Environment, Town Planning and Local Government

2016/17 Annual Report

The Environment, Town Planning and Local Government Committee has had a busy 2016/17 with outcomes including:

  • the Committee has again attempted but been unable to interest major political parties in the transfer of environmental appeals to independent adjudication in the State Administration Tribunal. The Committee is committed to continuing its efforts to deprive Western Australia of the distinction of being the only State where planning appeals are not dealt with by an independent tribunal;
  • recommendations and contributions were made to the Law Society’s Education Committee for CPD seminar topics and speakers including a seminar on compulsory taking of land and compensation has seeking to correct a perceived anomaly in the compensation provisions of the LA Act;
  • contribution to the Law Society’s discussion paper on unqualified people engaging in legal work, particularly focusing on non-lawyer advocates charging for their advocacy services in State Administration Tribunal matters; and 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 uncompensated setting aside of land for conservation purposes; and
  • the possibility of Third Party planning appeals.

The Committee maintained its participation in the activities of the Australian Environment and Planning Law Group.
The major project of the Committee has been to focus and inform the Law Society’s Council’s efforts to assist in dealing with the apparent depletion of the planning law specialist adjudicating membership at the State Administration Tribunal. That is a work in progress.

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