Impacts of the WTC Buffer Zone Issue

29/07/2016

The Minister for State Development has made it clear that he has referred the draft legislation regarding the Western Trade Coast (WTC) buffer zone to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) with specific direction to provide advice as to the placement of the boundary of the ‘protected area’.

The City now understands that only a portion of this buffer zone boundary line will be subject to investigation by the EPA.

“The City is concerned that if the EPA focuses on just one section of the boundary line, the rights and interests of our residents will be ignored”, said City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels. “We hope that all aspects of the matter, including the entire WTC buffer zone boundary line, are investigated by the EPA, in line with legislation and according to contemporary scientific principles”.

As well as the impact on residents, the City is concerned about the delay this protracted issue is imposing on the realisation of job-creating projects. “There is an area of prime commercial land on Patterson Road that’s going begging at the moment because even though there are developers eager to create new opportunities there, we can’t provide the necessary approvals” said Mayor Sammels. “So this ongoing delay is now costing jobs, costing investment, and costing commercial activity.”

“We call upon the government to allow us to amend our town planning scheme to proceed because the buffer zone fiasco could take years to resolve.”

The City also seeks an assurance from the Minister that the entire WTC boundary line will be subject to appropriate assessment by the EPA.

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