World Town Planning Day at Busselton
World Town Planning Day celebrates and acknowledges the contribution of planners to highlight the importance of town planning in shaping communities and lifestyles both now and into the future.
For planning personnel at the Shire of Busselton, World Town Planning Day is an opportunity to tap into the experiences and ideas of town planners from different cultures.
The theme for World Town Planning Day 2011 is 'Planning for Better Public Space'.
This is an area of particular focus for the Shire of Busselton which is experiencing rapid population growth.
The Shire of Busselton is a member of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) and Director of Planning and Development Services, Nigel Bancroft, is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia.
"Initiatives like this encourage town planners to think outside the box," he said.
"The online convention, which is held in conjunction with World Town Planning Day, is a great forum for individuals and organisations to learn about the experiences of planning professionals in a variety of different locations."
This year the Shire's planning department have introduced several changes to improve services and streamline approval processes.
For example, a planning enquiries officer is now permanently stationed at the Shire's customer service counter.
Planning applications can be accepted directly over the counter and checked straightaway.
This eliminates double handling and provides a useful on the spot advice service.
During the past 12 months the Shire's planning and development department successfully met all planning and building application processing targets.
In 2009–2010 the average number of working days taken to process a building application was 16.8.
In 2010–2011 this had improved significantly to less than half that time.
During 2010–2011 the turn around time associated with processing planning applications improved significantly with 90 per cent of all applications being determined within the designated service delivery timeframe.