Swan Valley Planning Action Plan released

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti released the McGowan Government’s response to the Kobelke Report into planning in the Swan Valley on 1 October. The response comprises of a Swan Valley Action Plan that includes a raft of changes and new initiatives, including a replacement Swan Valley Planning Act and a Statutory Planning Authority for the Swan Valley as a sub-committee of the WAPC.

The late John Kobelke was appointed by the Government to undertake a review of planning in the Swan Valley in 2017. The review’s terms of reference included a range of considerations with the end goal of presenting a vision that balanced various land uses within the Swan Valley. These considerations included securing the region’s future prosperity across rural, agricultural and tourism activities. Mr Kobelke’s review included an consultation process that sought the views of the community and industry alike.

The Swan Valley Planning Action Plan sets out a number of measures that will seek to build on the recommendations of the Kobelke Report. Most notably, these measures include the drafting of a new Swan Valley Planning Act, as well as new planning areas and objectives that distinguish rural and residential uses from tourism. This includes a repurposed Swan Valley Enterprise Park for light industrial businesses.

A separate Swan Valley Statutory Planning Authority will replace all current planning assessment decision-makers handling statutory planning items, including Local Government and existing WAPC arrangements. The Swan Valley Strategic Planning Committee will also be established as a WAPC sub-committee that will perform the normal roles of the WAPC with respect to a new Swan Valley Planning Scheme, operation of State Planning Policy and Planning Scheme amendments where they arise. It will also give consideration to name changes of certain suburbs to better define the Swan Valley as a region.

Beyond these measures, the State Government has also indicated it is considering temporary tax changes that would encourage the lease of currently under-utilised land in the Swan Valley, as well as catering for future increased demand in tourism and agriculture.

More details about the Swan Valley Planning Action Plan, including background information, can be found here.

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti’s media release relating to the plan can be assessed here.