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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 848 asked in the Legislative Council on 15 August 2019 by Hon Rick Mazza

Minister responding: Hon R. Saffioti
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 15 August 2019

COASTAL EROSION

848. Hon RICK MAZZA to the minister representing the Minister for Planning:

I refer to coastal erosion concerns along the Western Australian coastline, particularly in the Shire of Gingin and the City of Greater Geraldton.

(1) How has the state government engaged with local governments on this issue?

(2) Has the state government received correspondence from local governments, such as the Shire of Gingin, on the subject of coastal erosion, and replied to their concerns?

(3) Have state government ministers visited the Shire of Gingin to see the damage firsthand and to speak to councillors; and, if not, do they plan to?

(4) Is the state government considering a coastal protection fund for next year's state budget?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The honourable member will have been advised that this question was referred to the Minister for Planning, because it does not relate to the portfolio of the Minister for Environment. The answer has been provided by the Minister for Planning.

(1) The state government engages with local governments through the provision of coastal grants from the WA Planning Commission and Department of Transport; the provision of technical support and advice to local coastal managers while they undertake projects that receive coastal grants, share coastal information and data, and provide specialist scientific and engineering advice for sustainable coastal hazard management; and by participating on the Shire of Gingin and City of Geraldton coastal hazard risk management and adaptation plan steering committees.

(2) Recently, the state government has received correspondence from local governments, including the Shire of Gingin, on coastal erosion, and has and does respond accordingly. State government agencies, including the Department of Transport and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, regularly engage with and provide technical support to local governments such as the Shire of Gingin.

(3) The minister met with the Shire of Gingin on 7 August 2019.

(4) The state government currently allocates around $2 million a year to assist with coastal planning and management through a range of grant funding programs. In recognition of how widespread coastal erosion threats are becoming both within Western Australia and nationally, the Premier raised this issue at the Council of Australian Governments meeting last week. The state government has also written to the commonwealth requesting a national, cross-jurisdictional approach to collaboratively deal with the problem, and that it be prioritised for intergovernmental discussions.