City of Wanneroo councillors ‘shocked’ at lack of clarity in Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan

Picture: file image
Picture: file image

The Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan for 3.5 million was released for public comment in December.

The aim of the plan is to protect 170,000ha of bushland through new and expanded conservation reserves and provide upfront Federal and streamlined State environmental approvals while addressing population growth.

A report by the City has slammed the plan as being “excessively large and complex”, “poorly structured”, “at times poorly written” and “largely unacceptable”.

It said the 2600-page document was missing a range of important information and advice, lacked detailed mapping and did not explain potential implications to the City or its residents.

Councillors spent nearly an hour questioning the proposal at last week’s briefing session, with several councillors expressing concern at the impact it would have on residents.

“To say I’m gobsmacked is an understatement,” Cr Dianne Guise said.

“I’m worried; what will it mean to our residents?”

Acting planning and sustainability director Mark Dickson said the City had “significant concerns” about the plan, especially that residents were not aware of its potential effects.

“It has far-reaching implications for the east Wanneroo area,” he said.

“It’s a very complicated document…but it still does not give the City and its residents all the information it needs to form a response.

“We don’t know which parts of the community are affected.

“Landowners may not ultimately be able to develop their land.”

Cr Samantha Fenn said it would put the council in an “unfortunate position”.

“Council is not going to be informed now to act in community’s interests,” she said.

“The community deserves an explanation on this and it should be prioritised.”

Councillors also feared it did not take into account the current proposed Metropolitan Regional Scheme amendment to rezone areas in east Wanneroo from urban to urban deferred.

“I can’t believe that Government departments haven’t communicated with each other,” Cr Guise said.

“One is going to impact severely on the other.”

The City’s report recommended the council make an interim submission to the Department of Premier and Cabinet not to support the plan until it provided consultation with affected landowners and the City, detailed mapping showing land affected, cost implications and implementation details, with councillors to vote at the April 5 meeting.

Mayor Tracey Roberts urged landowners to read the document.

“It is important that our residents have clarity and transparency about future plans for the area, especially those landowners with remnant native vegetation that could be considered to be of environmental value,” she said.

“While this is not a City of Wanneroo document, we strongly encourage our residents to respond to help shape its preparation and highlight the issues and opportunities that exist in their local area.”

To view the plan, click here.

More details after criticism

THE State Government has provided more detailed information about the Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan for 3.5 million following pressure from the Opposition.

Higher quality maps are now available as part of the plan and the public consultation period has been extended to May 13.

Shadow environment spokesman Chris Tallentire said it came after criticism of the plan’s clarity during parliamentary debate.

“This plan will have enormous planning and environment implications,” he said.

“It affects many landowners so it is only fair that extensive information be made available.”

The interactive map indicates many large areas in the metro north-west region that have ‘broad commitments and values’ that are described in the accompanying fact sheet as requiring further refinement and may relate to areas of threatened fauna habitats and uncommon types of native vegetation.

There are also a number of ‘specific commitments’ areas, including in Neerabup, Pinjar, Mariginiup, Alkimos and Landsdale, which represent sites such as conservation category wetlands and Bush Forever to be protected.

It said the map was based on the best available current data from environmental agencies but not intended to identify environmental values on specific sites.