A blueprint for the future sustainable expansion of the Pickering Brook townsite has been endorsed by the McGowan Government’s Pickering Brook Taskforce.
The Taskforce, comprising Planning Minister Rita Saffioti, Tourism Minister Paul Papalia, Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Western Australian Planning Commission Chairman David Caddy has accepted the report by an independent working group that recommends a modest expansion of the Pickering Brook townsite to protect its rural character.
The Working Group, chaired by Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes and comprising State and local government representatives, was asked to consider the possible expansion of the Pickering Brook townsite and examine economic development options including growing tourism while protecting valuable agriculture land within the Hills rural areas.
The first part of the two-phase report resulted from extensive local community consultation on the future development of the townsite, and has made nine recommendations.
These focus on:
- expanding the Pickering Brook townsite to the west across 14 hectares of land;
- rezoning the land from Rural to Urban through a Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) amendment to allow for residential development;
- further review of water, sewerage and bushfire management plans; and
- including unallocated Crown land into the Korung National Park.
Preliminary work on the second part of the initiative to consider tourism and agriculture sustainability is already underway with further information available at https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/pickeringbrook
As stated by Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:
“Growing up in Roleystone I know how important this area is – this is an exciting first step helping to secure future economic development for the Pickering Brook region.
“While we want to support growth in this beautiful region, we don’t want to damage the character and rural lifestyle that makes this place so attractive.
“Allowing a modest expansion to the townsite that will encourage an appropriate number of new homes and businesses is exactly the right approach.
“More work needs to be done, including a MRS amendment to change the land use zoning from Rural to Urban, but this will allow local people to comment further on how this will be achieved.”
As stated by Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes:
“The Working Group was well aware of how important this undertaking has been to the local community, so we have ensured landowner and community views and expectations were considered.
“Our recommendations point the way for the sustainable and measured expansion of Pickering Brook that will protect the character of the town and preserve the dominant agricultural land use and rural amenity which provide the foundation for new and compatible business development.
“It is agriculture and the district’s rural amenity that make the town and district an attractive and increasingly popular tourism destination in the Perth Hills and we must ensure that this is preserved.”