WA government can apparently dictate character

swan-valleyIf you think you can decide what the character of your land in Western Australia is, you can think again, hot-shot.

Planning Minister John Day has announced that in mid-2015, it will be the responsibility of the State Government to decide what the “character” of the Swan Valley region is and what would constitute “inappropriate development” on private property.

From his media statement, appropriately titled “Bottling the character of the Swan Valley”:

“The legislation will be introduced in mid-2015 to provide clear policy direction and design guidelines around new developments in the valley,” he said.

Under the legislations, he said all development applications would be required to demonstrate how they complemented the area’s distinct rural and agricultural character. There will also be stronger guidance on the location and design of new tourism and commercial infrastructure. The subdivision of productive agricultural land would not be allowed.

This is a bad omen for property owners in other popular regional tourist destinations as well. The government does not think you know what is best for your property and what will attract tourists.

But maybe the residents of Swan Valley just simply can’t be trusted to know how to run Swan Valley. What’s the damage, Mr Day?

Mr Day said the valley’s unique character and charm attracted about 600,000 visitors and contributed more than $200 million a year to the State’s economy.

…Alright then. So even if you’re good at running your property, it’s still not going to be good enough for the government.


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