DAPs (Development Assessment Panels) and the Disastrous Amendment 49
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Digesting the DAPS and Dahl

You saw this image last week. Another appalling development for Fremantle (the mayor blamed the DAP system, whereas in reality it is the scheme amendment 49 amendments which are allowing such dismal outcomes). 

We had a full house last night at the Maya Restaurant to discuss the DAP  (Development Assessment Panel) system. Former Fremantle MP Adele Carles was there and wrote to Julie Matheson, Subiaco councillor, who had addressed us. This is the letter from the former MP:

"Thank you for addressing us last night in Fremantle about the failed DAPs system.  I was the Member for Fremantle when this legislation was passed in Parliament and I did not support it.  Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren did not support it.  However the DAPs took effect in 2011 and its negative impact on Fremantle has been compounded by the fact that the Fremantle Council removed height controls in its Local Town Planning Scheme after this in 2012.   Here is a timeline showing how this has played out to the detriment of Fremantle:

1)    May 2010 - The Liberal Government and the Labor Opposition supported the DAPs legislation in  the State Parliament.   I spoke against it warning that it was undemocratic and totally unsupported by the Local Government sector.  Click on link to see Hansard debate  Approvals and Related Reforms (No. 4) (Planning) Bill 2009


2)     2011-  I wrote to all Fremantle Councillors advising them about the dangerous DAPs law that had now taken effect.  I advised them to tighten the Local Town Planning Scheme as this would bind future DAPs decisions.  Click link to read this letter        CBD Heights


3)    2012 - in a test case, the DAPs approved a development in Bayswater that the whole Bayswater Council had rejected. Again, I warned Fremantle Council that the only way to ward off future bad DAPs decisions in Fremantle was a robust, protective  Town Planning Scheme.  Click link  Chickens Coming Home to Roost on DAPs


4)     2012 -Fremantle ignored my warnings and took the opposite action.  It unanimously amended its  Town Planning Scheme (amendment 49)  to INCREASE HEIGHTS  in the CBD of Fremantle.  It knowingly removed height restrictions in its Town Planning Scheme that previous generations of Councillors had worked hard to secure.  


5)     February 2012- I tabled Don Whittington’s 442 strong petition in Parliament calling on the State Government to ensure the built heritage and human scale of Fremantle be protected Act to Protect Fremantle’s Future


6)     June 2016-  Brad Pettitt complains that the DAPS is bad for Fremantle!! Yes, we know this…we predicted this 5 years ago, but the horse has now bolted.  Click on link to read  Mayor gives DAPs a blunt assessment.  




7)     Fremantle needs to restore the protections it removed in its Local Town Planning Scheme in 2012


8)     The ‘Scrap the DAPS’ campaign should focus in on the State Parliament with petitions and other campaign strategies making this a big State election issue for March 2017.   State MPs created this problem in 2010 and only State MPs can fix this mess by repealing this ill-conceived legislation.  As we heard last night, the States of NSW and Victoria have repealed DAPS laws.  We need to do the same here in WA.

Thank you Asele for allowing us to publish your letter.

At the meeting, members voted as follows:

“That The Fremantle Society:
1.        Writes to our Local Member expressing its dissatisfaction with the Development Assessment Panel process and calling on her to request the Opposition to support their removal and
2.       Requests the City of Fremantle to support the positon adoptied by many other Councils and pass the Scrap the DAPs motion.

Members can sign up to receive details of the DAP affected community by using this email:  <>


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