COVID-19 Planning Approval Exemptions and Future Reform Exemptions


​The State Government, through the Minister for Planning, has introduced a series of changes to the local and state planning legislation, frameworks and schemes.

If utilising the State Government planning approval exemptions, you must notify the Shire within seven (7) days of taking up the exemption.

A Notice of Exemption has now been issued providing a blanket two-year extension to be granted for all current development approvals to assist job-creating projects during the recovery stage.

The Notice of Exemption also identifies other matters which, during the period of emergency, temporarily will no longer require planning approval across a number of essential local community services, including: 

·    medical or health-related facilities required in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
·   truck and logistic companies needing to deliver goods but currently with restricted loading and unloading times;
·    businesses seeking to adapt by changing their current approved use;
·    restaurants and cafes required to sell takeaway in contravention of current planning conditions;
·    people operating their businesses from residential zones;
·    the parking of commercial vehicles on residential properties;
·    businesses needing to change signage; and
·    provision of temporary workers' accommodation.

The requirement to provide up to 10 car bays and/or cash in lieu for non-residential development is also temporarily exempt during this time.

Please note that an exemption from planning approval, whether temporary or permanent, does not exempt the requirements of other legislation. All uses and/or works are still required to comply with the relevant health and building requirements and legislation.

A notification of exemptions can be issued once a State of Emergency is declared. On 8 April 2020 the Minister for Planning issued a Notice of Exemption in response to COVID-19 which outlines a range of temporary exemptions from certain approvals and requirements.

Usual approvals will need to be sought in most instances within 90 days of the lifting of the State of Emergency. This period gives time for a proponent who wishes to continue the particular use or regularise any particular work to obtain new or amended development approval.

Amendments to the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, came into effect providing the Minister with authority to temporarily override requirements and conditions set out in local planning schemes, and existing conditions in planning approvals.

These changes aim to remove barriers within the planning system to support businesses and enable flexible responses in a changing environment.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the McGowan Government has been working to identify legislative and regulatory measures that would better support urgent decision making and ensure the Government has the flexibility to best serve the Western Australian community in economic recovery.


​Authorised by Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer
Contact Sheri Laba, Public Relations Officer

​Contact for comment: Paul Omodei, Shire President
Contact: 0448 810 773​

Page reviewed: 03 Jul 2020 10:20am