The Western Australian State Government intends to ensure the Western Trade Coast Industrial area is protected by Regulations to ensure incompatible land uses are kept separate from industrial areas. However, City of Rockingham Mayor Sammels said: “While we welcome the move to ensure conflicting land uses are kept separate, the issue of the basis of the buffer zone is of concern to the City.
“The basis of our submission to the State will include the City’s support for the need for a strategically and scientifically identified buffer area.
“In order to apply the planning and statutory frameworks with confidence in this area it is essential to have a modern basis to the EPP buffer which was originally formed in the 1980s and based solely on air quality criteria (sulphur dioxide odour emissions), which is irrelevant to current and future industrial and commercial activities within the zone.
“The current buffer is no longer particularly accurate or effective for strategic land use planning and the protection of the rights of landowners. A credible, scientifically defined buffer would serve to protect rights and interests of all landowners and stakeholders much more effectively.
“Ultimately the City would like to see compatible and harmonious future development with a science based, modern buffer in which there could be transitional land uses, while ensuring residential areas are protected from the impacts of heavy industry.
“The City's preference would be for a formal Act, to be adopted in the place of the proposed
Regulations. An Act would provide clear legislative restrictions prohibiting residential and other sensitive land uses in the WTCPA.”
The City would like residential uses to be excluded from the zone but the current draft legislation does not exclusively prohibit this in the WTCPA. It instead allows the Minister in the absence of parliamentary process or approval of the WA Planning Commission, to make decisions about regulating land uses in the zone. The Minister for Planning and the WAPC already have significant powers under existing legislation to regulate land use, which the City supports, so the draft Bill seems to duplicate those powers.
Read the full report and Council resolution (Page 74)