LANDOWNERS from Pickering Brook and Carmel met with Planning Minister Rita Saffioti this week to discuss obstacles preventing their visions for leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.
Ms Saffioti said there were parallels between the issues facing Swan Valley producers and Hills producers, and the need for a review of the Pickering Brook and Carmel areas to ensure a sustainable future for the area.
“Having grown up on a family owned orchard, I am very familiar with the challenges facing orchardists in the Perth Hills and understand the need for planning certainty,” she said.
“I would like to work with the City of Kalamunda to balance the need for retaining priority agricultural land and ensure that Pickering Brook has a growing community.
“We may look to learn from the Swan Valley planning review process, in terms of how challenges have been addressed and how these learnings can be applied to the Perth Hills.”
Ms Saffioti said Pickering Brook had been identified as needing further planning investigation in the final North East Sub-regional Planning Framework.”
Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes said he strongly supported initiatives which resulted in greater tourism and jobs for the region.
“There is much potential for the Pickering Brook and Carmel area, and residents appreciate the Minister’s time and understanding of the restrictions currently in place, preventing landowners from enabling their vision,” he said.
“We look forward to the ‘Planning Investigation’ occurring.”
Landowner Raymond Furfaro said locals welcomed anything that reduced “red tape” to support tourism in the region.
“We look forward to ongoing conversations that lead to a strategic direction for tourism in our hills,” he said.