Land use planning

The Geological Survey of Western Australia’s (GSWA) Land Use Geoscience section provides geological information, advice and approvals to assist in government decision making related to the most appropriate use of land. The provision of relevant geological information to State and local government authorities, planners and the community contributes to Western Australia’s economic sustainability, and helps to ensure that the interests and rights of all parties are recognised.

Hard rock quarry near Gosnells, Perth
Hard-rock quarry near Gosnells, Perth

Land Use Geoscience

Hard rock quarry near Perth (with the city in the background
Hard-rock quarry near Perth (with the city in the background)

The Land Use Geoscience section uses geological information to identify and help maintain access to valuable mineral, petroleum and basic raw material resources and to areas needed for exploration (see Land Use Planning brochure).

The planning process takes into account requirements of relevant legislation such as:

  • the Mining Act 1978
  • the Land Administration Act 1997
  • the Planning and Development Act 2005

The section works closely with other government departments such as the Department of Lands, Department of Planning, Department of Premier and Cabinet and Department of Parks and Wildlife to assist land use decision making. The section produces resources maps tailored for land use planning purposes in areas where there are many competing land use requirements. An example of this is the Titanium – zircon mineralisation mapping series covering the Swan Coastal Plain.

Current projects include:

Land use planning around townsites

GSWA map of Kalgoorlie 1902

The Land Use Geoscience section has an important role to play in assisting land use planning around townsites, especially in mineral-rich areas such as the Goldfields. Early consultation with the section prior to revision of local planning strategies is strongly encouraged, so that any resource-related issues are identified prior to detailed planning.

The GSWA geological map of Kalgoorlie in 1902, displays the townsite and early mining areas that are now covered by the Superpit (see opposite).

Access spatial information on Land Use planning

Resources around townsites and along the Swan Coast Plain can be seen in GeoVIEW.WA, the department’s interactive geological map tool. Select layers under ‘Land Use planning’ in the table of contents.

Basic Raw Materials

Mining sand resources
A sand resource used in urban development such as new housing and a stadium in Perth

The Land Use Geoscience section provides maps and information on Basic Raw Materials (BRM) essential for construction purposes and to assist in government planning. BRM are sand, clay, gravel, limestone, limesand and hardrock aggregate.

For further information see Basic Raw Materials.


Geologists visiting the Buick Reserve
Field trip to the Buick Reserve (Archean Stromatolites), Pilbara

GSWA manages a State register that lists unique geological sites in Western Australia with significant scientific and educational value.

Visit Geoheritage for further information on:

  • location of sites (via an interactive map)
  • details on reserve sites requiring application to enter
  • relevant publications.

For further information contact: