Aubin Grove, conservation category
sumpland - Photo © M Rogers

Conserving wetlands

Thepdf Wetlands Conservation Policy for Western Australia6 MB outlines the state government’s commitment to identifying, maintaining and managing the state’s wetland resource for the long term benefit of Western Australians. It identifies objectives and actions to be undertaken to achieve the policy objectives.

The Wetlands Coordinating Committee oversees wetland conservation activities and initiatives across the state, including implementation of the Wetlands Conservation Policy.

A range of other policies also apply to wetlands in Western Australia.

The department plays a major role in wetland conservation in Western Australia through:

Managing wetlands

Responsibilities in wetland management range from managing diverse wetland ecosystems such as the Muir-Byenup system east of Manjimup, the Ord River Floodplain north of Kununurra, and the gorges of Karijini National Park, to the protection of threatened tortoises, frogs and fish.

Wetlands and land use planning 

Western Australia's land use planning system coordinates planning, land use and development through the review, approval and monitoring of planning schemes, policies, strategies, structure plans and subdivision and development applications.

  • Land use planning policy and decision-making are largely the responsibility of the Western Australian Planning Commission, the Department of Planning, local governments and redevelopment authorities.
  • Planning in Western Australia takes into account community, economic, environmental, infrastructure and regional development principles as set out in State Planning Policy 1 State Planning Framework Policy.
  • The department has an important role in advising land use planning decision makers on environmental planning issues relating to nature conservation and Parks and Wildlife managed areas. This role is undertaken primarily through the department's regional offices.
  • Guidance on protecting the environment during planning and development is set out in the Environmental Protection Authority's Guidance Statement 33 - Environmental Guidance for Planning and Development. Chapter B4 describes the requirements for the protection of wetlands.
  • See land use planning for more information about Parks and Wildlife's role.
pinkeared duck
Pinkeared duck - Photo © Stuart Halse/Parks and Wildlife


The land surrounding a wetland, its 'buffer', is an important area for wetlands animals and protects the wetland from surrounding land uses.

Buffers can also protect the community from potential impacts such as nuisance midge problems.

A buffer is measured from the mapped wetland boundary.

  • Parks and Wildlife recommends a minimum 50 metre buffer for wetlands, but the buffer required may be larger, depending upon threats posed, outlined in the table below.
  • More guidance on determining wetland buffer requirements is in development.


Articles in this category:

Title Modified Date
Recovery catchments Wednesday, 31 March 2021 09:25
Threats to wetlands Thursday, 03 January 2019 13:15
Wetlands Coordinating Committee Wednesday, 05 July 2017 11:50