Firebreaks needed by November 2, 2016

firebreak_compBushfire prevention saves lives and prevents damage to property, livestock and crops. Firebreaks must be constructed by November 2, 2016 and maintained up to April 30, 2017 inclusive.

It is in the interest of the whole community that all firebreaks are kept clear of flammable material.

Failure to comply with the City of Swan firebreak regulations may result in a $250 penalty.

Posted in City of Swan, Community | Leave a comment

Ambo service now 24/7

Ellenbrook Advocate

Station manager Suleen Van Der Westhuizen at the site of the new Ellenbrook depot on Commercial Road.

Station manager Suleen Van Der Westhuizen at the site of the new Ellenbrook depot on Commercial Road.

ST JOHN Ambulance WA has moved to provide 24/7 service in Ellenbrook – in line with the current population growth in Perth’s northern corridor.

The Ellenbrook depot was opened in 2011, servicing the suburb and its surrounding areas, including The Vines,  Aveley and Belhus.

In August, it shifted from operating a single ambulance for half a day to an around-the-clock service, operating seven days a week.

Ambulance service director Iain Langridge said the changes at the Ellenbrook depot would have a positive impact on the provision of pre-hospital care in the northern suburbs.

“The northern suburbs of Perth are currently experiencing huge population growth and we have noted a significant increase in ambulance work, which has resulted in a 17 per cent increase in case volume in the northwest corridor between 2013 and 2015,” he said.

“The strategy to deal with this increased need has involved not only the implementation of a 24/7 ambulance operation at Ellenbrook, but also the establishment of the Wangara North Hub, which allows for dynamic deployment in the region.

“The north hub, which has been operational since May, has helped us respond to triple zero calls in suburbs such as Ellenbrook during peak times and meet the needs of this growing community.”

The two-storey North Hub can house up to 15 ambulances and 15 patient transfer vehicles, accommodate a backup State Operations Centre and a set-up area for event health services.

Additionally, plans are being made for a new depot and first aid training facility to be constructed on Commercial Road in Ellenbrook, with a completion date scheduled for 2019.

read more…

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Whiteman in top tier

whiteman-park_compEastern Reporter

WHITEMAN Park has been recognised as one of WA’s top tourist attractions, after the 2016 WA Tourism Award finalists were announced this month.

Run by the State Department of Planning and with more than one million visitors a year, it is a finalist in the major tourist attraction category.

Whiteman Park includes Caversham Wildlife Park, the Motor Museum of WA, Tractor Museum of WA, Heritage Electric Tram Rides, Whiteman Explorer tours and Bennett Brook Railway vintage train rides.

Winners will be announced next month.

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Swan Valley restriction could change (fracking…)

Echo News

sv_land_use_report_pic_compA MINISTERIAL direction given to a  gas exploration company to not interfere with the surface of land covered by the Swan Valley Planning Act 1995 is to ensure the area is protected until the Swan Valley Protection Bill 2016 is passed, according to the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

The department’s petroleum tenure and land access general manager Bev Bower said in July 2015 the State Government issued a direction under Section 95(2) of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 restricting petroleum exploration activity within the permit area which overlaps the Swan Valley.

“The restrictions prevent petroleum exploration operations that would interfere with the surface of the land delineated in Section 4 of the Swan Valley Planning Act 1995,’’ she said.

The direction to Southern Sky Energy Pty Ltd as the registered holder of EP 494 (exploration permit) was signed by former Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion.

When asked whether the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 over ruled the Swan Valley Planning Act 1995 and therefore the new Swan Valley Protection Bill 2016, which is still to pass through Parliament Ms Bower said “DMP does not make decisions to overrule other legislation”.

She said a change of Minister would not change the direction, as it was a direction issued by the position not a person.

“But the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 does allow for revocation or alteration if future minister’s wished to make changes.’’

“The proposed works program for exploration permit EP 494 does not include hydraulic fracture stimulation, only seismic surveys are proposed.’’

“The proposed work program includes stratigraphic drilling in the fourth year, based on preceding work, which will help identify the geology of the title area.’’

read more…

Posted in Environment, Tourism, Viticulture/Horticulture, Water | Leave a comment

Labor plans fracking ban

Ellenbrook Advocate

fracking_compOPPOSTION leader Mark McGowan has announced WA Labor’s plans to ban fracking in the Swan Valley and other regions of the State.

Mr McGowan said in Capel on Thursday that the Perth metropolitan area, Peel region and the South-West would become fracking-free, while the drilling technique would be permitted in the Kimberley and Mid-West.

“The Swan Valley region is a major drawcard for international visitors,” Mr McGowan said.

“These industries are incredibly important to WA’s economy and, combined with the depth of the Yarragadee aquifer and land-use patterns, these regions are unsuitable for fracking.

“Because of the unique natural environment, high population density, land-use patterns and deep aquifers in these regions, fracking presents an unacceptable risk to farming and tourism.”

West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti supported Mr McGowan’s comments.

“After attending a recent community meeting on the subject and listening to residents’ concerns, I am glad that WA Labor has taken such a strong position,” she said. “I hope today’s announcement will reassure local residents that a McGowan Labor Government will protect the Swan Valley.”

read more…

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Rural Fire Service plan good news for brigades

Ellenbrook Advocate

rural_fire_compTHE State Government has announced it will go ahead with establishing an independent Rural Fire Service, in the wake of January’s deadly Yarloop and Waroona blazes that killed two people and destroyed 181 properties.

Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades WA president Dave Gossage said the service would see a new approach to protecting communities from the threat of bush fires this summer.

“The Association welcomes the government’s announcement to adopt this key recommendation from the Ferguson Inquiry,” he said.

“The news will be welcomed across a large swathe of our state that is exposed to the annual threats posed by bushfires.

“With the support of other rural and emergency services groups, and rural communities in general, the Association has worked hard to convince the government to follow the Ferguson Inquiry recommendations as a way to improving the state’s bushfire management capability.”

read more…

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Transport No. 1 concern

Ellenbrook Advocate

A RECENT community survey of over 2000 people in Ellenbrook and surrounding areas showed 82.8 per cent of residents want a train line to the area as soon as possible.

The Swan Hills Labor campaign commissioned a service provider to conduct the survey, which asked 2104 participants “in relation to train services to Ellenbrook, which statement best reflects your views?”

Over 82 per cent of the people surveyed answered that they supported a train to Ellenbrook as soon as possible.

A little over 11 per cent did not believe Ellenbrook needed a train line, and 5.8 per cent supported the Barnett Government’s plan to bring a train line to Ellenbrook sometime after 2050.

The survey also asked Ellenbrook residents what the most important local issues to them were.

Public transport topped the list as their number one concern, with 42.1 per cent listing it at the top.

Some 20.4 per cent listed health, 15.5 per cent listed jobs, 10.7 per cent listed education and 11.3 per cent said other concerns.


Jessica Shaw and Rita Saffioti

Candidate for Swan Hills Jessica Shaw said the results spoke for themselves. “The results of this community survey show the majority of people in Ellenbrook want a train line as soon as possible,” she said.

“I will fight for better public transport for Ellenbrook, and I plan to continue talking to residents and finding out what they want from a WA Labor Government.”

read more…

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Backpacker tax cut to 19 per cent

christian_porter_compThe proposed 32.5 per cent tax rate that was to apply to working holiday visa holders from 1 July 2016 will be cut to 19 per cent following a review of the tax.

MHR Christian Porter at Berry Sweet in Bullsbrook

MHR Christian Porter at Berry Sweet in Bullsbrook

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said that change recognised the importance of keeping regional economies strong.

“Agriculture and tourism makes a fundamental contribution to the local economy in Pearce,” Mr Porter said.

“Farmers, growers, and tourism operators expressed strong opinions about the supply and taxation of working holiday visa holders and those concerns have been heard.

“The revision of the backpacker tax to 19 per cent is a win for the farmers and growers of Pearce who rely on strong seasonal labour support.

“This is one more way that we are working to ensure Pearce remains a vibrant hub of industry and employment into the future.”

Mr Porter said the decision to reduce the proposed tax rate from 32.5 per cent to 19 per cent would maintain Australia’s status as one of the most competitive destinations for working holiday makers, while ensuring they pay a fair level of tax.

Posted in Community, Viticulture/Horticulture | Leave a comment

SVPA Submission – Draft Whiteman Park Strategic Plan 2016-2020

Locked Bag 2506
Perth WA 6001

By email:

Submission: Draft Whiteman Park Strategic Plan 2016-2020

Deciding on a plan.
The Plan was decided on by a committee of Indigenous stakeholders, local government and five government departments. The lack of input from state and local community groups is a missed opportunity to achieve a better plan. We have not been included in the early development stages and must now comment on the Plan from a position of limited knowledge.

A Strategic Plan.
The Plan is strategic and has no detail on how the proposals will be implemented or the form they will take. Further public consultation will be required for elements of the Plan as they get closer to being planned.

Part of the Swan Valley.
The Plan places Whiteman Park (WP) as part of the Swan Valley. It has proximity and many common feature with the Swan Valley however it is only the most southern and unused area of WP that is in the Swan Valley. The opportunity has been missed to include WP in the Swan Valley Development Plan (2105) and this must be corrected in the 2016 Swan Valley Development Plan which is now due. The Swan Valley and WP need to work closely together to maximise opportunities for both. It is suggested that a formal arrangement to assist this process be established. Links to the Swan Valley must be established on a business level but also physically through road and cycleway routes and a common visitor/tourist transport service passing all attractions with contact at train and bus stations.

Links to the Swan River are essential and need to be investigated as a priority.

This is an area poorly explained in the document. We would have preferred to see a breakdown of the visitation/ tourism numbers. Much of the WP visitation is Perth residents and visiting friends and family while the Caversham Wildlife Park within WP is tourist based and included in your total figure and needs to be separated out so we can better understand the demand and therefore the need of WP not including the wildlife park.

To quote you “Whiteman Park is one of Perth’s most visited attractions, with more than one million visitors each year. It is also the most visited attraction in the Swan Valley.” Some more information would have added value to this statement such as WP visitation has been at around the one million per year for many years now and a graph would have been useful and the Swan valley visitation is now running around 3.1 million per year (City of Swan survey 2016).

Volunteer groups at WP.
These groups have been a big part of the WP attraction and are needed to continue and prosper. Additional groups need to be considered on their merits. The Plan is light on this section and more is needed.

No Friends Group. WP has many incorporated volunteer groups and these represent their own interests and not WP as a whole. WP has a volunteer group but not as an incorporated. This leaves WP without a single voice on issues and no access to funds that are only available to non- government organisations. Lotteries for example will not fund WP but would fund an incorporated group. An attempt to start a WP friends group a few years ago was thwarted.

The Vision
a) “ Providing interconnected meeting places for communities to meet, recreate in and enjoy” We don’t understand this outcome. The proposed road and services upgrade and key land uses listed don’t explain how they will achieve the objective. WP is already a major meeting place for the community and volunteer groups.
b) Providing improved access for the community to the Park’s activities. We agree with this objective. The scope needs to be expanded to include from adjoining areas including the Swan Valley. Linkages of better roads and cycleways are essential. Cycleways will require under or over passes on the major roads of Lord Street, Gnangara Road and Perth Darwin Highway at several places each. Access is greatly restricted to and within WP and to an even greater degree in the Swan Valley by poor public transport both to and within both areas. A dedicated service is required to pick up from train and bus stations and then pass all Swan Valley and WP attractions. Both WP and the Swan Valley are large areas and transport is a major problem to solve that will require government assistance. The proposal to open WP on a 24/7 basis will be expensive to staff and make difficult activities when a public free period is needed. This proposal has merit but will need to provide limited area access.
c) A destination of significance for local and international visitors. This outcome is supported. The Caversham Wildlife Park is the only working tourist attraction at WP. The challenge is to attract other ventures that will add value and a return to help support WP. Such attraction need not be based on the existing themes of WP.
d) Conserving the environment and Whiteman Park’s heritage for future generations. This outcome is supported. WP does need ongoing work to maintain its environmental values. It is however not best paced to be a research organisation or breeder or rare fauna. These activities should be managed and paid for by professional organisation like Department of Parks and Wildlife. Government must resource a single organisation to do these tasks well. WP with its close proximity to research organisation (universities etc) is ideally suited as a research site and this must be fostered and maintained. Two areas of concern not addressed are firstly the loss of water levels (over abstraction Gnangara Mound) resulting in the loss of all wetlands except Grogan’s Swamp by the Swan River. Any new development in the southern area of WP must consider replacing the lost wetlands by excavating to water level and in a more limited way beyond. The other area of concern is the overpopulation of kangaroos on WP. There are thousand where there should be hundreds and the research on historical and sustainable kangaroo numbers is well known. The WP breeding rate is 40% per year (Bamford and Bamford). This overpopulation is resulting the destruction of native flora and degrading the values of WP. Eventually the kangaroos will starve and either die or relocate to the adjoining suburbs both of which are unacceptable. A kangaroo management plan is urgently needed.

Land Use Areas.
The entire WP area plus the Old Caversham Airfield bush forever site must remain in the ownership of WP. Any commercial activity must see the funds directed only to WP for its use.
1) Woodland Reserve and conservation area. This initiative is supported. Grogan’s Swamp by the River must be included in this category. It is the only remaining wetland on WP and must be preserved, enhanced and provide an interpretive opportunity. The woodland will require ongoing maintenance and some repair works and this must be funded to a satisfactory level.
2) Village. This area is satisfactory but needs more activities in what is the heart of the WP attraction area.
3) Bennett Brook Reserve. The connection between Marshall Road and Benara Road is narrow and problematic. This area can be revegetated with mostly tree species to enhance its appearance but will do little for its environmental values. Below Benara Road is Grogan’s Swamp. This wonderful area of great value must be utilised and become better known.
4) Marshall Road Lands. The use of this land as a buffer and to generate income from compatible ventures is supported. The regional sporting fields are a good initiative. This area will need good public transport. Water for irrigation is not available and this must be addressed now so the project can move forward. A sewer passes by but the water is untreated and cannot be use. A local waste water treatment plant is needed and could supply irrigation standard water. The cemetery proposal is not supported without further discussion. A cemetery will not add an attraction to WP and if it is to proceed it must pay a commercial lease fee to WP.
5) Lord Street Lands. This is a strange concept that is not well explained. It is a very large area for commercial use yet the proposed uses listed would only require a few hectares. Its suggested possible use as a competitor to the Swan valley attraction is in conflict with your Swan Valley Development Plan (2106 version now overdue). Also being 50% Priority one water reserve prevents even a car park being built and this area needs to revert to woodland reserve. Cynically it appears that this area may have its Priority One water reserve status changed.
6) Old Caversham Airfield. This is a Bushforever site with very limited environmental value. This site will be cost burden with no return to WP and would better be managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on your Plan. We would be interested in being involved in future meetings or discussions to further progress to final plans.

Steve Leppard


Posted in Environment, SVPA Submissions, Tourism | Leave a comment

WA wines Show stars

Ellenbrook Advocate


Houghton Wines winemaker Ross Pamment

TWO Swan Valley wineries have scooped the pool in winning wines at this year’s Royal Show as locally produced wines competed against wines from the eastern states.

With 26 judges determining the medals from 2119 exhibits provided by 299 entrants, the most isolated state’s wines held their own.

Houghton Wines, Swan Valley, clinched four major awards taking out the Most Successful West Australian Exhibitor, Wines of Provenance Best Red or White Varietal for its Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon 2001, 2008 and 2013, Best West Australian White Table Wine and Best Dry White Table Wine Blends for its Heritage White Blend 2011.

Mandoon Estate in Caversham laid claim to the Best West Australian Wine, Most Successful West Australian Exhibitor processing under 300 tonnes and Best West Australian Dry Red Table Wine with its Mandoon Estate Frankland River Reserve Shiraz 2014. In Margaret River, the Best Semillon Sauvignon Blanc/Sauvignon Blanc Semillon went to Xanadu winery while Heydon Estate’s Cowaramup winery walked away with Best Chardonnay: The Willow Chardonnay 2013.

read more…

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Biting report ranks Perth councils’ urban planning performance

The WA government concedes it is partly to blame for dismal urban planning in virtually all Perth councils, revealed in a landmark Property Council report released on Thursday.

The report, based on voluntary participation from councils providing data for three areas of measurement – strategic, statutory and process – showed just two, Melville and Belmont, had a high level of planning performance across the three elements.

Many of the rest had patchy performance, good in some areas, bad in others. Of the 32 metropolitan councils (including Mandurah and Murray) approached, 29 took part. Only Bayswater, Victoria Park and Claremont did not.

The worst performing had no planning strategy, a very old planning scheme and either low efficiency measures or could not provide sufficient data on efficiency.

Only nine had a strategic plan less than five years old, and only seven of these also significantly reflected state policy – the top two plus Armadale, Kalamunda, Mundaring, Bassendean and Mosman Park.

Planning schemes averaged 14 years old and only three councils had a scheme under five years old with a significant relationship to their strategy.

Perth has 98 “activity centres” requiring structure plans, and since these were identified six years ago only a third have been prepared, or even begun.

By contrast there were a huge number of planning scheme amendments being done, which one of the report’s authors likened to continuing to patch a fishing net.

“At some stage, it all falls to pieces,” Planning Context associate Katrina Elliott said.

Planning performance: council scores out of 23
But the state copped blame too, taking “far too long” to review strategies being developed.

Scheme amendment approvals took seven months at best – one took 2.5 years, another more than five.

“There was a degree of frustration with the time it was taking to progress certain things … an element of concern relating to the capacity of the Department of Planning to meet the timelines now shown in the most recent changes,” she said.

“There was a lack of resources.”

read more…

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WA Premier Colin Barnett floats idea of expanded Perth ferry service to Swan Valley


ferry_compPREMIER Colin Barnett has floated the idea of expanding the Transperth ferry system with river stops reaching as far east as the Swan Valley.

The Sunday Times can reveal the State Government is looking at new ferry stops at riverside suburbs including Maylands, Bayswater, Guildford, Belmont and Applecross.

A Working Group headed by South Perth MLA John McGrath has been formed to explore the viability of the expanded service.

It’s hoped the service will appeal to CBD commuters by being faster than the existing ferry between Elizabeth Quay and South Perth.

The Premier said modern craft were designed to operate at higher speeds without causing damage to river banks.

“Why don’t we use our river better?” Mr Barnett asked at a Swan Chamber of Commerce function on Friday.

“We all go to Sydney and see Sydney Harbour with the ferries and even Brisbane — boats are shooting up and down the Brisbane River.”


Posted in Community, Public Transport, Tourism | Leave a comment



The Swan Valley Protection Bill 2016 introduced into the State Parliament last week has created significant uncertainty and confusion about the future of the Valley.

The intention of the legislation is to repeal the Swan Valley Planning Act 1995 and provide a new planning framework for the Swan Valley.

While Ms Saffioti welcomed the focus on maintaining the rural character of the Swan Valley she raised a number of concerns regarding the content of the bill.

  • The Bill relies on the “Swan Valley Development Plan” for the planning and development guidelines of the Valley, yet this Plan is not finalised and is still in draft form. Ideally the legislation and the Development Plan should have been considered concurrently.
  • There is no real replacement of the “Swan Valley Development Committee”. The committee has significant local knowledge and expertise, and this is not being replaced with anything similar. Without a dedicated board or Committee the many interests in the Valley will not be properly represented.
  • The Bill and Plan do not provide any practical support to address many of the challenges in undertaking agricultural pursuits in the Valley, in particular viticulture. There is no “right to farm” element, there is nothing to address the water shortages and water allocation issues and they have not addressed the cost challenges to leasing properties such as land tax;
  • There is little planned investment for the area, including no supporting funding to improve road and public transport to services the region.

After many years of missteps on Valley planning the community expected that the Barnett Government would be able to provide a greater level of certainty.

Comments from Member for West Swan, Rita Saffioti MLA:

“The Minister is asking for the Parliament to support legislation without the details of the development plan being finalised. In a sense, the Minister is asking Parliament to sign a blank cheque.

“The abolition of the Swan Valley Planning Committee with no real replacement, will mean that the many different voices of the Valley will have no real place to be heard.

“The Valley will just be treated like any other part of the metropolitan area, without its own voice.

“The draft plan and legislation provide no measures to address many of the practical impediments for agriculture in the Valley – including land tax, water supply and right to farm issues.

“Feedback from members of the community already shows unhappiness with the Bill.

“After eight years of Government the Swan Valley community deserved better. Introducing an “empty” bill with six weeks of Parliament left is not the certainty that was promised.”

read Swan Valley Protection Bill 2016

Media contact: Rita Saffioti 9248 3822

Posted in Swan Valley Protection Bill 2016 | Leave a comment

Future Planning for Whiteman Park – Sporting Facilities for Ballajura, Bennett Springs, Brabham and Dayton Communities

rod_henderson_header_comp2With the release of the draft Whiteman Park Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and the announcement of a $2.8 million investment into Whiteman Park will ensure that this iconic 4,000 hectares remains a local and international visitor hotspot for generations to come.

Being a resident in the area Rod Henderson, the Liberal Candidate for the seat of West Swan said that the “proposed inclusion of new sporting, camping and recreation facilities at the Marshall Road Lands and Whiteman Bush Lands area will be a large boost to the community and young families in the Ballajura, Bennett Springs, Brabham, Dayton and Surrounding Areas.”

Mr Henderson continued by adding that “these sporting and recreation facilities will play a vital role in providing not only infrastructure for this area but also a place for the community to watch, interact and bond over the coming years as the area grows”.

The draft plan outlines a significant investment of $2.8 Million from the Liberal led Government that will ensure that Whiteman Park is able to provide a much needed interconnected meeting places for communities to meet, recreate in and enjoy. Mr Henderson believes that “…improved community access to the park whilst conserving the environment and Whiteman Park’s heritage is essential for future generations and to preserving the park as a destination of significance for local and international visitors. The inclusion of new sporting facilities and land for outdoor events, markets and concerts will see a further increase in the vibrancy of Whiteman Park.”

The draft Whiteman Park Strategic Plan 2016-2020 has been released for public comment.

Submissions close at 5pm on Tuesday 4 October 2016

The plan can be found at:

Further comment and feedback from local residents is vital to shaping the future of Whiteman Park and Mr Henderson urges members of the community to contact him directly via email or phone to discuss the matter.

Contact: Rod Henderson – – 0428 944 781

Posted in Community, Tourism | Leave a comment

Plan for market at railway workshops

Ellenbrook Advocate


Midland Railway Workshops

MIDLAND Railway Workshops could offer local growers a venue for a seven-day market for residents to buy fruit and vegetables.

The Swan Chamber of Commerce has suggested the area in between the apartments – they are still being completed – at the MRW site would make a wonderful daily market for people to buy fresh and healthy produce direct from growers in the Swan Valley, Pickering Brook and Carmel, Chittering, Bickley and Mundaring areas.

Chamber president Gerry Hanssen said the suggestion had been taken to the City of Swan and councillors were hoping to discuss it at an upcoming meeting.

“Crucial to the success of the market place would be to make the rent affordable to these small local producers to encourage diversity and higher numbers,” he said.

City chief executive Mike Foley said the workshops came under the control of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority so any approvals for the market would need to be considered by that body.

“However, the City supports all new industry in the region and would welcome the market as a new opportunity for growers and for residents wanting to access grower-direct produce.”

Planning Minister Donna Faragher said expressions of interest would be sought for markets and other activities to be set up in the space at the workshops.

read more…

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rita2_compThe lack of commitment to the Swan Growth Corridor from the State Government is yet again demonstrated by the lack of funding commitments to new schools in the area.

Despite the State Government releasing a planning document for the growth corridor in 2009, they have done nothing to provide certainty for students, parents and teachers.

The lack of any funding certainty for the proposed schools creates enormous uncertainty for homeowners in the area, and is now pushing up costs for landowners.

Changes in Developer Contribution schemes that were discussed and approved at the City of Swan Council last night show that there will be increased costs to landowners, as a direct result of the Liberal Government ignoring the need for new schools in the area.

In Dayton, developer contributions will increase by $9,776 per hectare ($541 per dwelling) and in Brabham by $14,525 ($988 per dwelling).

The State Government planning document, identified a number of new primary schools in the Brabham, Dayton and Caversham area. The Government has not funded any of the new schools in the area.

Comments from Member for West Swan, Rita Saffioti MLA:

“The Liberal Government has ignored the needs of new suburbs across the metropolitan area.

“Under a Labor Government we were building 8 new primary schools each year, currently the Liberal Government is only funding 4 new primary schools each year.

“They have provided no funding commitments for schools in our area, creating significant concern for families in the area and higher costs for local landowners.”

Media contact: Rita Saffioti 9248 3822

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Dear Friends

This week has been a major game changer for tourism in WA which has been overwhelmingly embraced by our operators. By simply removing two restrictions, our tourism operators are jumping with joy. Tuesday’s announcement now allows tourism operators to offer a glass of wine or stubby of beer to their visitors during the normal activities of their service.

This week I attended the two-day WA Tourism Conference held in Perth and supported by 400 tourism operators from around the State. In my role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, I accompanied the Hon Colin Barnett to the official opening of the conference on Tuesday. Later that day I joined a discussion panel and spoke on the sharing economy; in particular the rise in demand and popularity of Airbnb and how it is adding to the growth of tourism in our State.

It was a proud moment indeed when the Premier announced changes to the Liquor Control Regulations that will provide local tourism operators with the option to serve alcohol, be it at the end of a sunset cruise, a bush walk, a camel ride, hot air balloon flight or a picnic as part of their tour, without the requirement for a liquor license. The Premier also announced the restriction surrounding gambling on cruise ships in Western Australian waters will be lifted to take affect from 1 January 2017. These are two initiatives that I have been working on for some time. The simple removal of these restrictions frees up the industry to grow and to attract thousands of more visitors to WA.

Cruising is a vital part of the State’s $9.3 billion tourism industry and changes to the Liquor Control Regulations will also promote regional Western Australian ports as attractive destinations for cruise operators.

Tourism is such an important growth industry for Western Australia and cruise ships are adding to that growth. WA sped away from the rest of the nation in cruise shipping growth with a boom year in 2014-15. However, the 2015-16 was WA’s most successful cruise season with Fremantle handling a record 58 cruise ship visits and 152,000 cruise passengers. The sector generated more than $275 million which represents a $159 million increase on the previous year.

This is also an exciting and important time for tourism in the Swan Valley and Perth Hills. Perth’s transformation as a destination means it now has more to offer visitors and the diverse range of attractions including wineries, breweries, restaurants, cafes, galleries and trails that connects the Swan Valley through to the Perth Hills and the Bickley Valley, will enable the region to capitalise on the renewed marketing focus on the city.

By the Premier taking on the tourism portfolio, he has demonstrated the value he places on the tourism sector in terms of economic development and job creation.

As always, keeping you in touch with my activities.

Posted in Tourism | Leave a comment