The Swan Valley Planning Act 2020 has passed Parliament and will soon become law, delivering on yet another McGowan Government election commitment.
The new Act creates a simpler and more streamlined process for planning decisions in the region through three key approaches:
- a new bespoke planning scheme to replace the existing dual use planning scheme system;
- new decision-making body, Swan Valley Statutory Planning Committee, a sub-committee of the Western Australian Planning Commission, to determine development applications;
- a new local leadership group to provide advice to the Planning Minister on strategic matters.
There have been 82 submissions received from the community on the first draft of the Swan Valley Planning Scheme.
These are currently being reviewed while with another version of the scheme available in January for comment.
Draft policies, including a visual landscape assessment, will be released for public consultation once the new Swan Valley Planning Scheme has commenced.
The Swan Valley Planning Act 2020 follows an independent, whole-of-Government review of the Swan Valley that began in 2017 under the leadership of the late Hon. John Kobelke.
The study identified the need for a dedicated and streamlined planning framework, supporting growth in tourism and hospitality while protecting the Valley’s agricultural and viticultural activities.
As stated by Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:
“Some Bills are more special than others – the Swan Valley Planning Bill has been something I have been working on for many years and I am so pleased that this legislation has finally passed through Parliament.
“The Swan Valley Planning Act 2020 recognises the unique character of the Swan Valley as a productive agricultural region within the Perth metropolitan area, entitled to a separate standalone planning system.
“The Valley’s renowned agriculture, wine and food industries and rural setting attract more than two million visitors a year, which in turn drives significant tourism and hospitality business in the area.
“The new Swan Valley Planning Scheme facilitated by the Act will provide certainty to landowners, residents and small businesses and enable them to realise a sustainable long-term future.
“Thank you to all the local residents and community groups for their support and input into this legislation.”