Strategic assessment of Western Australia's Perth and Peel Regions

Strategic assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Aerial shot of house roofs

Urban development, Perth

The Australian Government and Western Australian Government have formally agreed to undertake a comprehensive strategic assessment of the Perth and Peel Regions of Western Australia. The strategic assessment will be undertaken in accordance with section 146 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Strategic assessments enable a 'big-picture' approach to environment and heritage protection that provides certainty in the long term, by determining the areas to be protected from development and areas where sustainable development can go, the type of development that will be allowed and the conditions under which development may proceed.

Perth and Peel Regions

The strategic assessment will focus on the Perth and Peel regions of Western Australia's Swan Coastal Plain as shown in Figure 1. With the population of the Perth and Peel regions predicted to double in the next 20 to 30 years, the strategic assessment will focus on the impacts of future urban development activities, infrastructure corridors, transportation and basic raw material extraction.

Perth and Peel Region map - click on map to enlarge image

Figure 1. Perth and Peel Regional Sustainability Planning and Strategic Assessment area - Click on map to enlarge image

Why is a strategic assessment being undertaken?

The Australian and Western Australian governments agree that the Perth and Peel regions of the Swan Coastal Plain have significant environmental and heritage values, including matters of national significance (MNES) protected under the EPBC Act. Those matters include:

  • wetlands of international importance
  • listed threatened species and ecological communities
  • migratory species protected under international agreements
  • national heritage places, and
  • world heritage properties

The strategic assessment will assess how these values and matters can best be protected while accommodating sustainable development and the needs of a growing city.

Terms of Reference

Public comment period

In August 2011, the Western Australian Government sought public comment on the draft Terms of Reference for the strategic assessment of the Perth and Peel regions. The public comment period closed on 7 October 2011.

Final Terms of Reference

In May 2012 the Australian Government environment minister approved the final terms of reference and minor amendments to the strategic assessment agreement. The final terms of reference take into account public comments received and expand the boundary of the strategic assessment to include the whole of the Gnangara, Pinjar and Yanchep Pine Plantations and adjacent conservation land.

Public Consultation- draft Strategic Conservation Plan and draft Impact Assessment Report

The Western Australian Government are inviting comments on the draft Strategic Conservation Plan and the draft Impact Assessment Report, the ‘Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan for 3.5 million’, from 17 December 2015 to 8 April 2016.

Information on how to provide a submission and a copy of the draft Impact Assessment Report and the draft Strategic Conservation Plan can be found on the Western Australian Government’s website at:

We encourage people to take the opportunity to provide feedback and make comments during this time.

What are the next steps?

At the close of the public comment period, an additional report will be prepared by the Western Australian Government summarising the public comments received and how they are addressed in the final Plan.

When finalised, these documents will be submitted to the Australian Government Environment Minister for endorsement. The Minister may request modifications or endorse the Plan. Once the Plan has been endorsed, the Minister may approve actions or classes of actions to be taken in accordance with the endorsed Plan. This approval is a legal step that allows development and other related activities identified in the Plan to proceed without the need for further approval from the Australian Government under the EPBC Act.