Department of Planning - Addressing Climate Change

Extract from Hansard
[COUNCIL — Wednesday, 6 April 2011]
Hon Lynn MacLaren; Hon Helen Morton

DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING — ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE

Hon Lynn MacLaren to the Minister for Mental Health representing the Minister for Planning

(1) Is the Department of Planning addressing climate change issues as it affects the Department’s sectoral
responsibilities?

(2) If no to (1), why not?

(3) If yes to (1), which climate change issues have been identified as affecting the Department’s sectoral
responsibilities?

(4) In respect of each issue identified, how is it being addressed (please provide full details) in terms of —

(a) adaptation;

(b) mitigation; and

(c) modification of activities likely to maintain or increase the severity of the impacts of climate
change?

(5) In respect of each answer to (4) —

(a) how much funding has been allocated to this work;

(b) how many FTE staff have been allocated to this work; and

(c) how is success being measured?

(6) Regarding the answer to (5)(c), is this information publicly available?

(7) If no to (6), why not?

(8) If yes to (6) —

(a) where is it publicly reported; and

(b) how often is it updated?

Hon HELEN MORTON replied:

(1) Yes, the Department is addressing climate change issues as it affects its sectoral responsibilities.

(2) Not applicable.

(3) Adaptation and mitigation issues have been identified as affecting the Department's sectoral
responsibilities.

(4) (a) Climate change issues in relation to energy use have been recognised and will influence
movement systems, urban form and densities. Directions 2031 is a high level spatial
framework and strategic plan for the Perth and Peel Region, and promotes a connected city
pattern of urban development. The focus is on promoting a better balance between greenfield
and infill development; protecting and enhancing the natural environment, agricultural land,
open spaces and our heritage and community wellbeing; reducing energy dependency and
greenhouse gas emissions; developing and revitalising activity centres as attractive places in
which to invest, live and work; ensuring that economic development and accessibility to
employment inform urban expansion; planning for an adequate supply of housing and land in
response to population growth and changing community needs; facilitating increased housing
diversity, adaptability, affordability and choice; planning and developing key public transport
corridors, urban corridors and transit oriented developments to accommodate increased
housing needs and encourage reduced vehicle use; creating and enhancing transport and freight
movement networks between activity centres and industrial centres; and maximising essential
service infrastructure efficiency and equity and identifying and prioritising the coordination of
projects to support future growth.

A key strategy for Directions 2031 is to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Specific actions
include improving the relationship between land use and alternative transport modes such as
cycling and walking, improving urban design and making optimum use of existing
infrastructure; identifying opportunities for new public transport services and encouraging a
shift to non-motorised forms of transport, and encouraging higher levels of employment selfsufficiency
to reduce travel demand; recognising and building on the growing preference for
non-motorised forms of transport, including walking and cycling; and promoting higher levels
of employment self-sufficiency in sub-regional areas, thereby reducing commuting distances
and times.

Directions 2031 also recognises that the planning and development industry, and local
government authorities can make a significant contribution to reducing energy use by
designing communities to maximise the opportunities to be climate responsive and energy
efficient, and supports projects such as Living Smart which have been developed to target
behavioural issues by guiding household improvements in the areas of water, energy, waste
and travel. This innovative community engagement program has demonstrated the potential to
impact on reducing energy use.

Climate change considerations are also considered within the State Planning Policy
framework. Sea level rise and the potential for erosion, storm surge and flooding are
considered in the review and application of State Planning Policy 2.6 — State Coastal
Planning (SPP 2.6). Increasing fire risk is considered in Planning for Bushfire Protection
Guidelines jointly developed by the Department of Planning (DoP), Western Australian
Planning Commission (WAPC) and Fire and Emergency Services Authority. Changes to water
availability is considered in State Planning Policy 2.9 — Water Resources, and in the Better
Urban Water Management framework jointly developed with the Department of Water,
Western Australian Local Government Association and DoP/WAPC. Climate change issues
have also been addressed in the reviews of State Planning Policy 2.5 — Land Use Planning in
Rural Areas, and Development Control Policy No.3.4 — Subdivision of Rural Land; and the
State Planning Strategy.

(b)-(c) Mitigation and modification will involve inter-agency coordination. The Department of
Planning's role will be to work with other government agencies to influence behaviours and
ensure modified development outcomes, through the implementation of policy and legislation
that is responsive to our changing climate.

(5) (a)-(b) This work is undertaken as part of standard practice across the Department of Planning and is
within the Department's budget allocation and FTE establishment.

(c) The Department of Planning is working with the Climate Change Unit in the Department of
Environment and Conservation through the Climate Change Policy Interdepartmental Steering
Group to develop the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy for Western
Australia; the emissions from the Department's fleet vehicles are being offset through the State
Fleet Vehicle Emissions Offset Scheme; and the Department's greenhouse gas emissions are
measured through the System for Accounting and Reporting Government Emissions
(SARGE).

(6) Yes.

(7) Not applicable.

(8) (a) Through the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

(b) Annually.