The Minister for Planning has approved, with modification, the abovementioned amendment to the Metropolitan Region Scheme. The amendment is shown on Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) plan numbers 1.7563, 1.7564/1, 1.7565 and is effective from the date of publication of this notice in the Government Gazette (28 February 2020).
Why have I received a letter about a MRS Amendment for Bush Forever?
Your property is part of a Bush Forever area that was identified in the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) in 2010. You have received the letter to advise of a proposed change to the boundary of the Bush Forever area that relates to your property.
Why are Bush Forever areas being amended?
The purpose of the MRS amendments is to align Bush Forever with the underlying vegetation, MRS reservation, and/or property boundaries of the various sites, to correct anomalies. These anomalies arise due to the improvement in digital mapping over time and need to realign the information shown on the different maps so they align. Generally, the amendments will remove roads and existing cleared areas out of Bush Forever. Some changes are also being made to remove or add Bush Forever land to reflect existing environmental or planning approvals.
The amendments make minor modifications to the boundary of a number of Bush Forever areas. Changes to Bush Forever on private land are only proposed to reflect pre-existing planning approvals or to remove/reduce Bush Forever.
What is Bush Forever?
The Bush Forever Policy (2000) is a whole-of-government policy for the conservation of regionally significant bushland on the Swan Coastal Plain portion of the Perth Metropolitan Region.
The Policy identified 51,200 hectares of regionally significant bushland, covering 26 vegetation complexes, for protection on both private and public lands. Regionally significant bushland was identified using criteria relating to its conservation value.
Bush Forever is implemented through the Metropolitan Region Scheme as an overlay/geographical notion on the MRS Map to alert landowners, planners and the public that a land parcel has regionally significant bushland and this needs to be taken into consideration if there is a contemplation for development on the land. Further guidance on making decisions for land that contains Bush Forever is contained in State Planning Policy 2.8 Bushland Policy
State Planning Policy 2.8 Bushland Policy came into effect in 2010, and at the same time Bush Forever areas were identified on the MRS maps through MRS amendment 1082/33. More information on Bush Forever can be found on the Bush Forever webpage.
I have no Bush on my land, why is it Bush Forever?
Some Bush Forever areas were broadly identified for protection in the 2010 MRS amendment. Following further detailed planning and negotiation with land owners, boundaries are proposed to be refined to more accurately identify the Bush Forever areas.
In some cases, Bush Forever has been applied over an entire land parcel, however the native bushland does not cover the whole parcel. The intent to only protect the bushland has resulted in some boundary changes to reflect this.
What is the Metropolitan Region Scheme?
The Metropolitan Region Scheme is a statutory land-use plan for the Perth Metropolitan area, and provides the legal basis for planning, by dividing the Perth Metropolitan Region into broad land use zones and reservations.
The Bush Forever overlay is not a reservation or zoning of land under the MRS, however a MRS amendment is required to make any boundary changes. The only way to remove or modify a Bush Forever area is through a MRS amendment.
Further information on the Metropolitan Region Scheme and the process for amending it can be found online at https://www.wa.gov.au/metropolitan-region-scheme.
Please direct queries for more information on the MRS Amendment to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (08) 6551 9000.