Shire of Serpantine Jarrahdale

Design Features
Project Type
Policy
State
Western Australia
Location
Urban

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale (Shire) is located to the south east of the Perth Metropolitan area, and is experiencing significant development pressures. The Western Australian State Government has prepared a strategy to accommodate the housing demand, known as Perth Peel @ 3.5million people.  The Shire is one of the fastest growing populations in Australia - Serpentine Jarrahdale population is expected to grow greater than 110,000 and will need to accommodate some 42,000 dwellings by 2050.

Health and wellbeing at the centre of decision making

To ensure the provision of a healthy and active community, the Environmental Health team at the Shire has embraced the Healthy Active by Design (HAbD) Tool and the Healthy Built Food Environment (HBFE) Advocacy Prompter and embedded them into development.

Guided by HAbD Checklists, public open spaces have been designed and implemented to support active living
Guided by HAbD Checklists, public open spaces have been designed and implemented to support active living

The Shire’s Environmental Health team has embraced the strategic urban planning thinking that is at the foundation of the HAbD Tool and the HBFE Advocacy Prompter. At the Shire (as in most other local authorities) the statutory planning team refer scheme amendments, local planning policy, structure plans and development applications to the various internal departments. These departments are required to review the application and provide comments and recommend conditions of development approval. This process can be challenging. 

The HBFE Advocacy Prompter has guided healthy food policy and practice in the Shire
The HBFE Advocacy Prompter has guided healthy food policy and practice in the Shire

Statutory planning terminology is different to the language and terms used by other professionals, be it engineering, health or even strategic planning. The HAbD Checklists and the HBFE Advocacy Prompter provide questions that can be asked of the assessing town planning officers. It is a starting point for a richer more robust conversation around establishing a healthier community.

The team have taken the HAbD Checklists and HBFE Advocacy Prompter and identified the objectives that can be implemented at each stage of the planning process. In addition, the Environmental Health team quickly learnt that not all principles will relate to the project currently under review.  Each development proposal has different characteristics and opportunities.  The team knows they need the skills to identify the opportunities, and the planning language to communicate the vision to the town planners to get the best results.

The Environmental Health team has utilised the HAbD tool since 2014, when it was used to review The Glades structure plan.  As the team has gained a better understanding of planning processes and what is possible at each stage of approvals they have modified the HAbD Checklists and HBFE Advocacy Prompter to respond to their local context.  Now the team use these new skills to have an impact on projects such as the Whitby Project design, applications for intensive agricultural land use and the new residential estates across the Shire.

The Shire supports food producers and outlets to provide a variety of healthy and nutritious foods.
The Shire supports food producers and outlets to provide a variety of healthy and nutritious foods.

The policy work undertaken by the Environmental Health team has reaped its rewards. The Byford Glades Community Garden is established and thriving. The garden group is about building food security and nutritional health in fun ways. Importantly, the Shire officers are invested in the success of the project and recently provided advice on keeping chickens at the garden and approved an application for a bee hive.

The Shire continues to strive for excellence by being the first to endorse a Public Health Plan, this is reflected in community events promoting healthy lifestyles.
The Shire continues to strive for excellence by being the first to endorse a Public Health Plan, this is reflected in community events promoting healthy lifestyles.

Through innovation and tenacity the Environmental Health team have positioned themselves as integral to all strategic planning decisions. They are laying the foundation for good local planning policy that will have a positive influence for generations to come.

Project Team

  • Tony Turner, Manager Health, Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale
  • James Wickens, Senior Environmental Health Officer, Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale

Project Cost

No additional cost to the day to day operation of the Environmental Health Team at the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale. 

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