Land-use planning: overview

Page last updated: Monday, 9 March 2020 - 3:47pm

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development uses land-use planning 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 agricultural businesses, industry codes of practice, environmental guidelines, and 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.

We advocate rural land-use policies, strategies and plans in Western Australia which support the ongoing operation and expansion of agriculture and food processing businesses (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 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
  • 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

Region Name Contact details Located

Statewide, all regions

Heather Percy

9780 6262


Great Southern 

Plus Esperance

Tim Overheu

9892 8444 Albany

Metropolitan Perth

Plus Murray and Mandurah (Peel)

Heather Percy

9780 6262


South West
Plus Waroona and Boddington (Peel)

Leon van Wyk

9780 6171


Mid West

Plus coastal grainbelt

Angela Stuart-Street

9780 6124



Greg Doncon

9031 3111


Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne

Plus Goldfields

Heather Percy

Nathan Penny

9780 6262

9368 3577


South Perth


Contact information

Heather Percy
+61 (0)8 9780 6262
Tim Overheu
+61 (0)8 9892 8533