Perth’s fabulous unspoilt coastline looking North from Hillarys harbour


How we got to this low point in North corridor foreshore development.

The core point that sticks out is how flawed WA’s planning checks and balances are. An elitist planning set up with Minister Rita Saffioti at the helm.

And no 2 in control are the West Australian Planning Commission. Unelected bureaucrats with extraordinary powers able to reclassify the Ocean Reef Marina development into a most inappropriate ‘Improvement Scheme’.

This ‘improvement scheme’ has sacrificed 143 hectares of class A Marmion marine reserve and all the environment that goes along with that.

The proposal will impact approximately 27.5 ha of the Bush Forever coastal site.

What is to stop the WAPC reclassifying other North coastal areas ‘Improvement Schemes’, citing population pressures for the north-west metro framework for Perth and Peel, 3.5 million at 2050?

The Metropolitan region is planned for 47% of total population growth in established suburbs over the next 3 decades.

No role in the planning system for WA citizens.

WA’s planning system is clearly flawed, taxpayers and ratepayers prop up the system but are treated with contempt by the politicians and bureaucrats that control it

The elitist top-down system starts with.  1 Planning Minister Rita Saffioti, 2 West Australian Planning Commission, 3 Development Assessment Panels, 4 State Administrative Tribunals.

Local communities have nowhere to turn for preserving their suburb, amenities, or environment.

Local Government (LG) used to be the last line of defense for rate payers but no more.

Unfortunately, LG in West Australia have not always been a reliable force for local democracy.

The Ocean Reef Marina overdevelopment was strongly supported by the City of Joondalup Mayor and most of the councillors.

Local government are essentially powerless. Development Assessment Panels (presided over by unelected consultants) are delegated with greater statutory planning powers.

Hope for the future – a democratic planning model for West Australian’s?

It’s time to re-empower our local communities in the Northern suburbs.

The course of land use planning in WA over the past decade has been towards a system that increasingly favours developers and disenfranchise local communities.

The McGowan government have complete control of the parliament. Their agenda is to enable more population and housing density (applying the most unsuitable land-use such as Ocean Reefs’ foreshore).

West Australian citizens do not have many options at the State level.

Proper local community participation is the goal for concerned citizens and local candidates.

In a long-term strategy. It is critical to keep pressing for the introduction of Third-Party Appeal Rights for the community.

The idea of a local citizen panel sounds promising. Especially useful for communities significantly affected by major land use amendments.

In a decent planning system, a Local Government should be able to appeal a DAP or WAPC decision and defend the merits of their policies.

Critically, property owners and community members should also have appeal rights.

Community led reforms can occur when concerned citizens become Local Government candidates and win.

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