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Department for Environment Role
in Implementing Bush Forever
Bush Forever Stakeholder Meeting
June 2006
Environmental �Tools’ and Policy �Rules’
EPA’s mandate is to provide for
environmental protection in WA – including
biodiversity.
•In issues like Bush Forever the DoE (mostly) operates to
support the role of the EPA
•The EPA has statutory (and other) environmental
protection �tools’
•The EPA works within an international, national and state
policy framework, which is increasingly science based
•The EPA establishes its own policies / guidelines to
interpret these wider policies and guide decision-making in
the WA and regional context
What is Bush Forever ?
•Regional scale environmental planning
and biodiversity conservation policy for
Perth
•Part of a National and State biodiversity
policy framework
•Essential part of ecological sustainability
in the Perth Region
Key Bush Forever Objectives include:
•“To meet the needs and aspirations of the community of
WA for the appropriate protection and management of
bushland of regional significance in the Swan Coastal
Plain portion of the Perth Metropolitan Region.”
• “To bring greater certainty to the process of land use
planning and environmental approvals by the early
identification and protection of areas of regionally
significant bushland.”
It is worth considering these objectives in the context of
the current demand for urban land.
These objectives are relevant to the EPA/DoE role in
Bush Forever implementation.
EPA / DoE tools for
implementation of Bush Forever
objectives
•Training and capacity building
•Environmental impact assessment
•Native Vegetation clearing permits
•Environmental policy
Training and capacity building
•Good information and understanding of biodiversity values
and their local and regional context is central to good
decision-making and conservation management.
•The DoE works through training, information support and
capacity building with state agencies, local government and
community to increase understand of biodiversity values
and patterns within the Bush Forever region.
•A partnership with local government (WA Local
Government Association) on their Perth Biodiversity
Project is helping build capability within local government.
Including the developing capacity to prepare Local
Biodiversity Strategies.
Environmental Impact Assessment
1. Development proposals referred to EPA under Section 38 of the
Environmental Protection Act
2. Planning schemes /amendments under Section 48A
Issues
•
EPA assessment of development proposals is reactive and
resource hungry, not first option - but important for major issues.
•
Planning schemes are generally assessed by the EPA, to promote
good strategic environmental input & outcomes early in the
planning/development approvals process.
•
EPA only has the capacity to undertake about 45 assessments a
year (State wide).
Alkemos-Eglington MRS Amendment area. EPA
assessment of the MRS amendment facilitated an improved
outcome for regionally significant bushland conservation
Native Vegetation Clearing
Permits
• The clearing of native vegetation is an offence under
EP Act Part V Division 2 (clearing permits), unless a
permit is held or a valid exemption applies (see
www.slp.wa.gov.au)
•Broadly exemptions do not apply to “environmentally
sensitive areas”, as declared by the Minister for the
Environment.
•Bush Forever sites are environmentally sensitive areas,
“except to the extent to which the site may be cleared
under a decision of the WA Planning Commission”.
EPA policy
•EPA policies range from statutory Environmental
Protection Polices to EPA Position/Guidance Statements
•Position and Guidance Statements provide “improved
certainty” through early advice to developers/consultants
and decision-makers on the EPA’s thinking, key
information sources and requirements and how to avoid
impacting on significant environments etc.
•Help planners & developers to identify and avoid
environmental constraints, improves environmental
outcomes and avoids delays in approvals processes.
Position and Guidance Statements relevant to Bush
Forever include:
•Position Statement 4 Environmental Protection of
Wetlands (2004);
•Position Statement 9 Environmental Offsets (2006)
•Guidance Statement 33 (draft) Environmental Guidance
for Planning and Development (2005);and
•Guidance Statement 10 Level of assessment for proposals
affecting natural areas within the System 6 region and
Swan Coastal Plain portion of the System 1 Region (2003)
•(see www.epa.wa.gov.au)
Guidance Statement
10 is particularly
relevant to Bush
Forever
The overall objective of
Guidance Statement 10 is to
seek to avoid impacts on
regionally significant
bushland/natural areas.
Area
Covered by
Guidance
Statement
No 10
F L O W D IA G R A M R E C O M M E N D IN G S T E P S F O R P R O P O N E N T S & D E C IS IO N M A K E R S
W H E R E T H E R E IS T H E P O T E N T IA L FO R A S IG N IF IC A N T IM P A C T O N A N A T U R A L
A R E A /B U S H L A N D W IT H IN T H E G U ID A N C E 1 0 A R E A
Flow Diagram from
an updated version
of EPA Guidance
Statement No 10
P rop osal/sch e m e
yes
No
G u id an ce n ot
ap p licab le
Is it likely to im p act on a n atu ra l area or
b u sh lan d .
yes
G u id an ce n ot
ap p licab le
No
(Guidance Statement
updated to include
reference to the
clearing permit
system and due to be
released in late June)
Is th e n atu ral area/ b u sh lan d re g ion ally sign ifican t?
T est again st: T ab le 1 B u sh F orever stu d y area, T ab le
2 C on servation E state, an d T ab le 3 oth er sign ifican t
n atu ral areas ou tsid e B u sh F ore ver stu d y area
id en tified u sin g criteria in A p p en d ix 3 .
yes
G u id an ce n ot
ap p licab le
No
M od ifiy /red esign p rop osal/sch e m e.
Is n atu ral area/b u sh lan d still im p acted ?
Y es p rop osals
yes
G u id an ce n ot
ap p licab le
C an all sign ifican t im p acts b e m an a ged th rou gh
D oE clearin g p erm its, p lan n in g or oth er
d ecision m a kin g p rocesses to m eet E P A
en viron m en tal ob jectives th rou gh en forceab le
con d ition s or refu sal?
Y es sch em es
No
p rop osals
R efer to E P A .
F or likely le vel of assessm en t refer
to T ab les 1 -3
E ach sch em e sh ou ld typ ically b e
refered to E P A
F or likely le vel of assessm en t
refer to T ab les 1 -3
Key Issues for consideration
Implementation requirements extend beyond the
protection of Bush Forever Sites to include
implementation of the General Policy measures, such as:
•The general presumption against the clearing of
bushland containing threatened ecological communities
or representation of vegetation complexes of which less
than 10% currently remains on the Swan Coastal Plain
portion of the Perth Metropolitan region;
•Effective resolution of Bush Forever Sites with Basis
Raw Material resource issues may require a strategic
approach. This arguably should include consideration of
mechanisms to facilitate greater sequential use of Basic
Raw Material resources ahead of urban or industrial
development.
The End
Perth from Hepburn Bushland
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