Plan­ning for change Sarah Brookes


Midland Reporter - - Front Page -

A PE­TI­TION call­ing on Plan­ning Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti to re­con­sider her de­ci­sion to re­voke plan­ning ap­proval to re­zone Wilkins Road in Kala­munda, which would have paved the way for an aged care de­vel­op­ment, will be pre­sented to State Par­lia­ment.

East Metropoli­tan MLC Donna Faragher will present the pe­ti­tion to the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil and said she shared com­mu­nity con­cerns about the de­ci­sion.

“As the for­mer plan­ning min­is­ter, I am dis­ap­pointed the cur­rent min­is­ter has de­cided to re­voke the ap­proval given in Jan­uary of this year,” she said.

“All mat­ters, in­clud­ing envi- ron­men­tal and bush­fire man­age­ment con­cerns, had been care­fully con­sid­ered and the ap­proval was given on the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Western Aus­tralian Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.”

Ms Faragher said the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices had ap­proved a fire man­age­ment plan and the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity had con­sid­ered the amend­ment and de­cided it did not re­quire as­sess­ment.

“De­spite my ques­tion­ing of the Min­is­ter’s de­ci­sion in State Par­lia­ment, the Min­is­ter has re­peat­edly re­fused to give de­tail on the rea­sons or the ad­vice, if any, she has re­ceived that would val­i­date the re­vo­ca­tion,” she said.

How­ever, Ms Saf­fi­oti said a num­ber of is­sues and con­cerns were raised over the site, in­clud­ing bush­fire and Na­tive Ti­tle is­sues.

“It was clear that the ex­pec­ta­tions cre­ated re­gard­ing the site could not be re­alised in an ap­pro­pri­ate time­frame,” she said.

“We are work­ing with the Shire to iden­tify suit­able sites.”

Aged care ad­vo­cate Neil Pem­ber cre­ated the pe­ti­tion re­quest­ing the Min­is­ter re­con­sider her op­po­si­tion to Wilkins Road and to sup­port the amend­ment.

“It has taken six years and in ex­cess of $230,000 of ratepay­ers money to have all gov­ern­ment ap­provals sat­is­fied only to be stalled by the new plan­ning min­is­ter,” he said.

“Clearly the Min­is­ter has not done her home­work be­cause is­sues sur­round­ing bush­fire man­age­ment and Na­tive Ti­tle have been through an ex­haus­tive process and have been sat­is­fac­to­rily dealt with.

“Po­ten­tial risks were con­sid­ered by the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices, which ap­proved a fire man­age­ment plan.

“The En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity con­sid­ered the Amend­ment and de­cided it did not re­quire as­sess­ment.

“From the Com­mis­sion’s per­spec­tive, the ad­vice pro­vided from the Depart­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs did not in­di­cate there was any sub­stan­tive Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage is­sue with the site.”

Mr Pem­ber said Kala­munda des­per­ately needed an in­te­grated aged care fa­cil­ity.

“Western Aus­tralia has a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion and an age­ing pop­u­la­tion,” he said.

“I firmly be­lieve that Wilkins Road is the right place for such a fa­cil­ity.”

City of Swan Com­mu­nity Care Ser­vices Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Ron Carey said he was dis­ap­pointed Ms Saf­fi­oti had asked the Gov­er­nor to re­voke the or­der to al­low the re­zon­ing.

Mr Carey said he would write to the min­is­ter ask­ing her to ex­plain what in­for­ma­tion, ad­vice or ev­i­dence she re­lied upon that al­lowed her to ar­rive at the de­ci­sion to have the pre­vi­ous ap­proval re­voked.


Neil Pem­ber.

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