From a centralised to a 'diffused centralised' planning system: planning reforms in Western Australia

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Historically, Western Australia has had the most centralised planning system at state level within Australia. Following the election of a Liberal-National state government in late 2008, it set about reforming significant aspects of the WA planning system. These reforms were premised on the need to 'cut red tape' and streamline decision-making in order to ensure sustained economic growth. This paper provides an overview of the basis and content of the reform agenda in broad terms. It then moves to examining in more detail two key planning reforms relating to the institutional and governance arrangements of the planning system: (1) the introduction of development assessment panels which were set up to 'depoliticise' and 'streamline' the development applications process; and (2) the establishment of a single redevelopment authority - Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority - that has extensive planning and development powers that override local government and WA Planning Commission planning schemes. These reforms have resulted in a more diffused, yet still centralised planning system. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-162
JournalAustralian Planner
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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