Environment, Town Planning and Local Government

2015/16 Annual Report

The Environment, Town Planning and Local Government Committee increased its membership to 14 members during 2015/16, the majority of whom participated to a greater or less extent in the six meetings which the Committee held during the year.

The Committee continued its ongoing interest in the regularisation of environmental appeals, involving contact through the Executive when possible with Government and opposition representatives. There appears no present appetite at a political level for the transfer of any environmental appeals to the State Administrative Tribunal, but the matter is considered significantly important to justify review at each meeting.

The Committee contributed to the Education Committee for Law Summer School and the CPD programme. The Committee examined possible ways to improve liaison with the Education Committee and the formulation of appropriate seminar topics within the Committee’s areas of special interest, and in the selection of seminar participants.

The Committee continued its monitoring of:

• The Review of the Contaminated Sites Act 2003 (WA);
• State Planning Policy 2.8, and the impact on landowners of its provisions for conservation areas. This was the subject of a meeting with Department of Planning (DoP) representatives and the establishment of a continuing dialogue with DoP on Policy 2.8 and related matters;
• the possibility of Third Party planning appeals; and
• the review of the Planning and Development Act 2005 (WA)

Following on from the submission the Committee prepared on behalf of the Law Society in 2014 on the then proposed new Planning Regulations, the Committee examined the Planning and Development (Local planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 (WA), which came into operation on 19 October 2015. The Committee provided a speaker and chairperson for a seminar on the Regulations in March 2016.

The Committee maintained its participation in the activities of the Australian Environment and Planning Law Group.

The Committee has considered aspects of the law relating to land acquisition and compensation.

Finally, the Committee again gratefully recognises the contribution of Law Society staff for their assistance in the running of the Committee’s business.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au