Government collaboration assisting land use planning

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety is taking the lead in better collaboration to assist local government authorities
Date: Monday, 14 August 2017

Decisions and recommendations on strategic land use will no longer be made in isolation and the engagement between departments will continue to increase for the benefit of the people of Western Australia.

Kalgoorlie - Boulder project.

The need for more efficencies in the strategic land use planning process has been a long standing issue, particularly when working with local government authorities. DMIRS has been working together with the divisions of the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage to cut red tape and work towards better fit-for purpose solutions.

The department’s Executive Director of Geological Survey WA (GSWA) Rick Rogerson said breaking down the walls and placing the local government authority in the middle of the planning process was important to improve the process.

“It is vital to look at how future mining interacts with town site development plans when we are looking at strategic land planning for the next 50 to 100 years,” Dr Rogerson said.

“While the immediate planning focus might be on the next one to five years, the State Government is responsible for the long-term strategic planning.

“By taking a collaborative approach and inviting all the relevant parties to the table, suitable alternatives can be identified, which are sometimes of more strategic benefit than the original proposal.”

When approached by the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder regarding land for industrial use, the department got straight to work to help find a solution that would support the City and the long-term mining strategy for the region.

City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder CEO John Walker said the City was actively pursuing opportunities to increase and enhance industrial development in Kalgoorlie-Boulder as part of the Growing Kalgoorlie-Boulder project.

“The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder is working hard to make our City a place that people want to do business. We are looking at ways we can help attract new industry to our region, and particularly to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and working with the State to help remove constraints, particularly through the application of a Section 19 Mining Act 1978 exemption area on strategic industrial land parcels, which means industry doesn’t have to worry about future mining considerations,” Mr Walker said.

“Our appeal as a location for future industrial growth lies in the fact that we have so much land available that has access to major services and amenities like roads, rail, gas and electricity, in reasonable proximity to the City centre, and we want to enhance that appeal by working with the State, through the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, to remove potential constraints and free it up for development other than mining.”

GSWA conducted a prospectivity study to identify a suitable area that also considered other features such as existing transport and utility infrastructure.

A significant parcel of land, only 10 kilometers south of the Kalgoorlie city centre was identified and placed under a Mining Act Section 19 exemption, placing it under Ministerial control and possibly making it exempt from future mining.

DMIRS will continue to act as the facilitator between the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the government departments to progress the land for rezoning.