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Hope Valley-Wattleup Redevelopment Amendment Bill 2010
Extract from Hansard
[COUNCIL — Thursday, 14 April 2011]
Hon Dr Sally Talbot; Hon Lynn MacLaren; Hon Helen Morton
HOPE VALLEY–WATTLEUP REDEVELOPMENT AMENDMENT BILL 2010
Resumed from 16 March.
HON LYNN MacLAREN (South Metropolitan) [12.44 pm]: I rise to make some comments on behalf of the
Greens (WA) about the Hope Valley–Wattleup Redevelopment Amendment Bill 2010. I want to draw attention
to some serious concerns about the large-scale development in this area. The bill, as we know, deletes the
references to the Fremantle–Rockingham Industrial Area Regional Strategy, which is known as the FRIARS
document. The bill gives legislative effect to the master plan, and, as has been quoted, there is some urgency to
ensure public and private confidence in the enforceability of the master plan. LandCorp identified that there was
“some confusion as to the legal status of the master plan”, and the result is that developer contribution plans are
The bill also establishes penalties of $50 000 for contravening the master plan, with a daily penalty of $5 000. It
provides retrospective application and transitional arrangements.
Latitude 32 will expand over 1 400 hectares in the Hope Valley–Wattleup region. It is one of the largest
industrial redevelopments ever attempted in Australia. LandCorp currently owns 15 per cent of this land and is
acting as the main driver in developing a structure plan for the area. I think that is a good thing. On behalf of all
the future landholders there, it is playing a responsible role and is making a contribution to the development of
that area. However, I have some concerns because elected local government authorities will have no decisionmaking
powers. The planning authority was transferred to the Western Australian Planning Commission when
the land was excised from the planning schemes. This was of course the purpose of the Hope Valley–Wattleup
Redevelopment Act 2000, so that debate has been had and I recognise that. But it is important to note who the
decision maker is in this area.
Although I was granted a briefing on this bill—I appreciate that and I thank the Minister for Planning for that—I
could not really get to the bottom of why the act requires an amendment to establish the legal status of the master
plan. Any clarification that the minister can provide in that regard would be helpful, and I know that Hon Sally
Talbot also had some queries about that issue. Like Hon Sally Talbot, I took time to review the debate in 2000
when the act established this industrial area. At that time, I was working in an electorate office in the South
Metropolitan Region. It was a very hot-button issue for the area. It was enlightening to read the debate; it was a
very robust debate in this house. I think that the Legislative Council did a very good job of reviewing the
legislation. This amendment is a blessing in disguise for us in the Legislative Council now because it provides
the Parliament with an opportunity to reflect upon the plan to develop these 1 400 hectares. I will not take up too
much of the house’s time to do that, but I will raise some issues that have been raised previously.
I have a version of the master plan that was drafted in December 2004 and it was amended in April 2008. I
attended one of the consultation sessions. I was trying to remember when that was; it was probably in late 2009
or early 2010, when LandCorp had its maps and was getting feedback from residents. I know that it has been
working hard to develop this master plan. What I do not know is where we are up to in the finalisation of the
master plan, because that is a key part. If we are to make this master plan enforceable, it would be great to know
what is in it. I note that Hon Sally Talbot mentioned that many people in the region were very unhappy with the
process and have been concerned about the time it is taking. But I think it is important to be prudent and to take
our time with such a large-scale development. It would be great if there were more certainty for landowners in
that area, especially when their land is being resumed. I know that there is considerable concern about industry
being in their backyard and on their doorstep. It is important that the master plan puts in place guidelines for how
the individuals in that area and their interests will be protected. If that cannot be done, adequate compensation
must be allowed for. My criticism regarding the decision making authority will not go down well with members
of the Western Australian Planning Commission and the Premier’s ministerial task force on approvals
development and sustainability, which, in my view, have been on a mission to remove the democratic scrutiny of
planning decisions. They call it streamlining and planning reform, but what we have seen so far is the stripping
away of the rights of people to make decisions about the place in which they live. The planning reforms will pull
the rug out from under the wildly popular Keep Cott Low group by undermining its express wish to restrict
heights to a sensible three storeys along the beachfront. Keep Cott Low also does not mind four or five storeys
on particular parts of Cottesloe and on the Ocean Beach Hotel site. This undermining is likely to be achieved
through the new planning mechanism—the government-controlled development assessment panels.
Members should know that those regulations are before us now and they should look at them very carefully.
They are the cornerstone of the government’s planning reforms. The panels replace the locally elected councils.
In the case of the Hope Valley-Wattleup industrial estate, I ask the Minister for Mental Health: who will ensure
that the community interest is served? I draw the minister’s attention to the northern part of Latitude 32 where
Cockburn Cement is located. The Cockburn councillors have worked alongside the residents to seek a solution to
the problems the residents of that area are facing due to the industrial emissions from Cockburn Cement. Once
the master plan is in place, will the councillors of Cockburn still have a role to play in helping the residents or
will the residents have to seek out the faceless men and women of the WAPC to complain about their children’s
blood noses and asthma?
One of the contentious issues during the debate on the Hope Valley-Wattleup Redevelopment Bill was whether
the master plan would be subject to the same review and accountability processes as other planning schemes.
Unlike the Swan Valley Planning Act, which puts in place a regional planning committee, the only authority in
this case is the WAPC. In that sense, I would appreciate the minister providing some clarity about the role of the
boundaries between LandCorp as the developer and WAPC as the planning authority. The government has a
huge responsibility to ensure that the accountability and transparency of planning decisions are maintained.
If through the passage of this amendment bill we will clarify the legal status and strengthen the powers of the
master plan, I would like to be advised on whether the recommended environmental conditions are being
implemented and enforced. I would like some feedback on six areas. Hon Sally Talbot has already mentioned a
couple of them. The first is the water management strategy. That strategy was supposed to be developed to
incorporate specified requirements and be approved before the finalisation of a precinct structure plan. I would
like to know where we are up to with the water strategy. To meet the objectives and requirements of the water
strategy, each use of and development within the redevelopment area shall be carried out within the water
management plan, addressing the management of ground and surface water quality and quantity and potential
contaminants. I would like the minister to provide some feedback on that.
I would also like some feedback on the biodiversity strategy. Specified requirements were supposed to be met
before the finalisation of the first precinct structure plan. In the consultation that I attended, concerns
were raised about wildlife corridors and whether enough contiguous land had been set aside to maintain some of
the fauna and flora that exist there. Prior to the finalisation of this biodiversity strategy, interim
requirements shall apply to any subdivision use and development near wetlands in areas of good or better
quality vegetation or at threatened ecological community sites. It would be prudent at this point of
scrutinising the Hope Valley-Wattleup Redevelopment Act and how it is being implemented to see whether the
biodiversity strategy, of which the government is the key developer, protects the biodiversity of the flora.
I turn now to the Environmental Protection Authority’s objectives for the protection of the water quality of
Cockburn Sound. The Cockburn Sound Management Council has been attending forums and looking at the
industrial development in that area. This, of course, links into the water quality management strategy regarding
how on-site water is managed and whether it flows into the sound. Has the quality of the sound been protected in
the development of this area? The EPA has several objectives. I can either briefly summarise the EPA conditions
or just refer the minister to the EPA report and recommendations.
Hon Helen Morton: That’s okay.
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: Finally, the other environmental condition that the EPA set out for the master plan
was that the construction of more than one house on a lot in a rural precinct shall be prohibited.
I will take a couple of minutes to note in detail the master plan environmental goals that I want to track. I am
asking the minister to tell me where we are at in the achievement of the master plan’s laudable goals. According
to my notes, part 7 on page 40 of the amended 2008 version of the master plan that I have states —
The use or development of land is not to have individual or cumulative adverse environmental or social
- Residential areas outside the Redevelopment Area - This is critical because we are finding that perhaps
the Cockburn Cement buffer could have been firmer. We have heard testimony from the Kwinana Industries
Council that the key point for industry to proceed with confidence in this state is setting adequate
buffers so the industries do not conflict with residents. According to my notes, the goals of the master
plan also include —
- Other land uses and amenities within or outside the Redevelopment Area - We are not supposed to have
environmental or social impacts on other land uses and amenities within or outside the redevelopment area.
That, too, goes to the buffers. Hon Sally Talbot has mentioned other sensitive environments within or
outside the redevelopment area. The other goals of the master plan are to not impact adversely on —
- Conservation category wetlands or any sensitive environments within or outside of the Redevelopment Area;
- Cockburn Sound;
- Soil, groundwater and surface water;
- Air quality; and
- Future land uses within and surrounding the Redevelopment Area.
This is all about having adequate land use strategies in place so that the uses for the land do not conflict. The
minister could update us on that. Market gardeners in that area are being priced out, and Cockburn Cement has
some challenges with the emissions regulations that it should be held accountable for.
There are some excellent quality patches of bush in this redevelopment area, particularly alongside the road
verges. I would like to know whether efforts are being made to preserve these areas because that is one way we
can provide a habitat for the animals that are being pushed out due to the industrial development.
In conclusion, the constituents in the Hope Valley-Wattleup area want greater certainty. If this bill will deliver
that, it should be supported. Likewise, clarifying the legal basis of the role of the developer contributions in the
area is very important. For those reasons the Greens (WA) support the bill.