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More than 600 Swan Valley residents and landowners have responded to a survey, according to the McGowan Government.

Swan Valley planning committee languishes

WHILE planning in the Swan Valley is under review to give residents and stakeholders time to comment it has meant the Swan Valley Planning Committee is languishing.

At present the planning committee has no chairperson and so many vacancies if any one of the serving members are away the committee does not have a quorum.

The planning committee only has one City of Swan council representative as councillor Charlie Zannino, who was returned to the council in October last year, is yet to have his nomination approved by Planning Minister Rita Saffioti.

The vacancies on the planning committee also include representatives for Aboriginal interests, equestrian interests and an environmental expert.

A Swan Valley Tourism Council representation has also been withdrawn.

According to the Department of Planning website the members of the planning committee are City of Swan councillor Rod Henderson,  WAPC chairman nominee Elizabeth Taylor, Brian Hunt from the Midland and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Jim Lovreta from the Grape Growers Association of Western Australia, John Griffiths from the Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association and Swan Valley resident Keith Vuleta.

Ms Saffioti said she was considering options for the composition and role of the new board or committee as part of the reform process announced last year.

“A minimum of six out of 12 committee members must be present to hold a meeting,’’ she said. 

“The Swan Valley Tourism Council was de-registered in 2017 and as such their representative is no longer eligible for membership on the Swan Valley Planning Committee.

“I have discussed the matter with Cr Zannino, who has extensive knowledge and experience of the Swan Valley. 

“However, any appointment to the committee is subject to formal processes which will follow in due course.’’

Meanwhile, more than 600 Swan Valley residents and landowners have responded to a survey the government says will help shape the future character of the valley.

The survey, conducted in November and December last year invited residents from 1864 addresses to take part. 

Ms Saffioti said the overall response rate of 34 per cent was regarded as very high and reliable.

She said respondents commented on issues integral to the Swan Valley community such as right to farm, retaining rural land uses, subdivision, water availability, tourism initiatives, the role of the Swan Valley Planning Committee and the future and identity of the Swan Valley.

“The survey is part of an independent review of the Swan Valley planning framework, which incorporates the Swan Valley Protection Bill and associated development plan,’’ she said.

The review is being led by former Labor politician John Kobelke, who also completed more than 50 one-on-one community stakeholder interviews as part of the process.

The survey findings will be published in Mr Kobelke’s final report together with his recommendations to the Planning Minister.

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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