South West regional planning

The South-West includes Bunbury, the largest city outside the Perth and Peel regions with a population of about 68,000 in Greater Bunbury. The region stretches from Yarloop in the North to Walpole in the South and Boyup Brook to the west.

The South West Region of Western Australia is the most populous and the fastest growing outside the Perth and Peel regions with a resident population of 165,985 at the 2011 Census, representing a 22 per cent increase from 2006, and one of the fastest growth rates within Australia.  This population is forecast to grow to approximately 230,000 by 2026.

There are 12 Local Governments located within three sub-regions:

  • Bunbury-Wellington:  City of Bunbury and Shires of Capel, Collie, Dardanup, Donnybrook-Balingup and Harvey
  • Leeuwin-Naturaliste:  City of Busselton and the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River
  • Warren-Blackwood:  Shires of Boyup Brook, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Manjimup and Nannup.

The South West Region supports a thriving and diverse export-orientated regional economy, worth in excess of $15 billion in 2011/12, and has benefitted from significant economic growth in recent years.  Exports include alumina, coal, titanium dioxide, lithium, tantalum and silicon.  Other significant local industries include agricultural, forestry, fishing, tourism, retail and construction.  Its food and wine, notably the Margaret River wine region, are international renowned and attract overseas visitors.  The Port of Bunbury is the port for the region’s bulk products exports and is critical to the region’s economy.
The wider South West Region of Western Australia is recognised as being one of the 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world.  There are many National Parks within the Region, including Leeuwin Naturaliste, D’entrecasteaux, Shannon, Wellington, Tuart Forest and Blackwood River.

Statutory planning

The department's South West office in Bunbury has a statutory planning team responsible for the provision of statutory planning advice and the assessment of Local Planning Schemes, Local Planning Strategies, Scheme Amendments, Structure Plans, Subdivisions and other statutory planning matters relevant to the South West region.

Local Planning Strategies establish the planning framework for each local government, and provide the strategic basis for Local Planning Schemes. Local Planning Schemes contain planning controls that primarily govern land uses, residential densities and development standards.

Local governments in the region are also involved in planning for local communities by administering Local Planning Strategies and Local Planning Schemes to ensure appropriate land use and development controls are applied through the assessment and determination of development applications.

Where they exist, local planning strategies and local planning schemes for local governments within the South West region are accessible via the embedded links.

Greater Bunbury Region Scheme

The Greater Bunbury Region Scheme (GBRS) is a region scheme for land use in the Greater Bunbury region, which has been in operation since November 2007. The scheme covers the City of Bunbury and the shires of Capel, Dardanup and Harvey, and provides the legal basis for planning in the Greater Bunbury region. The GBRS defines the future of land use, dividing it into zones and reservations. Local governments provide detailed plans for their part of the region, which must be consistent with the GBRS.

Greater Bunbury Region Scheme

Busselton wetlands conservation strategy

The purpose of the strategy is to provide a framework to guide sustainable land use and wise management of the biodiversity and environmental values of the Busselton wetlands area.

Busselton Wetlands Conservation Strategy (PDF 5 MB)

In granting approval to the Port Geographe project in 1990 the then Minister for the Environment required the preparation of a conservation strategy. Subsequently, it was agreed that the WAPC would prepare the conservation strategy in conjunction with the Department of Conservation and Land Management, together with other key agencies, the Shire of Busselton, community groups and land owners. The Busselton Wetlands Steering Committee has overseen the preparation of the strategy, assisted by a technical working group.

Warren-Blackwood rural planning strategy

The Warren-Blackwood rural strategy is one of the first regional planning documents to embrace the principles of sustainability at its foundation.

Warren-Blackwood Rural Strategy (PDF 4 MB)

The strategy has been developed with a level of ongoing public consultation. Specific consultation exercises on the main issues and draft strategy were successful with the outcomes modified to represent a position supported by the community.

The Warren-Blackwood rural strategy is one of the first regional planning documents to embrace the principles of sustainability at its foundation. It aims to provide the best balance between social, environmental and economic factors. In particular, it has brought together the natural resources themes of land, water and biodiversity, emphasising their interdependence and the need to consider each in relation to development and land use outcomes. The fourth theme of the coast is also integrated in the Strategy framework.

Augusta-Walpole Coastal Planning Strategy

The Augusta-Walpole Coastal Strategy provides guidance on how various issues affecting the coast can be managed.

Augusta-Walpole Coastal Strategy - July 2009 (PDF 23 MB)

It addresses coastal tenure and management, settlement, tourism, coastal access, infrastructure, subdivision, development, and the protection of the environment and biodiversity.

It also provides detailed planning direction to local governments for updating planning schemes to ensure subdivision and development in the area does not threaten the environmental and landscape values of the coast. It promotes a coordinated approach by the three shires responsible for the area and provides a comprehensive framework for land use planning decisions.

Industry 2030 - Greater Bunbury industrial land and port access planning

The Industry 2030 - Greater Bunbury industrial land and port access planning describes the outcome of the community consultation process and sets out an integrated industry and transport strategy.

This report represents the State Government's adopted strategic planning framework for addressing the industrial land and port access needs of the Greater Bunbury region over the next 30-years and beyond.

It describes the outcome of the community consultation process and sets out an integrated industry and transport strategy.

Industry 2030 Greater Bunbury Industrial Land and Port Access Planning (PDF 3 MB)

Page reviewed 10 September 2021