Glen McLeod Legal represented the operators of a recycling plant that was issued with a stop work prevention notice by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation pursuant to section 73A of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. Following effective negotiations with DWER, measures were put in place at the recycling plant to address issues raised and enable the timely withdrawal of the prevention notice.
Please contact Glen McLeod Legal by telephone on (08) 6460 5179 or by email at email@example.com should you require advice concerning notices, orders or directions issued under the EP Act.
On 8 February 2018, Murdoch University School of Law and Glen McLeod Legal hosted a seminar on the modern idea of strategic planning and how it can be used to enhance the Western Australian planning.
The key speaker, Evan Jones, eminent town planner and urban designer, highlighted the following key points which need to be addressed to reform the current planning system.
1. The need to make strategic planning the cornerstone of all planning decisions, in order to improve the quality and timeliness of development assessment.
2. Opening up the planning system so that it is understandable to everyone. A key aspect of reducing the current complexity is to establish a “clear line of sight” between hierarchy of strategic, city, regional and local plans so that their relationships are clear, as well as ensuring that all policies and strategies are up-to-date. This line of sight will also clarify the state and local planning roles and responsibilities.
3. Addressing industry interests by defining clearly development assessment pathways. Moreover, planning and infrastructure delivery should be linked to strategic planning for growth. This should operate in conjunction with a sustainable settlement pattern, which gives priority to infill development and ensures that any new areas of growth are contiguous with existing communities.
4. Examining how technology will transform WA’s cities and regions and how the planning system should adapt and create new tools to address today’s critical confluence of data, technological, and social change.
Well-known author and academic Les Stein followed Evan’s presentation with a discussion of international best-practise in strategic planning including examples from North and South America, India and Australia. . Phillip St John, Chief Executive Officer of the City of Fremantle, then gave a pragmatic-minded speech on how strategic planning can assist in addressing topical issues in Perth, such as urban infill, sustainable housing and community engagement.
The seminar concluded with a lively panel discussion with a wide range of input from the audience consisting of local and state government planners, environmental and planning lawyers, state industry groups and town planners. Discussion points varied from third party appeal rights to control of development around public transport hubs and the necessary level of planning detail required in local precincts. Find the full conference programme here.
Illegal development can include the clearing of native vegetation. This was confirmed in the Perth Magistrates Court in December 2017 when a building company was fined $120,000 for illegally clearing 20 per cent of a C-class native vegetation reserve in Swanbourne. In addition, the same company was ordered to pay $17,500 in costs to the City of Nedlands, after being found guilty of contravening the town planning scheme.
The potential for clearing to constitute illegal ‘development’ in the planning system was identified in Palos Verdes Estates v Carbon (1991) 6 WAR 223 by the then Chief Justice David Malcolm. The term ‘development’ includes changes in the physical character of the land, as well as changing its use. This of course catches clearing as an activity that changes land physically and may lead to a change of use.
The case is unusual because the clearing of native vegetation is nowadays generally regulated under Part V, Division 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) (EP Act), which, amongst other things, provides that the clearing of vegetation is an offence, unless a clearing permit has been granted pursuant to section 51E of the EP Act.