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Cockburn Coast Disallowance Motion
Extract from Hansard
[COUNCIL — Tuesday, 16 August 2011]
Hon Lynn MacLaren; Hon Helen Morton; Hon Dr Sally Talbot
METROPOLITAN REGION SCHEME AMENDMENT 1180/41 — COCKBURN COAST DISTRICT
STRUCTURE PLAN — DISALLOWANCE
HON LYNN MacLAREN (South Metropolitan) [3.09 pm]: I move —
That Metropolitan Region Scheme Amendment 1180/41, Cockburn Coast District Structure Plan,
published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2011 and tabled in the Legislative Council on 16
March 2011 under the Planning and Development Act 2005, be and is hereby disallowed.
I would like to explain to members why I have moved this motion to disallow metropolitan region scheme
amendment 1180/41, which will facilitate a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for urban development on the
Cockburn coast. The “Cockburn Coast district structure plan” was tabled in this house on 16 March 2011. As
with most of these types of planning amendments, it was a very long time in the making. It began way back in
the early 2000s when the land was identified as having the potential for urban redevelopment. It is called a
brownfield redevelopment site and is industrial land that lies on the coast. This is a beautiful opportunity. I
cannot tell members how much I support the notion of a well-planned, high-density, transit-oriented
development on this location. There is widespread support for that type of development. The Department of
Planning’s consultation process has been long and careful, and it has engaged a wide variety of stakeholders. The
landholders in the area are welcoming the redevelopment, but they want certainty. That is what informs my
disallowance motion. It is not as though the regional scheme amendment is totally bad, it is just that it could be a
lot better. It has been said that it is a mediocre start to what could be an outstanding development. I wanted to
highlight that point in the beginning of my disallowance motion and draw the Minister for Planning’s attention to
the criticisms that have been made about how the scheme has been proceeding. I also want to give the
government an opportunity to address some of what we consider to be the weaknesses of the plan and to put the
government’s position on the parliamentary record, in order to shape the future planning decisions of this area. I
hope that the minister representing the Minister for Planning will articulate in detail the positive aspects of the
Cockburn coast redevelopment.
The reasons for the disallowance are fivefold and they highlight the shortcomings in the scheme amendment
before us. There is no doubt that the minister will say that the views I have raised will be addressed at a later
stage of the planning process. However, the minister could address them here and now. We could pass a much
better scheme amendment and not have to reconsider some of the decisions that the minister has said should be
put off until later. My motion is about pursuing not only better planning outcomes, but also more efficient
government and planning regimes so that we can consider matters of this nature when it is time to consider them
and decisions on rezoning in particular, which are critical for the success of this development, can be made after
decisions have been made about integrated transport planning. If we made those improvements to the
amendment before us now, this development could proceed at speed without the complexity of further MRS
amendments down the road.
I will articulate for the house, but not in too much detail, the five concerns that I have raised with the minister on
this matter. Although he has tried to address them, I believe it is still worthwhile pursuing these concerns, which
I will summarise for members so they will know where I am coming from. My first concern is the lack of
integrated transport planning, which I have already flagged. My second is the need for a good land-use strategy
that identifies a light rail network framework. The citizens of the area have been led to believe that that is part of
the development. I believe it is critical to have that framework in place now, before the rezoning occurs. The
impact of the primary regional road along the ridge line has been minimised to some extent. As I have said, this
is a prime example of a mediocre scheme amendment that could have been done a lot better. The impact has
been minimised and the government has flagged that the road will not be the major highway that it appears to be
in the amendment before us. However, the road still cuts into the ridge line far too much and the amendment
misses the opportunity to develop linkages to Beeliar Regional Park for the 5 000 or 10 000 residents who will
live there. The department is saying that perhaps the road can be minimised and redesigned at some stage.
Maybe it is too soon in the planning process to do that. However, because the road will modified, we should
make the tough decision to modify it the way we believe it should be modified, which is to make it smaller. My
fourth concern is the vulnerability of the rail freight line, which goes close to the coast. A coastal vulnerability
study was done based on old figures, not new figures, which I will go into more detail about later. Finally, my
fifth concern is that Randwick Stables, which is a heritage property, will be surrounded by major roads.
Randwick Stables still has horses on the heritage farm. I encourage members to look at the stables on its open
day because it is very interesting. The horses continue to be exercised on the beach. Members will recall that it is
the same beach where C.Y. O’Connor exercised his horses. It is a very important heritage property.
Unfortunately, the roads surrounding Randwick Stables will impact negatively on the value of the heritage
property. That matter has been inadequately addressed and connects with the issue of transport planning.
The Minister for Transport has made some inroads into making tough decisions about the development of public
transport over the next 20 years. As I said, the Cockburn coast development started as a notion in the early
2000s. The process began in 2002 and in 2009 the very detailed community consultation began. That is when
people said that if we are to have high-density development on the coast, we need to ensure that a light rail
network is put in place. Members who are familiar with Hampton Road in Fremantle will be aware of the
pressure on regional traffic in that area and know that this matter needs careful attention. That is being done.
Several studies are underway that will impact on the transport framework of the area. I argue that the Cockburn
coastal amendment should be withdrawn until those studies are completed. The studies are not far off from being
finalised; it is a matter of just a few months. The public transport master plan was released after the tabling of
this scheme amendment, so we know what the plan for the area is over the next 20 years. Also, within a few
weeks the Fremantle and Cockburn city studies into the transit corridor will be released, which will identify
where those cities would prefer to have a light rail network. Local governments are doing these studies right
now, and those decisions should inform the rezoning of the area. I have argued that the government should slow
down until the studies are completed so that the rezoning has to occur only once instead of making the types of
incremental changes that are proposed.
The other major transport study that we are still waiting to see—waiting with bated breath, I would suggest to
Hon Ken Travers, who often asks about this plan—is the future general transport planning for freight in that
region. That is going to tell us how many rail movements there will be in this area, because the freight rail goes
right through this development. It is also going to tell us how many trucks will be on the road in that area.
Hon Ken Travers: You think we’re going to get that instead of the Fremantle optimum ports task force report
that we were promised, do you?
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: I am hoping that we get both those reports.
Hon Ken Travers: We were told that we would get the Fremantle optimum ports task force report, but we have
never seen it, and they hide behind cabinet confidentiality on it.
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: I cannot agree with Hon Ken Travers more, because the freight traffic in that region
is a major issue for planning. How do people go ahead and progress their planning proposals if they do not know
where the major freight routes are going to be? Someone knows, because they have had that optimum port
planning study. In fact, a few people know, because we know that that report has been considered by a round
table of people; perhaps even cabinet has considered it.
Hon Ken Travers: Lots of people know a little bit about what’s in that report. The problem is that what they
don’t know is the totality, which is almost more dangerous.
Hon LYNN MacLAREN: That actually reinforces my point about this amendment, because we cannot do
piecemeal planning. This major development needs to be taken in context with regional development: where are
the ports going to be; where is the freight traffic going to be? I am saying that this government has already
identified these studies. It already has people working on them; it is already paying consultants to do them. Why
not use that valuable knowledge and have that available now before we go to the trouble of rezoning this land?
Two other studies are underway. I have mentioned the public transit corridor planning by the City of Fremantle.
There is another joint planning study by the Cockburn, Fremantle and Melville local governments, which is
looking at a regional light rail transit network. These guys are just about to tell us where they want to have their
light rail. Would it not be great if we had that information and we rezoned that land so that that light rail could be
easily implemented as soon as they get everything ready, if they get some federal infrastructure funding?
The Western Australian Planning Commission has identified a number of significant issues that will require
further planning. It has even argued in the amendment report which was tabled and which we are considering
now that the district level road network provides sufficient flexibility to accommodate any changes. I will quote
from page 6 of the report, which is right in front of me and which states, according to my notes —
In light of this, the Department of Planning has commenced the preparation of the South Metropolitan
and Peel Region Integrated Land Use and Transport Study—Strategic Assessment of the Regional
Transport Requirements …
This was mentioned in one of the briefings that I had. At this point I take the opportunity to thank the minister
for the briefings that he has given me on this matter. He has been very forthcoming with detail, and I appreciate
that immensely. However, I still cannot get that report. That report is still not available to me to assess whether
the amendment before us is in keeping with the outcomes of that report.
The Cockburn coast amendment proposes to funnel primary regional traffic into Fremantle on Rockingham
Road. This is at that intersection where Randwick Stables is. The projected volume cited in the amendment
report is 14 000 vehicle movements a day, and the other projected volume—they do it by guesswork—is 20 500
vehicle movements a day. I can tell members now that this is not something that the citizens and the residents
who live along Hampton Road will be able to cope with, so this needs serious transport planning, and we should
put it in place now before we start developing that area residentially and for commercial use.
If Western Australia is truly to capture the unique opportunity to develop a transit-oriented high-density
development on the metropolitan coast that the Cockburn coast offers, these transport studies must be completed
first, and the transport network should be established before any other development decisions are made. That is
my first point. The minister has tried to address this by saying that this is complex and sensitive. He said, “We
want to keep going with this planning process and not complicate matters by waiting for these transport studies
to be done. We can just fix this later once those transport studies are done and she’ll be right, mate.” However, I
have recently returned from the United States where I visited Portland, Oregon. Having learnt firsthand in the
Pearl District how the people there were able to create such an amazingly vibrant community out of a brownfield
site that used to be railway marshalling yards, I can tell members that the infrastructure that they most needed
was the streetcar. They said that they were going to commit to the Portland streetcar; that would be in place and
this is where it would run. Developers then flocked to it. The developers said, “Great. We know the streetcar is
going to be there. We know that our clients will be on that streetcar, and we’re going to build our office right
here.” Residential communities also went there, and further down on the waterfront, where the streetcar extends
into the waterfront district, there is another brownfield development—there is an amazing continuing care
retirement community. That is because the streetcar is there, as it provides access to people with different states
of mobility. In that case at least, and in many other cases throughout the world where people have been able to
deliver high-density, vibrant communities, they first have the transport option; they first have multi-modal
In this case, the Cockburn coast is perfect for light rail. We know that the local governments want it and are
looking at where to put it. That is why it should be in place before we do the rezoning. If members have had a
chance to look at the amendment before us, they will know that it has several maps in each, and in those maps,
areas where the light rail might be able to go are suggested. I am just saying: let us make a decision. We have the
people who are choosing where to put it. Let us put it in now and put the zoning in so the developers have
certainty. This is about certainty for the developers so that we can go forward and make that community hum.
That relates to the lack of a land use strategy and a transport strategy to accommodate that light rail network.
The minister has agreed with my sentiments about the need to align this. Yet again we have the argument about
the chicken and the egg. Which comes first—the rezoning or the transport network? Really, I just wanted to note
that significant work is being done. I am arguing that the rezoning is the chicken and the minister is arguing that
it is the egg. Members can take that argument where they will, but I know that if I had my druthers and if many
of my constituents had their druthers, they would much rather have that transport network identified so they
would know where they were going to be and would not have to do some guesswork about where to locate
The third point that I want to make is about the impact of the primary regional road reservation on the ridge line
and its effect on pedestrian-friendly access to the regional park from this Cockburn coast development. This is a
beautiful bush-covered ridge line. I do not know whether members know what I am talking about. It used to be
where the Robb Jetty was. Do members know where it was? Quite a beautiful little park has been developed
along that ridge line—Manning Park. If members have been into that area on the other side, they will know that
it is a very peaceful neighbourhood. At one point, quite a stench emanated from the industrial land associated
with Robb Jetty. Now it has been cleaned up and is quite nice, and I think it is progressing along the way of
having a nice coastal community. One of the opportunities of developing on that western side of the ridge line is
that there will be more people who can enjoy not only the coast, but also the bushland in Beeliar Regional Park.
Unfortunately, this amendment also proves that the government has not accepted that the Fremantle eastern
bypass is dead. The Fremantle eastern bypass no longer exists on the metropolitan region scheme, yet this
primary regional road runs right up into it and is kind of cut off with the stroke of a draftsmen’s pen. This does
not take into account the fact that we now have to figure out where that traffic will go. Unfortunately, this road,
which runs along the ridge line, dumps people right at the end of the “ghost” of the Fremantle eastern bypass.
Hampton Road will become a de facto bypass if we entrench that alignment as the primary regional road. I
realise that the Western Australian Planning Commission argued that it would link to the end of Roe Highway,
which we are also arguing against in this session, but I urge the minister to question the logic and wait until the
updated proposals for the road network are devised. Again, several decisions about this were made in the 1970s.
We are working with bits and pieces of all decisions made that do not really make any sense. Subsequent to the
plans being laid down for that primary regional road, we have deleted the Fremantle eastern bypass, we have
made the decision to establish port facilities further south, in Cockburn Sound, and we have decided to invest
great money in establishing the Latitude 32 industrial precinct and potential intermodal terminal in what used to
be the Hope Valley–Wattleup community.
The Cockburn coast amendment proposes to change the alignment of the road reservation and reduce the road
width. I acknowledge the good work done by officers to reduce the environmental impact in how they have
shifted the road slightly to the west. It is a better amendment than the previous alignment. I merely make the
point it is still too big and it is still too wide. We do not need it, and we do not need the existing Fremantle–
Rockingham controlled access highway. A primary regional road along the ridge line would be a difficult and
formidable barrier to pedestrian access to Beeliar Park, as I have identified.
I urge the minister to review the concept plan and reconsider whether we need that major road. There are
alternative designs floating around, such as a recreational drive, with nice pedestrian ways. That can be done at
the local structure plan level—I agree with that—but what we are talking about here is the land reserved, under
the amendment report, for a regional road. The minister should not be put off and be told that this amendment
does not deal with that detail. This amendment precisely deals with that detail and we should reduce the width of
that road now.
To establish a new mixed-use residential and commercial development on the Cockburn coast, we should ensure
that local and regional roads are well planned within the regional transport framework and facilitate rather than
impinge on pedestrian-friendly linkages with the Beeliar Regional Park.
The next point I want to talk about is the vulnerability of the existing freight line to the impacts of severe storms
and sea level rise associated with climate change. LandCorp was kind enough to provide me with the coastal
vulnerability study entitled “The changing Cockburn Coast: Appendices—Coastal Processes Assessment”. I am
very interested in how our planning authority is coping with planning decisions along the coast when we know
that the coast will be changing with sea level rise and severe storms due to climate change. I paid particular
attention to this in our planning amendments. In this one, there was no difference. Yes, I looked at it very
carefully and I discovered that the setback calculated was based on the old number, 0.38—that is 0.38 metres of
sea level rise which will affect where we can build on the coast. Earlier this year, or late last year, the planning
minister announced that we were updating that formula to 0.9. That is significant—that is a half-metre addition,
or 0.51 of a metre, which could potentially dramatically impact on the coastline in this area. It would be prudent
to look at the vulnerability assessment with that new figure plugged into the formula that they have used so that
we could be sure that the freight line, which runs very close to the coast, is safe. Right now we are looking at
rezoning. If we have to move that freight line to the east, let us do it now. Let us take that land now. LandCorp
has about a third of the land down in this area. It would be prudent for the government to make that decision now
so it does not cost us more later.
In the briefing I had with the minister’s advisers, I was told it was true that they had not used the new updated
figure, but they were not required to do so under the law because the planning processes were begun before we
updated the formula. However, everyone here knows that that will not stop the sea level rising because the policy
was not updated at that point. We have the wisdom at hand to choose to recalculate where we locate
infrastructure on the coast based on what scientific knowledge has told us will occur. Whether or not we arrest
emissions and whether or not we stop or reduce carbon emissions, we are heading for changes that are not able to
be impacted on. We are responsible for making very conservative decisions so that people are not impacted and
so that the good public money that goes into establishing freight networks is not put at risk. It is a great
opportunity for us to realign that freight line just a little to the east to save it from a change in coastline. All they
had to do was look and put the new figures into the formula that has been carefully assessed in that area; I
believe it is zone E in the vulnerability assessment. We have to look at more than setbacks. It is more than just
100 metres back from the current high-water mark. We have to look at what that land is: Is it sand beach or is it
limestone beach? Are there groynes involved? In this case Catherine Point groyne is right there. These affect the
coastal processes both north and south of that groyne.
Getting back to the point, the minister’s advisers told me that we can protect the freight line and it will cost us
less to protect the freight line than it will to shift it to the east. That may be true; I would like to see the evidence
of that. It is prudent, if our consultants are looking at coastal vulnerability, to assess that on the new figures and
ask: is it better to shift it to the east or to build a seawall and try to protect the freight line at that point?
It was argued in the minister’s letter to me that it is only a small section of freight line and it does not really
warrant realignment. As anybody who has ever been on a train knows, it takes only one small section to make
the whole train line ineffective. Freight cannot get down the train line if even a metre of it is washed out by the
sea. We need to make a decision on this matter. We cannot say it is just a small area and it is not worth shifting. I
would argue, as I think most taxpayers in Western Australia would argue, it is better to spend $1 now than $10 in
10 years’ time.
Therefore, I will still argue that. I know that this coastal vulnerability assessment will be done as the planning
process proceeds along the way, and we will see whether I have a been a little bit too cautious in my assessment
or whether it is in fact proven that it will cost us more to try to shore up that freight line later than it takes to shift
the alignment of it now.
My final point, as I mentioned, is about Randwick Stables. This is a very important heritage property and the
amendment before us surrounds it by major roads. I believe that recognising and safeguarding heritage is
important and it is important that at this stage of the planning process we review whether our heritage has been
protected in the decisions being made. I do not know that more needs to be said about Randwick Stables; I have
mentioned them before in other representations. But if this metropolitan region scheme amendment were to be
reviewed, we would see Randwick Stables surrounded by major roads. I think that it is a shame; we should have
found a better way to protect our heritage in this case and that could have involved downgrading the primary
road that delivers people right to the doorstep of the stables.
Several landholders have approached me over the weeks that this metropolitan region scheme amendment has
been on the notice paper and asked me about my rationale for disallowing this amendment, because, as I said,
everyone is keen to have certainty and to proceed at speed. I totally understand that and I assured them that my
intentions are good. I am trying to get a better amendment and to get a certainty for people who invest in this
area. I am also trying to encourage the integration of our planning authorities rather than a siloed approach, so
that we can build on the good work across government and not continue pretending that nothing is being done
about light rail or transit or roads, and that everything will be fine later down the track. We will probably debate
this again in this place, when another MRS amendment comes before us to fix the little things that I have
mentioned in support of this motion, and if that is true, so be it. But it is my responsibility, not only as the
Greens (WA) spokesperson on planning, but also as a member representing the people of the South Metropolitan
Region, to bring to members’ attention the inadequacies of the metropolitan region scheme amendment 1180/41
— “Cockburn Coast district structure plan”. Although I wholeheartedly support the development that is planned
to be delivered there, I still see some shortcomings in the amendment before us.
HON HELEN MORTON (East Metropolitan — Minister for Mental Health) [3.43 pm]: I thank Hon Lynn
MacLaren for her comments and for bringing this matter before us, and also for her acknowledgement that she is
not actually against the amendment and that she supports the amendments and the direction it is taking, albeit she
would like it to be improved or refined in some ways. That is rather confirming of the work that has already been
done; people see that we are moving in that direction.
Hon Lynn MacLaren: Absolutely, minister.
Hon HELEN MORTON: I would also like to express an appreciation for the diligent way in which Hon Lynn
MacLaren has met and corresponded with the Minister for Planning and the Department of Planning. They have
impressed upon me that there has been a good exchange of information between the honourable member and the
department in an attempt to try to make her comfortable with the issues that I will now raise. With those
comments I would like to launch into some information that the Minister for Planning and the Department of
Planning have provided to me.
Hon Lynn MacLaren summarised the metropolitan region scheme amendment, but I will do so again.
Metropolitan region scheme amendment 1180/41 — “Cockburn Coast district structure plan” proposes the
rezoning of 91.5 hectares of industrial-zoned land to urban purposes; the realignment and rationalisation of the
primary regional roads reservation between Rockingham Road and the Fremantle port freight rail line, which is
yet to be constructed; the minor rationalisation of parks and recreation reservations to the urban zone; and the
rezoning of the South Fremantle power station site from parks and recreation to urban deferred. The North
Coogee land has been subject to a significant amount of planning to date, and it is recognised that the continuing
use and intensification of the land for heavy industrial purposes is no longer the best outcome for coastal land
within close proximity to new residential development. A key component of this planning has been the
preparation and endorsement by the Western Australian Planning Commission of the “Cockburn Coast district
structure plan”. Endorsed in 2009, the plan proposes medium to high-density redevelopment of the Cockburn
coast area and provides for a mix of residential, commercial and retail uses. The district structure plan is
consistent with state government objectives for encouraging urban infill development with ready access to
activity centres and employment nodes, transport corridors and areas of high amenity—all characteristics that the
Cockburn coast land exhibits. The metropolitan region scheme amendment will facilitate the outcomes proposed
within the district structure plan, and the more detailed planning which has been progressed by LandCorp, as the
majority landowner within the Cockburn coast area.
With regard to Hon Lynn MacLaren’s concerns about a lack of integrated transport planning, both the district
structure plan and the LandCorp-led master planning process have been supported by extensive transport studies
addressing private vehicle and public transport movement. These studies have involved considerable liaison with
the Cities of Cockburn and Fremantle, the Department of Transport, Main Roads and the Public Transport
Authority. More recently, these discussions have led to an integrated transport plan that takes a comprehensive
and progressive approach to ensuring the transport needs of the future Cockburn coast community are addressed.
Several regional transport network studies analysing the current and future freight, private vehicle and public
transport requirements within the south west metropolitan corridor are also underway. Due to the complexity of
transport issues in the corridor, reaching outcomes that are agreed and able to be implemented are expected to be
some time away. Postponing the Cockburn coast amendment to accommodate the outcomes of these studies will
cause an unnecessary and indefinite delay to the rezoning process and prolong landowner uncertainty. The
metropolitan region scheme amendment has been specifically designed to provide sufficient flexibility to
accommodate the outcomes of these regional studies.
The member for South Metropolitan Region also raised concerns regarding the lack of a land-use strategy and
transport framework to accommodate a light rail network and cites studies that are currently being undertaken by
LandCorp and the Cities of Cockburn, Fremantle and Melville to determine the feasibility and optimum
alignment of a rapid public transport system. As a strategic instrument for determining the use of land, the
metropolitan region scheme is unable to reflect localised intensification of land uses or potential rapid transport
routes, with the exception of heavy rail. Local planning schemes and structure plans are the appropriate
mechanisms to address the detailed planning requested. It is encouraging then that the local authorities that are
best placed to coordinate these planning activities are proactively involved in determining the future transit needs
of their constituents.
The impact of the primary regional roads reservation on the Beeliar Regional Park ridgeline and its effect on
pedestrian-friendly access to the regional park from the urban development has been considered as part of the
district structure planning and master planning processes.
I have to say that I thought it was really confirming, again, to hear Hon Lynn MacLaren talk about how
delightful this park is, how peaceful it is and what a joy it is, given that it has been brought back from being
industrial land. For those of us who often think that the Greens do not acknowledge that industrial land can be
redeveloped or reclaimed as parkland, this is a good example of that, and I was pleased that the member raised it.
The proposed western realignment of the primary regional roads reservation reduces the impact of the reserve on
the Manning Lake portion of Beeliar Regional Park. Although construction would have some impact on the ridge
line, this issue has been balanced against the net gain of 5.7 hectares of land into the adjacent Bush Forever site,
which is currently encumbered by the primary regional roads reservation. Again, the metropolitan region scheme
is unable to deal with such detailed issues as that of pedestrian conductivity. Appropriate detail has been
provided on the location and treatment of pedestrian connections within the district structure plan and master
plan for the Cockburn coast. In respect of the vulnerability of the existing freight rail line to the impacts of
severe storms and sea level rise associated with climate change, planning for the Cockburn coast has been
supported by detailed coastal processes assessment and the determination of a physical setback line in
accordance with “State Coastal Planning Policy”, state planning policy 2.6, provisions at the time of approval.
As this approval pre-dates the recent Western Australian Planning Commission position statement on sea level
rise, the setback line determined through this process remains applicable. The Cockburn coast is a highly
modified foreshore and the existing coastal infrastructure is likely to require reinforcement as a result of
disrepair and to mitigate climate change impacts. Consideration will need to be given during further detailed
planning about how protection of the foreshore and adjacent assets are best addressed. As only a small portion of
the freight rail line is potentially impacted by the additional sea level setback requirements, the relocation of the
rail line along a significant length of the Cockburn coast area would appear to be a costly exercise compared
with other engineering approaches to protect the line on its existing alignment. Therefore, in response to the
comment that it is better to spend $1 now than $3, or whatever the member said, later, the government
acknowledges that the expenditure will be around the notion of an engineering solution without moving the rail
The member for the South Metropolitan Region has also raised concerns about the inadequate protection of the
heritage-listed Randwick Stables. Under current zoning arrangements, the northern and western boundaries of
Randwick Stables are already adjacent to primary regional road reservations. Proposed changes to the regional
road reservation within this amendment do not affect the stables, with the site retained within the urban zone. It
is anticipated that the outcomes of the regional transport studies, indicated previously, will make a determination
on the necessity, form and function of the potential regional road reservations within the vicinity of the stables
and therefore provide a greater degree of certainty as to their future context.
The intent of a metropolitan region scheme amendment is to consider the broad regional aspects of the long-term
zoning of the site and whether there are any fatal flaws that would prevent future urban development of the site.
Considerable liaison has occurred with state government agencies, local authorities, landowners and the wider
community through the amendment process and the preparation of the “Cockburn Coast district structure plan”
and master plan. It has been determined through this process that the Cockburn coast area is suitable for urban
development. Redevelopment of the Cockburn coast will make significant progress in demonstrating the benefits
of infill development and the provision for housing supply within the south west metropolitan corridor.
Disallowing this amendment will serve to impede these outcomes, prolong landowner uncertainty and negate the
considerable work done to date to plan for the appropriate future of the Cockburn coast. This is an unnecessary
outcome given that most of the issues raised through the motion can be addressed through the detailed planning
stages. I therefore suggest that the government will not support the disallowance motion and will see whether
Hon Lynn MacLaren might be prepared to withdraw the motion.
HON SALLY TALBOT (South West) [3.55 pm]: I welcome the opportunity to hear, particularly the
government’s response, the points made by Hon Lynn MacLaren. We need to pay tribute to the work Hon Lynn
MacLaren has done to articulate some of the concerns about the government’s plan for the “Cockburn Coast
district structure plan”. However, Labor will not support the disallowance motion—albeit slightly reluctantly
because Hon Lynn MacLaren made a number of very good and very sound points in outlining the five principles
on which she bases the argument that this disallowance motion should be supported.
What was confirmed for me in listening to the response that Hon Helen Morton just gave on behalf of the
minister is that the basic direction is good, we are all in furious agreement about that, and the consultation has
not been bad, we all agree about that. However, the bottom line is that if we were to support the disallowance
and this plan went on the backburner to wait for the government to line up a few more of these ducks, it is never
going to happen. That is the sad reality about the Barnett government and its plans in these portfolio areas. We
need go no further than the two big planning documents that the government has presented us with thus far in
three years of government; namely, “Directions 2031: Draft Spatial Framework for Perth and Peel” from the
Minister for Planning, and, only a couple of weeks ago, “Public Transport for Perth in 2031” from the Minister
for Transport. In both cases I think it is fair to say—I think that a number of people certainly on this side of the
house would agree—that all those two documents represent is a plan to plan; they have no substance to them and
no implementation details that can take us forward in a real sense of looking at how Perth will develop over the
next couple of decades. Therefore, the sad fact is that if we wait for the government, we will be waiting forever,
and because we on this side of the house feel that this is a very important plan that needs to come to fruition, we
will not support the disallowance. I will go into a little more detail about how I can justify that view and, having
said that, I appreciate the substance of the five points that Hon Lynn MacLaren made.
When we in Western Australia are faced with such a government that is basically all froth and no beer, we have
to fall back on the integrity of local government to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, and indeed do a bit more than
that—to fill in the real substantive motive power to ensure that plans like this work. In the case of the “Cockburn
Coast district structure plan”, it seems to me and others on this side of the house that there are local governments
involved that have very well justified runs on the board. I have satisfied myself and therefore other members of
the opposition that when we work through the substantive points that Hon Lynn MacLaren made, those points
will indeed be picked up at the level of local government involvement and we will get the outcomes that we
want, which are very much in line with what Hon Lynn MacLaren has suggested.
I will illustrate that point in a concrete sense with reference to the point that Hon Lynn MacLaren made in
addressing this motion about the setbacks for climate change and sea level rises and the relatively new
“Statement of planning policy 2.6: State Coastal Planning Policy”, which increased the setbacks to 0.9 of a
metre. As Hon Lynn MacLaren said, that was a very significant increase. She made the point that this plan does
not take SPP 2.6 into account and, therefore, it will somehow see development take place within that new
exclusion zone. It does not seem to me that that is necessarily the case, because SPP 2.6 will indeed inform
planning at the level of local government and, therefore, we can cover off that potential problem of SPP 2.6 not
having been taken into account when these regulations were formulated. I point out to honourable members that
those concerns surely have been underscored only today with the release of the Climate Commission’s report
“The Critical Decade: Western Australia climate change impacts”, which is probably one of the most alarming
documents that I have ever seen released in Western Australia. I think that it is appropriate that we have a lot
more debate about that document in the weeks and months to come.
I will not take up more time of the house. I have indicated the basic stance that the opposition is taking on this
motion and, sadly, it devolves to local government to make sure that the sorts of things raised in this
disallowance motion are covered off and the risks are averted when we get to the detailed planning.
Labor wants to see this plan put in place and to see it happen quickly. We believe that the best way of ensuring
that happens is to put the government on notice that no delays will be tolerated.
HON LYNN MacLAREN (South Metropolitan) [4.02 pm] — in reply: I wish to acknowledge the
contributions made by Hon Sally Talbot and Hon Helen Morton in responding to the motion; I accept their
As I stated in the beginning, metropolitan region scheme amendment 1180/41 is not a bad amendment, but it
could be a lot better. The purpose of my disallowance motion is to flag the concerns that were raised with me
and that I noted in the amendment before us. I believe that I have managed to do that and the minister heard my
concerns and responded well to the issues I raised.
One of the complications that Hon Sally Talbot has brought to our attention is statement of planning policy 2.6
and when it can be applied and used. I accept that the local government authorities will take that into
consideration when they decide whether new construction occurs. It is imperative that we take coastal sea level
rise and changes due to severe storms under consideration as soon as possible and start making decisions based
on the scientific knowledge before us in order to protect Western Australia’s infrastructure and the new
developments that will occur along the coast. One of those important pieces of infrastructure in the Cockburn
coast area is the South Fremantle power station. This development provides us with an opportunity to finally
make some creative use of the South Fremantle power station; I would love to see it restored and used as a
commercial or residential development. I would love to see it part of a node that is connected to this light rail
route that we will, hopefully, see in the near future.
The minister representing the Minister for Planning mentioned that transport studies are underway and that they
have informed this amendment. Of course, to hear that the government is talking to other areas of government
working in this area is great news. However, that is not evident from the amendment before us. The amendment
before us indicates that the studies are underway, but it does not really take into account the decisions that are
being made through those studies. It is still prudent to draw attention to these concerns and to shine the light of
day, if you will, on what we hope to come from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop along the
An ideal outcome for Randwick Stables is to extend the Beeliar Regional Park to Clontarf hill, because
Randwick Stables exist just on the other side of Clontarf hill. We could have a beautiful regional park there and
protect heritage if we did not have that massive road cutting between those areas. I would love local authorities
and our Department of Transport, and even our heritage interests, to look at how we can protect that little slice of
our Western Australian history. It is an important opportunity that I would hate to see us miss. Clontarf hill, as
we know, has a very rich heritage for the Fremantle area and I would argue that the Randwick Stables are of
state significance. I would love to see that ideal outcome. This amendment does not preclude that not coming
into force. I hope that when those decisions are made for regional transport, those roads are minimised quite a
I will take the minister’s advice on this amendment and seek leave to withdraw the disallowance motion.
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.