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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 1109 asked in the Legislative Council on 11 April 2018 by Hon Robin Scott

Question Directed to the: Minister for Environment representing the Minister for Lands
Minister responding: Hon R. Saffioti
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

In respect of a proposed purchase of Lot 1522 on deposited plan 186 503, job 1646192, can the Minister confirm that on 1 March 2018 a State Land Officer wrote to the applicant, Mr Peter Green in the following terms, "The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) have considered information and advice pertaining to your application for issue of a lease or to purchase (Part Reserve 18966) Lot 1522 on Deposited Plan 186503. Firstly, there are concerns with the merits and likelihood of success for the development of a commercial plantation of sandalwood in what is a low rainfall zone. It is estimated that it will take 50 years for a plantation in this area to reach commercial potential. Secondly, the proposed area being Lot 1522 forms part of Reserve 18966. Areas of Reserve 18966 are proposed to be included into the adjoining Yellowdine National Park Reserve as per the Conservation Reserve for Western Australia 1975 report (known as the Red Book report). Based on the above, DPLH is not in a position to issue tenure over Lot 1522. Please be advised that Job 164192 will now be closed.":
(a) can the Minister explain why the DPLH purports to evaluate the commercial viability of a project when considering an approval;
(b) if no to (a), why not;
(c) can the Minister state what specific qualifications are possessed by the staff of DPLH which might give them the capability to pronounce on such matters;
(d) if no to (c), why not;
(e) can the Minister explain why a buyer should be prevented from making a purchase of land unused for fifteen years on the ground of a four-decades-old report which may never be implemented;
(f) if no to (e), why not;
(g) can the Minister explain why the DPLH is preventing a project which has the potential to bring to Western Australia employment, export income, rail freight and port charges;
(h) if no to (g), why not; and
(i) will the Minister personally review this example of bureaucratic overreach?

Answered on 8 May 2018

(a)-(i) The Minister for Lands has requested the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage to review this matter.