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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Peter McGauran MP
&
Western Australian Minister for the Environment
Mark McGowan MLA
&
Western Australian Minister for Agriculture and Forestry
Kim Chance MLC
&
Western Australian Minister for Planning and Infrastructure
Alannah MacTiernan MLA

29 August 2006

New land use planning initiative for WA


A project designed to strengthen land use planning ties between Western Australia’s local governments and regional communities was today announced by the Australian and Western Australian Governments.

The three-year, $1.1 million initiative is being funded through the Australian Government’s $3 billion Natural Heritage Trust and will be complemented by cash and in-kind contributions from the State and local governments.

The project will be coordinated by the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) in partnership with the Western Australian Planning Commission, Department for Planning and Infrastructure and regional groups.

It will help improve the process for the consideration of natural resource management (NRM) values within strategic and statutory land use planning across the State.

Australian Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said the project will help people share information to achieve long-term results for environmental work.

“Local governments play a vital role in managing our natural assets, and they need the best available scientific data to make decisions about the way they use the land in their area,” Senator Campbell said.

“In its first year, the project will look at the existing tools that provide for the integration of NRM considerations into the land use planning system. The next phase will be a grants scheme to support activities that protect areas of significant environmental value.”

Western Australian Agriculture Minister Kim Chance said the work would offer access to planning expertise and advice.

“Councils and regional bodies will be able to work closely together to tackle issues like salinity, declining water quality and sustainable land use,” he said.

“This is also going to provide better guidance for us on future funding for activities that cross local government as well as regional boundaries.

Western Australian Environment Minister, Mr Mark McGowan, said the initiative would provide consistency and guidance on systems such as conservation zoning.

“This will give local governments and regional groups support to use the most practical ways to protect the environment. Getting a consistent understanding is a great start,” he said.

“The project will bolster integrated activities like the Perth and South West Biodiversity Projects, which combine resource assessment, planning and education with on-ground conservation work.”

Western Australian Planning Minister Alannah MacTiernan said metropolitan and rural areas would benefit from the review of land use planning tools.

“Land use planning can play a vital role in managing our natural assets, so it’s important for local governments and regional groups to understand how planning can help them achieve their goals,” she said.

“This project will lead to more informed decisions on how to best care for our land and water, ultimately giving communities more ownership of sustainable, long-term natural resource management solutions.”

For more information about natural resource management visit www.nrm.gov.au

Media Contact:
Rob Broadfield (Senator Campbell) 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902
Nancy Joseph (Minister McGauran) 02 6277 7520
Alicia Miriklis (Mr Chance) 08 9213 6700 or 0428 911 240
Kym Coolhaas (Mr McGowan) 08 9222 9111 or 0408 051 772
Mark McGill (Ms MacTiernan) 08 9213 6400 or 0439 904 770

Commonwealth of Australia