Amending the region planning schemes

An amendment to the Region Planning Scheme changes the zoning or reservation of land to allow for a different land use.

The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) is responsible for keeping the Region Planning Schemes under review and initiating changes where they are seen to be necessary. An amendment to the Region Planning Scheme changes the zoning or reservation of land to allow for a different land use. The amendment process is regulated by the Planning and Development Act 2005.

An amendment is advertised inviting submissions before a final decision on a proposal is made. A submission is a chance for people to express their opinion and provide information. The number of submissions received for or against a proposal will not determine the result, rather it is the reasoned argument of why a particular thing should or should not be done.

Submissions assist the WAPC in reviewing planning proposals before proceeding. Advertised proposals are often modified in response to the public submission process.

Minor amendment

If a proposal does not, in the opinion of the WAPC, constitute a substantial alteration to the Region Planning Scheme then it is a minor amendment. The process includes the following steps:

  • The proposed amendment is referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to decide whether environmental assessment is needed. Where the EPA requires an environmental review, this is carried out before the amendment is advertised.
  • The amendment is advertised for public comment and landowners whose property is directly affected by a proposed change are contacted in writing.
  • A 60 day period is provided for submissions to be made to the WAPC.
  • The WAPC then considers all submissions and recommends whether to modify the amendment or proceed with the original proposal. The WAPC presents a report and recommendation to the Minister for Planning for consideration.
  • If the Minister approves the amendment, it becomes a legally effective part of the Region Planning Scheme on publication of a notice in the Government Gazette.
  • Within three months of a Region Planning Scheme amendment, any local government must initiate an amendment to its local planning scheme.

Major amendment

If the proposal constitutes a substantial alteration to the Region Planning Scheme then it is a major amendment. The process includes the following steps:

  • The proposed amendment is referred to the EPA to decide whether environmental assessment is needed. Where the EPA requires an environmental review, this is carried out before the amendment is advertised.
  • The amendment is advertised for public comment and landowners whose property is directly affected by a proposed change are contacted in writing.
  • A three month period is provided for submissions to be made to the WAPC.
  • Written submissions are considered by the WAPC. During this time, people who have made submissions may, if they wish, also make an oral presentation to the WAPC.
  • The WAPC always reconsiders a proposed amendment in light of submissions and may choose to modify the amendment before proceeding.
  • If the amendment has been substantially modified as a result of submissions, the Minister may ask the WAPC to re-advertise for further public comment.
  • The Minister presents the recommendations of the WAPC to the Governor for approval.
  • The amendment as approved by the Governor is placed before each house of Parliament where it must remain for 12 sitting days.
  • In Parliament, a member may introduce a motion to disallow the amendment. If this motion succeeds, the Region Planning Scheme will not be amended. Otherwise the amendment becomes legally effective in the Region Planning Scheme.

Understanding amendment documents

In the course of amending region planning schemes, the WAPC publishes information on each amendment. 

Location Plan
This plan shows the location of each of the proposed amendments.

Amendment Report
This document is available from the start of the public advertising period for the proposed amendment.  It sets out the purpose and scope of the amendment, explains why each proposal contained in the amendment is considered necessary and informs people how they can make submissions.

Report on Submissions
This sets out the WAPC report and recommendations in regard to the matters raised in submissions received.  This document is forwarded to the Minister for Planning for consideration and, in turn, the published report conveys the Minister’s decision on the amendment. All submissions received are reproduced and published in the report on submissions as a public record.

Amending Plans
These plans depict the amendment as adopted by the WAPC and approved by the Minister for Planning and incorporate any changes made to the amendment in response to matters raised in the submissions.

Detail Plans
These plans show the Region Scheme as it appears once the amendment has been approved by the Minister for Planning and comes into effect.

 

Page last reviewed 23 November 2018
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