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Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association president John Griffiths says viticulture and related industries should predominate in the Swan Valley.

Swan Valley survey sent out

SWAN Valley residents and businesses should soon start receiving a survey so they can have their say on the future of the valley.

The survey is part of the McGowan Government’s planning review being carried out by former Labor politician John Kobelke.

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said Mr Kobelke had already gained an insight into the issues important to the community through a series of targeted one-on-one stakeholder meetings.

“He is now inviting locals to participate in a written survey,’’ she said.

On September 7 the government announced $1.4 million as part of the State Budget for the Swan Valley development package, including a planning review and development of a coordinated strategy for the Swan Valley to provide a major boost to tourism and jobs in the area.

On Wednesday Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association president John Griffiths said the association supported many things in the draft plan carried out by the former Barnett government.

But the association also had some concerns with that draft plan including vesting the decision making in the City of Swan without any opportunity for external review or community consultation process.

In January last year the former Barnett government said in its proposed Swan Valley Development Plan 2015 it wanted to get rid of the Swan Valley Planning Committee, with planning decisions to be made by the City of Swan or development assessment panels.

Mr Griffiths said the association was generally supportive of the Department of Planning proposed changes.

But the proposed design and built structures part of the plan could maybe do with some more consultation and explanation.

Mr Griffiths said it was important viticulture and related industries predominated in the Swan Valley.

On September 15 Ms Saffioti said the review provided the Swan Valley community with an opportunity to contribute to the future development of the region, with views being sought on the role and responsibility of a statutory board for the Swan Valley, establishing a right to farm in the region, possible new tourism initiatives and the limits to subdivision in the area.

In response Grape Growers Association of WA president Darryl Trease said Swan Valley planning needed to retain and support viticulture or to scrap the idea completely and just allow natural planning processes to take place.

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. The best part of her job was meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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