The Department of Parks and Wildlife's advisory role in the land use planning system is linked closely to, and complements, the referral and assessment processes of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1986, the EPA is responsible for formally assessing planning proposals and schemes that are likely to have a significant impact on the environment. The Office of the EPA (OEPA) helps the EPA to carry out its functions.
The following is a guide to help government agencies decide whether to approach the Department of Parks and Wildlife and/or the OEPA for environmental advice on planning and development matters.
Subdivision and development applications should be directed to Parks and Wildlife regional offices, but only where there is a clear need for advice from the department.
Exceptions are those proposals likely to have a significant impact on the environment that require referral to the EPA under the Environmental Protection Act 1986. Guides and forms for the referral of proposals to the EPA are at www.epa.wa.gov.au.
All region and local planning schemes and amendments are referred directly to the EPA as required under the planning legislation. The OEPA may seek advice from the Department of Parks and Wildlife on individual planning schemes and amendments. The department does not expect a separate referral during the subsequent advertising period unless the referral authority has a particular need for advice from the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
Structure plans and outline development plans that precede a scheme amendment may be referred to the OEPA and the Department of Parks and Wildlife for review of potential environmental impacts.
Structure plans and outline development plans for sites that do not require further rezoning before subdivision and development should be referred to the relevant the Parks and Wildlife regional office where the referral authority has a clear need for advice on any of the environmental issues below.
Both agencies should be informed of proposed major policies, strategies and other planning initiatives that have environmental implications.
Parks and Wildlife regional offices are generally the initial contact for advice on environmental planning matters for the factors listed below.
The OEPA is the contact for advice relating to the referral of proposals and schemes to the EPA and the assessment processes and criteria applied by the EPA.
Factors on which the department may provide advice when reviewing land use planning referrals from other agencies include:
The department does not routinely provide advice on all of the above factors.