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Strategic Assessment of the Perth and Peel Regions

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Overview | Process Update | Consultation | Further Information


In July 2011, the Western Australian Ministers for Planning and Environment and the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment agreed to undertake a Strategic Assessment (PDF 548KB) of the Perth and Peel regions of Western Australia.

The Strategic Assessment is being led by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) in partnership with the Commonwealth Department of the Environment (DoE). At a State level, DPC is working closely on the Strategic Assessment with the Department of Planning (DoP), the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), Department of Water (DoW), Department of Environmental Regulation (DER), Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) and the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority (OEPA).

The Strategic Assessment will assess the impact of the future development proposed under the following state land use planning documents on matters of national environmental significance (MNES) listed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act):

Parallel with the Strategic Assessment, strategic advice will be prepared for the WA Minister for Environment under section 16(e) of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA). The Section 16(e) advice will provide guidance to the WA Minister for Environment for future decision-making on State environmental matters within the Perth and Peel regions. Further, the section 16(e) advice is intended to provide clarity to Government, stakeholders and the community on acceptable outcomes for State environmental matters that are not also covered by the EPBC Act.

The purpose of the Strategic Assessment is to:

  • significantly reduce the need for project by project assessment under the EPBC Act  in the Perth and Peel region

  • deliver an effective long term and strategic response to key environmental issues in the Perth and Peel region, for example, Carnaby's Cockatoo and water quality in the Peel-Harvey estuary

  • provide greater certainty to industry as to which areas can be developed and what the obligations will be in terms of mitigation, including environmental offsets

  • provide greater certainty in terms of long term land supply to meet the needs of a city of 3.5 million.

The Strategic Assessment and section 16(e) strategic advice provide the opportunity to avoid, mitigate and offset the impact of future development at a strategic scale and consequently achieve long term environmental and conservation outcomes. It is envisaged that as an outcome of this process a long term and strategic response to MNES and state environmental matters will be implemented, in place of the fragmented approach of developing offsets on a project by project basis.

The Strategic Assessment is being undertaken in the context of the significant growth that is projected for the Perth and Peel regions over the coming decades. Recent projections have estimated that by 2026, the State's population will grow to 3,061,000 with the Perth and Peel region projected to be between 2,275,000 and 2,356,000. It is intended that the Strategic Assessment will look even further beyond this, and examine the environmental impacts of the Perth and Peel regions growing to 3.5 million and how these impacts can be avoided, mitigated or managed.

Process Update 

Terms of reference

The draft terms of reference for the Strategic Assessment of the Perth-Peel region were released for public comment on Friday 26 August and closed on Friday 7 October 2011. The State revised the terms of reference in light of public comments received and the Commonwealth Minister for Environment approved the final terms of reference in May 2012.

View a copy of the Strategic Assessment Agreement including the final terms of reference (PDF 496KB).

The State and Commonwealth Government have also agreed to extend the northern boundary of the Strategic Assessment to include the Gnangara, Pinjar and Yanchep pine plantations to ensure that matters of State and national environmental significance in this region are assessed as part of the Strategic Assessment.

View a map of the amended boundary (PDF 300KB).

Key documents

The Strategic Assessment will not just consider the environmental impacts of future urban development, but also the industrial land, transport, infrastructure corridors and future basic raw material extraction required to support future development.

The assessment will be comprised of the:

  • plan to address matters of national environmental significance (MNES Plan)

  • assessment report of the impacts associated with implementing the MNES Plan (Impact Assessment Report).

In parallel, the EPA will prepare section 16(e) advice to assess future impacts on state environmental matters. The section 16(e) advice will provide guidance to WA Minister for Environment for future decision making. 

View a chart illustrating the relationship between these documents and the Strategic Assessment process (PDF 137KB) .


Stakeholder Reference Group 

The Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) has been established to allow regular engagement with key stakeholder groups prior to the public release of key policy and assessment documents.

The inaugural meeting of the SRG was held on 29 November 2012, and was chaired by Mr Jim Limerick. 

The Terms of Reference for the Stakeholder Reference Group (PDF 543KB) detail the purpose, function and membership of the SRG.

The following organisations, covering a broad spectrum of stakeholders interests, are represented at the meetings:

  • Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA)

  • Planning Institute of Australia (WA)

  • WWF - Australia

  • Housing Industry Association

  • Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Australia

  • Property Council of Australia (WA)

  • Peel-Harvey Catchment Council

  • Environmental Consultants Association (WA)

  • Conservation Council of Western Australia

  • Waste Management Association of Australia (WA)

  • Local government representatives.

The meetings are also attended by government representatives from:

  • the Department of the Premier and Cabinet

  • the Department of Parks and Wildlife

  • the Department of Environment Regulation

  • the Department of Planning

  • the Department of Mines and Petroleum

  • the Department of Water 

  • the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority.

A representative from the Commonwealth Department of the Environment attends as an observer. 


Copies of the Chair's reports of past meetings are now available:


Presentations given at the 23 July 2015 Stakeholder Reference Group meeting:


Presentations given at the 5 February 2015 Stakeholder Reference Group meeting:


Presentations given at the 30 April 2015 Stakeholder Reference Group meeting:

The next meeting is scheduled for 2 September 2015.


Public comment

There will also be a three month public comment period on drafts of the following key policy and assessment documents:

  • the Strategic Conservation Plan
  • the Impact Assessment Report

Based on current timelines, the objective is to release these documents for public comment in 2015.

Further Information

What is the EPBC Act?

The EPBC Act provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally significant flora, fauna, ecological communities, wetlands and heritage places defined in the EPBC Act as matters of national environmental significance.

In Western Australia, if a proposed development or activity is likely to have a significant impact on MNES, approval may be required from the Commonwealth Environment Minister before that activity can go ahead.

MNES in the Perth and Peel regions to which the EPBC Act applies include:

  • national heritage places
  • wetlands of international importance (or 'Ramsar' wetlands)
  • nationally threatened species and ecological communities
  • migratory species.

What is a Strategic Assessment?

Strategic assessments under the EPBC Act encourage a bigger picture approach to assess how biodiversity, environmental and heritage values that are MNES can be protected, while allowing sustainable development. This is achieved through addressing a number of individual actions or a class of actions, by several proponents, on a regional scale that would otherwise be assessed on a project-by-project basis.

As well as helping to protect Australia's unique biodiversity, this type of assessment also benefits the community, developers, industry and government by cutting red tape and providing long-term certainty.

Information and resources

General information on the strategic assessment process and the legislative requirements under the EPBC Act can be found on the DoE website.

If you would like to receive additional information, including notification about opportunities for public comment please contact us by email at In your email, please include your name, organisation name (if applicable) and mailing address.

General enquiries can also be directed to this email.

The following documents are available to download:

Related links:


Updated May 2015