THE Western Australian Planning Commission is seeking public comment on the draft Guilderton to Kalbarri sub-regional planning strategy with submissions due early next year.
The commission said the strategy was an overarching planning document guiding the future planning and development of the coastal lands within the local government areas of Gingin, Dandaragan, Coorow, Carnamah, Irwin and Northampton and Greater Geraldton.
The draft plan’s executive summary said historically, the sub-region had been characterised by small fishing and tourist towns nestled along a coastline of sandy beaches and fringe reefs, with the regional city of Geraldton anchoring economic and social service provision.
The executive summary said the strategy responded to a range of potential planning issues that would affect the coast including Perth’s outer suburbs sprawling up the coast, threatening large tracts of pristine remnant vegetation and stretching infrastructure servicing demands, urban growth threatening areas with high biodiversity significance, known strategic mineral and petroleum resource value and other recognised natural assets and changing coastal processes prompting the need for guidance on existing and proposed development to inform coastal hazard risk management and adaptation plans.
Other issues were the continued population and tourist growth prompting the need for strategic and sustainable potential tourism opportunities, Indian Ocean Dr being compromised as an important tourist route if it was used for major freight and the need for new recreational marine facilities in the sub-region, in particular at Ledge Point and Lancelin.
The strategy sets 17 policy statements specific to the sub-region.
“These clarify the commission’s position on matters such as coastal hazard risk, the future of Wedge and Grey, settlement hierarchy definition, limitations on future rural residential development and avoiding native vegetation loss,’’ the executive summary said.
“Eleven future actions are set for the WAPC to undertake, some of which are specific to the sub-region and others that may have broader application.
“The future actions respond to data gaps and proactive initiatives identified in the preparation of the sub-regional strategy.
“Future actions include land assembly for nonresidential public uses, preparation of a further sub-regional strategy for the Mid West’s Batavia Coast, investigating the need for a study to identify future demand for a Perth-Geraldton passenger rail service, and assisting in the preparation of tourism strategies to guide local planning strategies.’’
Submissions close on Monday, February 5, 2018.
To read the draft Guilderton to Kalbarri sub-regional planning strategy visit https://www.planning.wa.gov.au/publications/10318.aspx