New plan to preserve and enhance Swan Valley’s character

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE State Government has released a plan for the future of the Swan Valley, which recommends a new Swan Valley Bill and independent planning authority for the region.

The Swan Valley Action Plan is a response to the Swan Valley planning review, a report led by the late John Kobelke.

The review involved more than 50 face-to-face interviews and hundreds of survey responses.

The plan will move to cut red tape and provide a contemporary planning framework for the region, helping to preserve its distinctive rural character.

Planning minister Rita Saffioti said residents and businesses in the Swan Valley had become frustrated with confusing planning processes.

“We have listened to these concerns and our Swan Valley Action Plan strikes the right balance between maintaining the area’s unique rural character, while supporting viticulture, lifestyle and equine uses, and suitable food, beverage and local produce tourism,” Ms Saffioti said.

The Action Plan includes:

– A new Swan Valley Bill which will provide clear planning guidance, clearly define ‘rural character’ and outline appropriate scale of tourism and development;

– A new Swan Valley planning scheme that will include new land use zones and definitions, guide new ventures and encourage innovative proposals;

– An independent Swan Valley planning authority, established as a sub-committee of the Western Australian Planning Commission to streamline decision making on planning matters and assess development applications; and

– A strategic leadership group to champion the Swan Valley and provide a strong voice for a range of issues including viticulture, equine uses and tourism.

According to Ms Saffioti the introduction of the new Swan Valley Bill will provide contemporary guidance aimed at conserving historical and cultural heritage for future generations.

“It is right on the doorstep of our city and has so much potential, throughout a vast array of local industries,” she said.

“John Kobelke put a great deal of work into this report – I thank him for his work and I look forward to continuing to implement his vision for this unique region.”