The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) says that amendments to guidelines released by the Federal Department of the Environment and Energy will add significant cost and delay to almost all forms of development across the south west land division of Western Australia.

“UDIA calculates that each referral will cost $6,577 plus the cost of delays due to referral, adding significant cost to development,” UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes said.

According to UDIA, the proposed amendments to the draft revised referral guideline for three threatened black cockatoo species: Carnaby’s Cockatoo, Baudin’s Cockatoo and Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo include impractical requirements that will not only overwhelm the department’s referrals system but actually harm efforts to assist in the recovery of the three black cockatoo species.

“UDIA has raised major concerns in relation to the guidelines because they will undoubtedly lead to a vast increase in the number of referrals to the department and overwhelm resources,” UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes said.

“This amended cockatoo policy requires the referral of any proposal affecting any tree with a diameter of 500mm (or 300mm for Salmon Gums or Wandoo),” Ms Hailes said. “Imagine the number of trees we could be talking about here.”

“How is any government department meant to adequately deal with that level of referral,” Ms Hailes said.

“The inefficiency this system will create is mind boggling and it will mean even more uncertainty for the development industry, adding significant delay and cost to development across the south west of WA,” Ms Hailes said.

“New home buyers will be the ones to bear the brunt of these added costs,” Ms Hailes said.

“For years UDIA has been working with state and federal governments to streamline the development approvals system and achieve Strategic Assessment of the Perth and Peel regions,” Ms Hailes said.

“That means integrating planning and environmental approvals processes more effectively and introducing a Green Growth Plan for Perth and Peel that avoids duplication or inconsistency between state and federal requirements” Ms Hailes said.

“Without question, the proposed guidelines will result in a more complex approval process with environmental considerations unreasonably dominating other planning considerations and State development priorities,” Ms Hailes said.

“This is exactly what the government has been trying to steer away from in introducing strategic assessment,” Ms Hailes said.

“While we understand the need to protect endangered and vulnerable species, this must be undertaken in the context of sensible and practical policy solutions,” Ms Hailes said.


For more information:

Gemma Osiejak

UDIA WA Executive Manager Communications & Marketing


M: 0421 506 819