Housing Minister Jim McGinty says the Opposition has `lost the plot' when it comes to the issue of urban sprawl and remains committed to policies better suited to the 1950s.
Mr McGinty said he was astounded to hear the Opposition's planning spokesman Jim Clarko claim that Perth residents would soon be living in `matchboxes' because of the trend to smaller residential lot sizes.
"At the same time, the Liberals' Richard Lewis is promising to halt Homeswest's redevelopment of Willagee because he thinks people will not have big enough backyards," Mr McGinty said.
"The quarter-acre block with the four-bedroom home remains the most common form of housing in Perth - but we must now question whether it is the most appropriate.
"The Liberals seem to be ignoring the fact that some 50 per cent of all Perth households have one or two people living in them. Those people, particularly seniors, do not want a huge back yard that requires constant attention and maintenance.
"Responsible planners are now looking towards a mix of lot sizes and making the most of urban consolidation, where older residential areas are redeveloped and subdivided to provide a more appropriate mix of housing.
"This type of planning is essential if we are to contain Perth's urban sprawl which, despite what Mr Clarko may think, is a real problem facing our community.
"When addressing such a serious matter, it is interesting to note that Mr Clarko identifies the television program `Burke's Backyard' as an inspiration for his comments.
"The claims of Mr Clarko and Mr Lewis are ill-informed and only serve to trivialise a very important issue."