Legislation enabling the creation of Development Assessment Panels (DAPs) in Western Australia has come into operation.


The legislation formalises the process for establishing DAPs, with the first DAP meeting scheduled to sit from 1 July, 2011.


The WA Parliament passed the Approvals and Related Reforms (No. 4) (Planning) Act 2010 (the ‘2010 Amendment Act’). The provisions of the 2010 Amendment Act, except part three, commenced on 22 November 2010.


The 2010 Amendment Act contains a number of amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2005 (the ‘PD Act’) that are designed to improve the planning system. Part 3 of the 2010 Amendment Act contains the heads of powers required to introduce development assessment panels (‘DAPs’) in this State, through the making of regulations by the Governor. The details on how these panels will be established, administered and operated are set out in the new Planning and Development (Development Assessment Panels) Regulations 2011 (‘DAP regulations’).


South Australia and New South Wales have already introduced development assessment panels into their planning systems in accordance with the DAF model. Victoria has also recently passed legislation to implement development assessment commissions to perform the role of development assessment panels.


The introduction of DAPs in Western Australia will have significant benefits for local governments, the development industry, landowners, the general community and other stakeholders.


Following the gazetting of the DAP regulations the Planning Minister John Day will establish fifteen different DAPs on 2 May 2011, however, these will not start to consider new applications until 60 days after their establishment. Therefore, DAPs will commence operation on 1 July 2011.


A range of manuals will also be available for local governments, DAP members and applicants. These documents will provide further details on the procedures outlined in this bulletin, and will be available on the DAP website at www.daps.planning.wa.gov.au