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Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw, Planning Minister Rita Saffioti and Swan Valley Planning Committee chair Charlie Zannino discuss the Swan Valley Action Plan, released in October 2019.

Swan Valley Action Plan put into motion


PLANNING Minister Rita Saffioti has revealed the Swan Valley Action Plan is being put in motion, with legislation to be introduced to parliament next week.

The Minister told Echo News the Swan Valley Bill 2020, which will serve as the basis of a new Swan Valley Planning Scheme,  is expected to be introduced mid-next week, with the planning scheme to follow in early 2021.

This follows the release of the Swan Valley Action Plan in October 2019, a plan that was a direct response to the Kobelke Report into  Swan Valley planning review.

The Swan Valley Bill 2020 is intended to provide clear planning guidance, clearly define ‘rural character’ and outline appropriate scale of tourism and development.

However the Minister said the introduction of the bill may not help Swan Valley aged care proponent Gordon Tucker.

Mr Tucker revealed last week in Swan Valley aged care venture looks to future (Echo News, August 7) that he had based his development on the key points regarding aged care contained in the Kobelke Report, which serves as the major reference point of the Swan Valley Bill.

“I can tell you that legislation is ready to go and will be introduced into parliament next week,” Ms Saffioti told Echo News.

“What the legislation will do is facilitate a new scheme, and that will probably happen early next year.

“He’s applied under the existing scheme and decision making will be based on the existing scheme, the existing rules will be applied to the application that is currently before council.”

Ms Saffioti went on to say that she believed the need for aged care in the Swan Valley was widely accepted, and the major point of contention for the application would be its location.

She also said that now was the right time to have that discussion.

“I think everyone accepts there is a need for aged care in the Swan Valley and I think the discussion has always been had about where it should be located and whether this proposal should be supported in its proposed location.

“I think everyone, well most people, want aged care in the Swan Valley, in particular the aging in place and understanding the changing demographics…I think the majority of people want to see it and this proposal, which has been around for a while, is now going through its process and I suppose the discussion and debate will be had about whether this is a suitable location.

“I think it’s a worthwhile process to go through the current process and see how that plays out, but as I said it’s been around for a while and it’s a good time to test the approvals of the community.”

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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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