Investment lull shrugged off by Mandurah and Murray

Peel local government leaders insist the region continues to attract private investment, despite a lack of high-end development applications being submitted to councils over the last 12 months. Photos: Mandurah Mail.
Peel local government leaders insist the region continues to attract private investment, despite a lack of high-end development applications being submitted to councils over the last 12 months. Photos: Mandurah Mail.

Peel local government leaders insist the region continues to attract private investment, despite a lack of high-end development applications being submitted to councils over the last 12 months.

Any project submitted to a West Australian local government that is valued at more than $10 million must be assessed by a state government Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP).

In the case of the City of Mandurah and Shire of Murray, the Metro South West JDAP scrutinises local projects, along with proposals from the Cities of Cockburn, Fremantle, Kwinana and Rockingham, and Town of East Fremantle.

Research shows the last City of Mandurah development application sent to the South West JDAP was back in January 2018, with the Rowe Group applying to construct a medical centre on Minilya Parkway in Greenfields.

Since then, 37 proposals from the six neighbouring councils have been assessed.

City of Mandurah chief executive Mark Newman said development activity in Mandurah has reduced over the last 18 months following the approvals of Lakelands, Halls Head, Mandurah Forum and Greenfields shopping centre developments, showroom developments in Greenfields and Halls Head and the Masters/Bunnings take over and relocation.

"Since January 2018, the City has assessed seven applications between $2 million and $10 million for apartments, retirement village and commercial developments in a range of locations throughout Mandurah and a further 10 applications for developments valued between $1 million and $2 million," he said.

"In addition, approximately 350 new residential lots have been created and approvals for approximately 750 new residential houses have been granted."

The Shire of Murray's last proposal to reach the SW JDAP was the approval of Saracen Developments' retail and commercial centre in Furnissdale back in August 2018.

Since then, 20 applications from other councils in the region have been assessed by the SW JDAP.

Shire of Murray acting chief executive officer Julie Burton said nearly half a million people reside in the JDAP area and a development level consistent with such a population was experienced.

"Considering the Shire's current population is around 18,000 and the trigger for mandatory referral of planning applications to JDAP is for developments with a value exceeding $10 million, the Shire typically receives one to two JDAP applications per year," she said,

"Whilst developers of smaller scale projects with a value between $2m and $10m can elect to refer their applications to JDAP, most do not, as experience suggests that approval can be attained more quickly and cost effectively at the local government level."