Investors renovating in the country’s west could soon be able to skip planning approvals for patios, desks and extensions as the state looks to kickstart an economy plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The WA government announced that it has put forward planning years in the works, which is aimed at creating jobs in the construction industry.
Premier Mark McGowan described it as a game changer for the state, with the reforms cutting red tape, supporting small businesses, creating more jobs and delivering an overall better outcome for the community.
“This type of planning reform has been talked about for decades; it’s long overdue,” Mr McGowan said.
“It’s once-in-a-lifetime reform that will leave a long-lasting legacy for our state while driving much-needed economic activity in the wake of COVID-19.”
Also included in the 26 proposed changes are measures to make the development application process easier for “significant, job-creating projects” over the next 18 months.
These changes are aimed at projects valued at $30 million or more, residential projects of 100 homes or more and commercial developments sized at a minimum 20,000 square metres.
Property Council WA executive director Sandra Brewer praised the state government’s decision to streamline COVID-19 recovery plans for the property sector, as it will help get builders back on the tools.
“This innovation demonstrates a quick-thinking approach to putting experts in charge of resolving issues that can add expense and delay important economic projects,” Ms Brewer said.
“It will create an effective, transparent system that delivers projects and jobs as soon as possible.
“We support decisions that employ Western Australians and revive the WA economy.
Ms Brewer said WA’s property sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, was responsible for more pre-pandemic jobs than mining and manufacturing combined, and the sector was eager to get back to work.