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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 999 asked in the Legislative Council on 17 September 2019 by Hon Aaron Stonehouse

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

EAST WANNEROO — HORTICULTURE — ZONING

999. Hon AARON STONEHOUSE to the Minister for Agriculture and Food:

I refer the minister to the answer she gave in response to my question on Thursday, 5 September regarding horticultural rezoning in east Wanneroo. I note recommendation 4 of the 2007 report, ''The Future of East Wanneroo: Land Use and Water Management in the Context of Network City'', and the precedent that the minister acknowledged was set when 2 206 hectares in east Wanneroo were rezoned to allow further development.

(1) Will the minister commit to working constructively with her colleague the Minister for Planning to extend similar rezoning opportunities in other parts of Wanneroo, particularly the Nowergup and Carabooda areas where the horticulture industry continues to struggle?

(2) Will the minister likewise commit to working constructively with another of her colleagues, the Minister for Water, to recognise the clear benefits in allowing at least some of the water licences in the rest of Wanneroo to be rolled into remaining productive farms, and for farmers whose businesses are no longer viable on a realistic exit strategy, while at the same time boosting the horticultural sector as a whole?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question.

(1)–(2) As I said in answer to the member's last question, we rezoned more than 2 000 hectares of land in that area. I urge the member to look at the importance of preserving agricultural activity in that area. I believe some 30 per cent of Perth's food comes from that area. The agricultural sector in the broader Wanneroo area employs more than 1 000 people and contributes an extra estimated $119 million in gross value production and, as I said, approximately 30 per cent of that is used in Perth. We are working very closely with the Ministers for Planning and Water, along with the member for Wanneroo, in trying to resolve these issues. The member may be aware from whoever is advising him that under the previous government there was a 25 per cent cut in the water allocations. We have now reduced that to a 10 per cent cut. We believe that it is quite possible with modern water efficiency to successfully plan to operate with that cut, which will not come into play until 2028. We are doing very detailed farm-by-farm work with those people—unfortunately, they are often lessees, because the landholders are not farming and are leasing to people who are—to try to implement the water efficiencies that we believe are possible.

We certainly do not take the view that, having done more than 2 000 hectares, it is now open slather. But I do support the development of an agritourism zone along Wanneroo Road to provide a buffer with compatible land uses, and the member for Wanneroo, the Minister for Planning and I are working to see how we can progress that.