The WA Wetland Management Conference 2016 (external link) was held at the Cockburn Wetlands Education Centre on 2 February 2016. Some of the key points from the Conference were:
Revoked Environmental Protection Policies
A number of Environmental Protection Policies (EPPs) were revoked on 20 November 2015 as the Minister believes a similar level of protection is currently being provided by other existing policy and regulatory instruments, including the (external links):
- Swan Coastal Plain Lakes EPP.
- Gnangara Mound Crown Land EPP.
- South West Agricultural Zone Wetlands EPP.
Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh
This is listed as a Threatened Ecological Community by both the Commonwealth and Western Australia (as “Priority 3”). DPaW considers the current mapping of the community in Western Australia (the EPBC database) rather incomplete and therefore care must be taken when undertaking desktop assessments in areas that could potentially include this community.
Draft Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan
This draft document (external link) was released in December 2015 and is open for comment until 8 April 2016. The plan relates to the Strategic Assessment of the Perth and Peels Regions (external link). Department of the Premier and Cabinet describes it as a “once in a generation” plan, intended to guide future development and designed to:
- Cut red tape by securing upfront Commonwealth environmental approvals and streamlining State environmental approvals.
- Provide “unprecedented” protection of bushland, rivers, wildlife and wetlands.
Under this plan there are some environmental values that may be impacted by development, including:
- Regionally Significant Natural Areas (3,304 ha).
- Conservation category wetlands (461 occurrences).
- Vegetation complexes <30% remaining (5,752 ha).
- Threatened ecological communities (92 ha).
- Threatened flora species (10 records/populations).
MBS Environmental will continue to monitor regulatory and policy developments related to wetlands and urban planning. If you would like further information on any of the above topics or the implications for your projects, please contact us on (08) 9226 3166 or email info(at)mbsenvironmental.com.au.