Alison has been working with a number of residents and community groups within North Metro who are concerned about the future of their neighbourhoods. Constituents have repeatedly raised concerns about substantial developments planned for old areas of Perth – and fear more poorly planned infill leading to reduced tree canopy; the loss of public space and well-loved landmarks which do not fit the criteria for heritage listing. This has often been carried out without the better transport links, and economic and cultural benefits which are supposed to come along with urban infill.
Alison and the Greens are very supportive of the principle of urban infill – it is needed to prevent Perth from ever-expanding. But it must be done sensitively and with great consideration for existing residents’ sense of place, heritage and environmental sensitivity. Distrust in the state’s planning system will continue to grow, if infill targets are applied without full community engagement and sound strategic planning.
Community consultation must be genuine, and decision-making bodies must live up to the community’s expectations of fairness and impartiality. Strategic planning must be done well and be easy to understand.