Good to hear the City of Fremantle is finally taking steps to join other councils to get rid off the controversial state development assessment panels. I have been asking Fremantle Council for months to join the protest of councils such as Vincent, Stirling, Subiaco, Mosman Park, South Perth and many others against the DAP. DAP […]


Councils vote to Abolish the DAP

DAP affected communities are supporting their local councils to move an in principle motion to ABOLISH THE DAP.

Mayor John Carey and Cr Julie Matheson spoke to ABC News about the current DAP system.

So far the following Councils are proposing motions similar to Mayor Carey’s of the City of Vincent:

  1. Vincent – motion passed
  2. Mosman Park – motion passed
  3. Nedlands – motion passed
  4. Cambridge – motion passed
  5. Subiaco – motion passed
  6. Stirling – motion passed
  7. Bayswater – motion passed
  8. South Perth – motion passed
  9. Belmont – motion passed
  10. Cottesloe – motion passed
  11. Claremont – motion passed
  12. Swan – working on it
  13. Peppermint Grove – motion passed
  14. Gosnells – working on it
  15. Kalamunda – working on it
  16. Melville – motion passed
  17. Cockburn – working on it
  18. Kwinana – working on it
  19. Victoria Park – motion passed
  20. Fremantle – working on it
  21. East Fremantle – motion passed
  22. Mundaring – 2009 early adopter of a motion against the DAP
  23. Serpentine-Jarrahdale – motion passed
  24. Shire of Pingelly – motion passed 17 August 2016

If you are a DAP affected community, now is a great opportunity to speak to your elected council members and request your council’s support and vote for the abolition of the current DAP process.

And if you think a change of government will abolish the DAP, think again.  Labor under the leadership of Mark McGowan has just supported City of Perth Bill in collaboration with the current government.

DAP has bi-partisan support.  It’s up to our councils to make a stand on the DAP.

Communities, Councils, against the DAP

DAPs To Start Feeling The Heat, written by Ian Ker, Vincent Observed, 29 February 2016.

Further to the previous post on the South Perth successful court action on DAPs (, Vincent Mayor John Carey is moving a motion at tonight’s briefing meeting that Council work actively to reign in the DAPs. Tonight’s meeting is a briefing and the actual decision will be made next Tuesday (8th March). You can address either tonight’s briefing or the Council Meeting on 8th March. Councillor Elizabeth Re, City of Stirling, has emailed the dapaffectedcommunities group to say:

 I am sorry I cannot attend the Tuesday council meeting tonight at the Town of Vincent as I will be attending the City of Stirling meeting whereby I have put forward a similar notice of motion to stop the DAP’s  at the City of Stirling  council meeting tonight.

The more Councils formalise their opposition to the DAPs (or at least the way they currently over-ride local communities and planning schemes), the more likely action to reign them is – especially with the next state election being just 12 months away. So lobby your own Council, if you can, to pass similar resolutions and make the DAPs a central issue in the next state election.

Remember, the DAP debacle comes on top of failed forced local government reform, reneging on MAX light rail, the contentious Perth Freight Link, failures of hospital programs and out-of-control state debt.

A copy of Mayor Carey proposed recommendation before City of Vincent Council can be found here:

Mayor Carey’s DAP motion

DAP Affected Residents have a win

A legal bid to quash planning approval for a contentious high-rise tower in South Perth has succeeded.

Karyl Nairn and Ric Hawley argued the 29-storey tower at 74 Mill Point Road – the developer has since proposed increasing it to 44-storeys – should not have been approved by a joint development assessment panel (DAP) last year.

Well done to all concerned.

Read more about the win from The West Australian:



Developers like “discretionary clause”

Communities against the DAP are very unhappy with the use of the “discretionary clause” by panel members who are unaccountable to electors.

Discretionary clauses in local council planning schemes are there to be used by elected councillors, who are answerable to their electors.

South Perth residents are supporting Town Planning Scheme Amendment 46 to put a cap on discretion used by the DAP for height limits on new developments.

Developer backlash against Amendment 46 is mainly focused on the removal of “the discretionary element in assessing [development application] proposals”.

Currently there is no limit to building heights as long as some art work, etc is included the development.

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South Perth Supreme Court Action

Earlier this year there was an application for a  29 storey development on the Mill Point Peninsula, an area that previously only permitted buildings up to 8 storeys. On hearing of this a group of South Perth residents formed an action group “SAVE THE SOUTH PERTH PENINSULA” first up holding a public meeting where the Mayor agreed to convene a Special Electors Meeting if more than 250 ratepayers signed a petition. More than 450 signed within 48 hours. 

DAP south perth resident Vicki Redden, Craig Dermer

 Local residents are appalled and opposed to the development for numerous reasons including the height at 4 times (400%) greater than current properties, the overshadowing which will extend to the Freeway and Mends Street jetty, there has been no combined traffic studies into the congestion, pollution and parking, and the zero set back will interfere with the avenue of London plane trees which has been part of the peninsula heritage for almost a hundred years….. and a dozen other very valid reasons.

Throughout South Perth there was puzzlement and confusion about numerous mega-high rise developments suddenly being approved. Very few people had the opportunity to complain that the Council planners and JDAP were recommending and approving buildings vastly in excess of the heights which had been communicated in the Scheme consultation process. After numerous expert presentations at the first JDAP hearing the decision was deferred to glean more information from the State Architect amongst others. 

At the Special Electors’ Meeting on 6 May residents voiced their concerns about the high rise developments being pushed through without adequate consultation or forewarning.  Even the elected Councillors, expressed surprise and concern at how Amendment 25 was being interpreted and applied by the planning department and JDAP to allow skyscrapers where most people expected it would permit stepped development of 12 to 14 storeys. 

The Special Electors meeting passed 5 Motions,  calling on Councillors, among other things, to support a Local Planning Strategy – which had never been completed. On 20 May, the Council met to consider the motions and consequently the Mayor and two Councillors made representations against the development at the JDAP final meeting on 25 May. Two highly respected planning experts and a former Minister for Planning also spoke against the development as well as members of the Action Group. 

Sadly all these representations fell on deaf ears – 74 Mill Point Rd was approved. Objectors have no right of appeal to SAT on the planning merits of the application, however, in this case the DAP made fundamental errors of law which are appealable to the Supreme Court. 

Ric Hawley and Karyl Nairn, owners of apartments opposite the controversial 29 storey development filed an application in the Supreme Court to quash the decision of the Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) which granted development approval.  

The challenge brought by Karyl and Ric says that Town Planning Scheme No.6  does not give the JDAP the power to approve a high rise residential building in the Peninsula. Under the Scheme buildings in the southern end of the Peninsula may only exceed the prescribed building height of 8 storeys where the development is predominantly commercial for the purpose of promoting the South Perth Station Precinct as an employment destination. In approving a predominantly residential development which is almost 4 times higher than neighbouring residential buildings, the JDAP ignored the plot ratio restrictions in the Scheme and (among many other failures) did not take proper account of the object of the Scheme.

The Supreme Court Case against JDAP was heard in front of Justice Chaney on 10 and 11 December 2015.  Decision pending.

DAP Affected: Applecross

The residents from DAP Affected Applecross have to let you all know that yesterday (18 January 2016) the SAT announced the decision in favour of McDonalds to put a huge double storey 24 hour fast food outlet on our street despite the fact the new City of Melville LPS 6 is imminent  and would not allow this development at this site.

The State Solicitor’s Office “SSO” was under resourced in defending the JDAP. So despite a 5 member panel voting unanimously to reject the proposal – THE DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION has now been approved. There was evidence not presented by the SSO at the hearing, and as you will see below the SSO failed to argue 4 of the 6 points for the JDAPS reason for rejection. Its seems that the JDAP cannot even defend itself even when they strongly oppose a development. This makes even a further mockery of our planning system and laws.

This is devastating for the residents of Reynolds Road and particularly the residents whose homes back onto the site, with their bedroom windows right outside the drive through.

Residents are still getting their heads around all of this as some will be heavily impacted but as group we are calling on the Premier to either “Back the DAP” and defend his flawed planning system, or “Scrap the DAP” because clearly even such a strong rejection by a panel can’t stop inappropriate developments.

The State Solicitor did not argue that the development would be inconsistent with the:

    1. State Planning Policy 4.2
    2. Statement of Intent for the Reynolds Road Precinct under the current City of Melville Community Planning Scheme No 5 (CPS5)
    3. CPS5 in terms of the proposed acoustic walls
    4. Objectives of the Neighbourhood Centre as outlined in draft LPS6

The Manager of Statutory Planning at the City of Melville changed his opinion that the proposed development would seriously conflict with the objectives of the Scheme  and its intent to “it would be difficult to resist approving the proposed development under the existing scheme“.

It is disappointing to note that Judge Parry stated “Had Mr Prendergast’s evidence remained as it was originally foreshadowed in his witness statement and had the respondent’s case remained as it was originally formulated, the Tribunal’s determination as the correct and preferable decision in this proceeding “may well have been different“.

What the above tells us is that our original concerns about the State Solicitor being under resourced were well founded.

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