Bush Forever

Question On Notice No. 1399 asked in the Legislative Council on 10 November 2009 by Hon Lynn Maclaren

Question Directed to the:
Minister for Child Protection representing the Minister for Planning
Minister responding:
Hon J.H.D. Day
Parliament:
38 Session: 1



Question

Further to question on notice No. 1182 to the Minister for Environment, I ask -


(1) Since the inception of Bush Forever, how many Bush Forever sites in the South Metropolitan region have been partially or totally cleared?

(2) For each site in (1), please provide the locations for these areas and reasons for clearing.

(3) Were environmental offsets provided for the loss of any Bush Forever bushland and if so were the offsets ‘like for like’?

(4) How are these sites being maintained, monitored and managed?

(5) What is the current budget for the Bush Forever Program?

(6) What is the FTE staffing level allocated to the Bush Forever Program?

(7) What is the reason for the five-year delay in Draft Bushland policy for the Perth Metropolitan Region statement of planning policy 2.8?

(8) When will the second stage of Bush Forever, known as the ‘Swan Bioplan’, be released or implemented?

(9) Why has the major Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) Amendment for Bush Forever and Related Lands (1082/33) still not been presented to Parliament, five years after being released for public comment?

(10) When will the Department guarantee full protection of all of the 287 areas identified in the Bush Forever Report volumes 1 and 2 (Government of Western Australia, December 2000) and any additional sites added after December 2000, including all the mapped area in those sites identified for ‘Negotiated Planning Solutions’?
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Answered on 1 December 2009

(1-3) The Department of Environment and Conservation grants clearing permit approval.

(4) All land owners are responsible for the management of native vegetation on their land, including maintenance and monitoring. However, there is no government law or regulation requiring land owners to actively manage their land with the exception of the provision of firebreaks as required by the Local Government.

(5) $100 million was dedicated to the Bush Forever program. Of this amount, $92 million was for the acquisition of land and $8 million was for interim management of sites. To date, $72.7 million has been spent.

(6) When Bush Forever was initiated by the Coalition Government in 2000, three years of funding was allocated for staffing. Under Labor no further funding was allocated. The DoP's State Strategic Policy Directorate has carriage of the day-to-day functions of Bush Forever.

(7) Draft State Planning Policy (SPP) 2.8 is complimentary to the Metropolitan Region Scheme Amendment 1082/33 - Bush Forever and Related Lands. The Labor Government did not progress the Bush Forever MRS Amendment. The Liberal National Government is committed to ending the uncertainty and will be addressing the issue over coming months.

(8) Swan Bioplan is a project within the Department of Environment and Conservation portfolio. Therefore, this question should be referred to the Minister for the Environment.

(9) See answer to question (7).

(10) The intention of Bush Forever is for the protection of native bushland on the Swan Coastal Plain portion of the Perth Metropolitan Region. This needs to be balanced with social, economic and environmental objectives. Therefore, the Department of Planning cannot guarantee the full protection of all Bush Forever areas.  




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