Land-use planning – an overview for Western Australia

Page last updated: Monday, 6 September 2021 - 2:25pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development works with the land-use planning system to ensure that land and water resources are available for agriculture and food businesses to expand and grow.

We provide planners with up-to-date information about primary industries and businesses, industry codes of practice, environmental guidelines, land capability and land degradation as well as advice on the productive capacity of our soil and water resources for communities to identify and protect priority agricultural land across Western Australia.

Securing land and water resources for agriculture and food

We provide information and advice to the Western Australian Planning Commission, the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and Local Government Authorities to assist strategic land-use planning for  agriculture and aquaculture. We also support the Commissioner of Soil and Land Conservation by providing information and advice on land capability and land degradation hazards and risks from development.

We advocate rural land-use policies, strategies and plans in Western Australia which support the ongoing operation and expansion of businesses involved in agriculture, aquaculture and food processing  (see Figure 1 as an example).

Market gardening nestled within a rural residential development area
Figure 1 Market gardens need security of tenure to develop infrastructure

Our department does not routinely provide advice on individual subdivision or other development proposals; instead, we provide strategic advice in the review and development of land-use plans and policies.

Our role in agricultural land-use planning and policy

Our role is to:

  • identify the state's best and most productive agricultural land (agricultural land of state, regional and local significance – see high quality agricultural land methodology)
  • provide information on  agriculture, aquaculture and food industry development requirements and future demand for land and water resources
  • provide advice to the Western Australian Planning Commission on cases before the State Administrative Tribunal, particularly where high quality agricultural land is affected
  • identify land-use opportunities matched to land capability and provide advice on preserving high quality agricultural land
  • provide advice to planners about land degardation hazards and risks ascoited with development including advice on stocking rates for rural small holdings
  • identify potential impacts on agriculture and food industries in planning proposals for urban and semi-rural development and rural growth areas, recognising that such land-use changes have the potential for land-use conflict
  • advise on potential impacts from potential urban and rural residential development expansion on high quality agricultural land or land used for agricultural food processing
  • work with planning authorities to define clear urban growth boundaries adjacent to agricultural land
  • identify suitable separation distances and buffers between land uses potentially competing with agricultural, food production, and processing land to avoid land-use conflict.

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You can get advice on agricultural land-use planning matters from the contacts below or email

 Planning Regions Name Contact details Located

Statewide, all regions

Heather Percy

9780 6262


Metropolitan Perth


Heather Percy

9780 6262


South West and Peel

Leon van Wyk

9780 6171


Mid West
plus coastal areas of the Wheatbelt region

Angela Stuart-Street

9780 6124



Greg Doncon,
Grantley Stainer

9081 3111
9081 3113


Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne
plus Goldfields

Henry Smolinski,
Heather Percy

9368 3829
9780 6262

South Perth

Stocking rates for small rural holdings 


Grantley Stainer

9081 3113



Contact information

Heather Percy
+61 (0)8 9780 6262
Leon Van Wyk
+61 (0)8 9780 6171