Horse owners urged to comment on Swan Valley Planning Review report

L-R: Cr Rod Henderson and Diane Bennit, discussing issues for horse owners if the current Swan Valley Planning review conditions go ahead.
L-R: Cr Rod Henderson and Diane Bennit, discussing issues for horse owners if the current Swan Valley Planning review conditions go ahead.

HORSE owners in the Swan Valley are being asked to make a submission on the Swan Valley Planning Review report following some proposed changes to the access of water.

The report prepared by John Kobelke for Planning Minister Rita Saffioti outlines changes to the priority of water access due to limited ground water in the region.

The changes put properties with horses and livestock among the lowest priority for water, below table grapes, wine grapes and other farming.

City of Swan Councillor Rod Henderson urged the equestrian community to make a submission on the report.

“This is about the equestrian community; there are a lot of horse owners and horse properties in the Swan Valley, with some of them being professional pursuits such as racing and pacing,” he said.

“This document will mean many changes for property owners in the Swan Valley, so it’s important people read through it carefully and make a submission before the due date.”

Cr Henderson said he was also calling for Ms Saffioti to extend the deadline for the submission period to allow more people to comment.

“Many people are away this time of year on holidays, so 30 days is not enough time to make comment.”

WA Horse Council chair Diane Bennit said if changes were imposed on water for horse properties, it would no doubt bring more restrictions at a local government level.

“If water allocation is reduced, the number of horses allowed per each property will be reduced because there won’t be enough water,” she said.

“This would mean a dramatic loss of horses in the area and impacting a major industry of the Swan Valley.”

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said after concern from the Swan Valley Planning Committee the public comment period would be extended for a further 30 days.

“As a result of feedback from the Swan Valley Planning Committee chair Charlie Zannino and other representatives from the City of Swan, I am happy to extend the public comment period for another 30 days,” she said.

“It is very pleasing to see the community take such an active interest in the process and I look forward to receiving the feedback.”

To make a submission by August 30, visit https://www.planning.wa.gov.au/swan-valley-planning-review.aspx.