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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 10 asked in the Legislative Council on 12 February 2019 by Hon Tim Clifford

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

Answered on 12 February 2019

PLANNING — BUSHFIRE MANAGEMENT — MT HELENA

10. Hon TIM CLIFFORD to the minister representing the Minister for Planning:

The Western Australian Planning Commission recommended against a subdivision in Mt Helena based on the Department of Fire and Emergency Services' advice that bushfires could not be adequately managed and the development would pose a risk to lives and homes. The Minister for Planning has overridden this advice, saying in an article published by The West Australian

The approval is a commonsense approach that balanced the needs of the community with the management of fire risk.

(1) Will the minister please elaborate on how commonsense will be applied by residents of this subdivision in the event of a bushfire?

(2) Will the minister clarify whether there are any streets that pose an entrapment risk in or around this subdivision; and, if so, how will the minister ensure that residents on these streets are able to evacuate in the event of a bushfire?

(3) Will the minister please table any reports or advice received from the government's climate change department on this matter?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1)–(2) Appropriate planning requires that technical concerns are balanced with ensuring the ongoing viability of hills communities. The minister noted that the Shire of Mundaring supported the bushfire management plan prepared for the metropolitan region scheme amendment 1277/57, Mt Helena urban precinct, which includes an area incorporating 20 existing houses on the landholdings that were rezoned, and it is adjacent to an existing subdivision.

An updated and refined bushfire management plan was submitted to the Shire of Mundaring as part of the local structure plan for the site, and sets out the site requirements to be addressed, including access arrangements and lot configuration. The local structure plan, including the bushfire management plan, was advertised by the shire for public comment from 16 November to 14 December 2018 and will provide a recommendation to the WAPC.

(3) The ''Report on Submissions'' for metropolitan region scheme amendment 1277/57, Mt Helena urban precinct, was finalised in October 2017, and contains the advice received from government agencies, including the former Departments of Parks and Wildlife and Environment Regulation. I table a copy of the submissions.

[See paper 2378.]