “a teacher of statutory planning at UWA”. Mr Caddy failed to mention in the article that he works for developers;

DAPs, SAT must stick to local and state planning policies

David Caddy letter Post 080815

These opinions pieces prompted a number of retorts and more articles in the following weeks edition of The Post on the 15th of August, 2015,

Front page (15th Aug);

DAP bias exposed Post 150815 p1


DAP bias exposed Post 150815 part 2 pg 17

On page 12, letter by Angela Hamersley one of the speakers at the DAP meeting from Subiaco;

Let me tell planning students about DAPs Post 150815

Then on page 16 is an excellent review of the DAP system by Lloyd Gorman;

Time for DAPs to come Post 150815 p16

On page 17 – Under the spotlight;

Under the spot light Post 15 08 15 p17

Then on page 18;

Expert says Wedge's OK not DAP's to give Post 150815 p18


Wedg's OK part 2 Post 150815 p76

On page 2 a letter by Ian Ker;

Haven't they seen what DAPs have done Post Ian Kir 150815


Page 12, Third parties should be able  to appeal against developments

Third parties should be able to appeal Post 150815

Page 24, letters by Sally Pyvis and Jack Walsh, who also spoke at the DAP community meeting mentioned at the top;

DAPs: the state government’s flawed planning mechanism

DAP rules allow planning policies to be ignored

DAP letters Sally Pyvis & Jack Walsh Post 150815 p24

Page 24 continued, Five easy steps for developers

Five easy steps for developers Julie Matherson Post 150815 p24

Here is a link to the ‘Scrap the DAP’ on-line petition.  Please sign and share far and wide and help put an end to Barnett’s undemocratic planning laws that is wreaking havoc everywhere.

Anyone who isn’t quite sure about what Planning is supposed to be like in a democracy, might like to read this papers by The Honourable Wayne Martin AC, Chief Justice of Western Australia;

State Administrative Tribunal (SAT)
Conference to mark 80 years of Town PlanningLaw in Western Australia –
The Importance of Town Planning Law

See SAT information here 




This entry was posted in DAPs, High-rise, Density & Urban Sprawl, Local Government, Planning Laws, Public Consultation, Urban Planning, West Australian Government and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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