As Western Australia’s Perth and Peel regions ready for a population growth of almost 70 per cent by 2050, the state government is busy testing the waters with a strategy they believe will encourage this growth in an environmentally sustainable way.
The draft Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan for 3.5 million, released back in December 2015, provides a framework to support this growth by delivering an efficient and liveable city while protecting the area’s natural environment.
The draft plan delivers two critical outcomes:
- Cutting red tape by securing upfront Commonwealth environmental approval and streamlining State environmental approvals for the development required to support growth to 3.5 million people; and
- Unprecedented protection of WA bushland, rivers, wildlife and wetlands through implementation of a comprehensive plan to protect the environment.
The government is calling it a 21st century approach to integrating environmental protection and land use planning as it is based on the largest urban-based environmental assessment ever undertaken in Australia.
The assessment has allowed the cumulative environmental impacts of growth to 3.5 million people to be considered at an early stage so it can be minimised in conjunction with a comprehensive program of conservation actions at a landscape scale.
The program will encourage streamlined approvals process for development actions or ‘classes of action’, including urban and industrial development, rural residential development, infrastructure development, basic raw materials extraction and harvesting of pine plantations.
But these developments will be considered within the plan’s environmental assessment of the region to provide certainty in relation to where development can be contemplated and the environmental obligations that will apply in terms of avoidance, mitigation and conservation actions.
PROPERTY COUNCIL ONBOARD
In a submission to the WA Department of the Premier and Cabinet, the Property Council of Australia said that it supports the proposal but requires further detail.
The Council says that while the changes will deliver greater certainty by streamlining the environmental approvals regime while stimulating infill development, they do however, have concerns surrounding a number of gaps within the proposals that have ramifications for their members and would like to suggest some recommendations.
- Release a detailed review of options on the funding mechanism for the Green Growth Plan
- Compensation for land owners for land taken or rendered undevelopable by created conservation areas
- Ensure alignment between Perth and Peel @3.5 million and Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan for 3.5 million
- Release the methodology behind the spatial mapping
- Introduce a mechanism to reclassify land
Submissions have now closed for the draft document and the WA government is now preparing the final document.
View the draft document here: