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Background

LandCorp applied to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) in September 2017 for a permit to clear 1.52 hectares of native vegetation at the former Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital. The clearing was proposed for the purpose of bush fire hazard reduction at the Lemnos Street site.

The application was advertised for public submissions on 16 October 2017 for a 21 days. DWER received more than 1000, mostly pro-forma, submissions from the public opposing the proposed clearing.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) the clearing of native vegetation requires authorisation by a clearing permit, unless the clearing is subject to an exemption.

The EP Act provides an exemption for clearing done in accordance with a subdivision approval given by the responsible authority—in this case the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC)—under the Planning and Development Act 2005 (Planning Act).

DWER understands LandCorp is seeking subdivision approval under the Planning Act to develop the Shenton Park site and has submitted a bushfire management plan with its subdivision application. If the bushfire management plan is included in the conditions of the subdivision approval, any clearing done in accordance with it would be exempt.

DWER ceased actively assessing the application on 18 December 2017.

What is happening now?

DWER is awaiting further advice from LandCorp—will it proceed with the clearing permit application or will the clearing occur under an exemption?

Should LandCorp withdraw the clearing permit application and undertake the clearing in accordance with the exemption, DWER will have no further role in assessing the proposed clearing under the EP Act.

WAPC has asked DWER to provide advice to WAPC in relation to the subdivision application. The Department will provide relevant information obtained from the clearing permit application assessment.

More information

Further information on the Shenton Park redevelopment project is available on LandCorp’s website.

Updated 21 March 2018