The Regulations were published on 12 July 2023 and will become operational on 1 August 2023. The Regulations introduce three streams for region planning scheme amendments (complex, standard and basic), and outline the advertising requirements and factors associated with the consideration of submissions region planning scheme amendments and new region planning schemes. They apply to all region planning schemes in Western Australia.
The Regulations and supporting documents are provided below. The Regulations can also be found on the Western Australian legislation website.
The development of the Regulations aligns with the State Government’s roadmap for planning reform outlined in the Action Plan for Planning Reform (2019) and has resulted from the Planning and Development Amendment Act 2020.
Initiative C4 of the Action Plan seeks to introduce the use of risk-based assessment and decision-making pathways for region scheme amendments (and any new region scheme), reducing timeframes for lower-risk proposals.
Part 6 of the Amendment Act outlines changes to the existing scheme amendment processes contained within Part 4 of the Planning and Development Act 2005 including:
- ‘Substantial’ amendments to be called ‘non-minor’.
- The ability to have different streams for minor and non-minor amendments based on potential impacts and/or policy implications of amendment proposals (i.e. a risk-based approach).
- The advertising requirements and timeframes for amendment streams will no longer be in the Act but will be specified in the proposed Regulations.
The Regulations were developed to implement the above.
Following early discussions with stakeholders, consultation on the draft Regulations was undertaken in February and March 2023. A number of submissions were received from stakeholders and all submissions received were considered by the Department and helped with the process of refining and finalising the Regulations.