Western Australia’s native vegetation – have your say

The McGowan Government is developing four initiatives to improve the consistency, transparency and quality of information which will enable better management of our State’s native vegetation. We are seeking your feedback from November 2019 to February 2020.

  • A State native vegetation policy: to promote consistency and transparency in the objectives that apply to consideration of native vegetation across all Government processes.
  • Better information: Improved data and mapping systems to track native vegetation extent, condition and approvals.
  • Better regulation: to improve efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory processes, as well as supporting compliance and enforcement activities.
  • A bioregional approach: to explore approaches to setting regionally tailored objectives for native vegetation management.

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To learn more:

Have your say

An Issues Paper has been released for 12 weeks’ public consultation.

Have your say online here.

If you need more information or to make your submission directly, please contact the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. Phone: 08 6364 7000 Email: nvs@dwer.wa.gov.au Native Vegetation Strategy Department of Water and Environmental Regulation Locked Bag 10 Joondalup DC, WA, 6919

The public consultation on the issues paper is the first of several opportunities to engage in the process. We will also be holding regional and metropolitan workshops. The next opportunity is proposed to be public consultation on the draft policy.

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Workshops

As part of the Issues Paper consultation, the Department will be holding regional and metropolitan workshops.

Workshop dates are in the tables below, and you may register your interest via the links in the table below.

Where numbers registering are low for a particular session, the workshop may be cancelled and other avenues for consultation considered.

Community consultation workshop list:

Perth Thursday 28 November 2019 Register here
Kalgoorlie Friday 29 November 2019 Register here
Bunbury Monday 2 December 2019 Register here
Northam Tuesday 3 December 2019 Register here
Broome Thursday 5 December 2019 Register here
Perth Monday 9 December 2019 Register here
Port Hedland Tuesday 10 December 2019 Register here
Karratha Wednesday 18 December 2019 Register here

Frequently asked questions – Native Vegetation in Western Australia – Issues Paper

What are the four initiatives?

  1. A State Native Vegetation Policy – to promote consistency and transparency in the objectives that apply to consideration of native vegetation across all Government processes.
  2. Better information, including mapping and monitoring – to improve our state-wide monitoring of the extent and condition of native vegetation.
  3. Better regulation – to improve efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory processes, as well as supporting compliance and enforcement activities.
  4. A bioregional approach -– to explore approaches to setting regionally tailored objectives for native vegetation management.

Why is the Government planning these initiatives?

We have heard from stakeholders across a range of sectors about a need for improved transparency and consistency in how native vegetation is considered across Government processes. Many are interested in opportunities to improve the availability of information that shows the extent of native vegetation and supports making good decisions. The Department received much of this feedback during extensive consultation on the improved cost recovery model for clearing permit application fees at the end of 2018, and through representations made directly to Government. Your feedback is important, and we want your views of these proposed initiatives

How will the four initiatives help improve consistency and transparency?

A State Native Vegetation Policy will promote consistent and transparent consideration of native vegetation across all Government processes. In a State as large and diverse as Western Australia, state-wide rules play an important part in ensuring a level playing field and in supporting a legislatively-complaint framework. There are however a number of regulatory frameworks that impact native vegetation and which also address the ranges of ecological diversity, and social and economic circumstances across Western Australia. The Policy will set the scene for a regionally-tailored approach to managing native vegetation. Moving towards a common, accessible platform of reliable data for decision-making and continuously improving our regulatory process will also contribute to greater consistency and transparency.

What are the benefits?

For the community and conservation stakeholders: The initiatives take deliberate steps in a staged approach to address decline in our State’s valuable native vegetation asset so that future generations can continue to enjoy its benefits. Illuminating and addressing the challenges via a state-wide policy will bring more consistent consideration of native vegetation in decisions across a range of Government approvals pathways. Improving data and mapping to track trends in the status of and approvals to impact native vegetation will provide the evidence-base to plan future initiatives. We expect the consultation that we are undertaking will produce a range of valuable ideas and initiatives that can form the basis of a road map for the future management of native vegetation.

For stakeholders who need to clear or impact native vegetation: The initiatives have a strong focus on regulatory consistency, transparency and efficiency in parallel with native vegetation protection. Improved consistency, transparency and clearer standards will support informed business decisions and provide certainty. Moves to improve data access could also help make the best use of data we have already invested in.

How long will it all take?

It is expected that a Draft State Native Vegetation Policy will be available for public consultation in April 2020, with plans for a final policy mid-year. The other initiatives need careful scoping, planning, costing and prioritising by working groups across Government agencies over the same period as policy development. Your feedback on this Issues Paper will become a key piece of the information being considered.

Why not do more, sooner?

Striking the right balance for native vegetation is a complex task with a need to address competing objectives. The four initiatives will establish the systems and robust information base we need for planning longer-term initiatives and reforms into the future. We recognise that other initiatives beyond these four will also be needed to enable and empower all sectors to make choices that benefit native vegetation into the future.

How do the four initiatives relate to the Discussion Paper on proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1986?

Several of the proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection Act 1986 are to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of clearing provisions under Parts IV and V of the Act. For more information, visit the consultation website or read the Frequently Asked Questions.

To receive email updates on the four initiatives, subscribe to the native vegetation mailing list

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