By Claire Ottaviano
A PETITION to halt all subdivision development in the Perth Hills has surpassed 1000 signatures.
The petition, launched at the Save Perth Hills’ rally on March 7, calls for an urgent review of the State’s planning framework for development in bushfire prone areas following the February 1 Wooroloo Bushfire which destroyed 86 homes.
Mundaring resident Peter Brazier, who will submit the petition to Parliament in May, said the government should press pause on all planning in bushfire prone areas until the review is complete.
“The petition seeks a moratorium, a temporary halt, on sub-division planning in our most volatile bushfire zones,” he said.
“In other words, we need to ‘press pause’ to wait for the Wooroloo Bushfire Inquiry and for recommendations to be implemented, to ensure we don’t repeat planning mistakes of the past, or create potential for catastrophic results in the future.
“This petition seeks, above all, to ensure that we don’t put new and existing residents in harm’s way of potentially devastating bushfires.”
His house was one of 57 destroyed in the 2014 Stoneville-Parkerville-Mt Helena bushfires.
“In the aftermath of the 2014 disaster, I received amazing community support and I became passionate about helping our community prevent inappropriate and dangerous developments,” he said.
“I joined Save Perth Hills’ in 2019 to help stop the proposed dangerous and inappropriate North Stoneville townsite where it’s planned to house more than 4000 people inside an extreme bushfire zone.
“How much more destruction, trauma and loss do we need, to accept that our current planning policies and processes are outdated and dangerous because they haven’t kept pace with climate change and increasing bushfire challenges that we’re now experiencing?”
He called on the State Government to apply the ‘precautionary approach’, as was done during the COVID-19 border closures to mitigate risks of community transmission.
Cul-de-sacs and battle-axe blocks, while still allowed in high and extreme bushfire zones, have seen two recent subdivision applications rejected by the Shire of Mundaring Council.
Save Perth Hills’ has also sought an urgent meeting with new Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby to discuss the need for ‘planning’ to be included in the Wooroloo Bushfire Inquiry’s Terms of Reference.
The petition can be signed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Save Perth Hills’ stall at Mundaring Markets, Sunday, April 11.