Planning Policy


1. All Land Use Planning decisions must give primacy to social equity, ecological sustainability and public interest – including open space and bio-diversity – in all human settlements

2. Local governments must be represented at all levels of planning, and their communities should have opportunities for ongoing, substantive, and meaningful participation in planning decisions.

3. Significant land-use and transport projects should be subject to public audit, assessment and appeal processes.

4. Public confidence and planning in the public interest rely on proper process, including: fairness, certainty, transparency, accountability, independent assessment; enforcement and the rule of law; rights to notice and to object for the community and affected parties; and respect for local priorities.

5. Victoria’s pre and post contact cultural heritage is a precious asset to be respected and protected for current and future generations.

6. Metropolitan Melbourne and major regional centres need comprehensive and active planning which:

  • a. limits the spread of urban areas and protects productive agricultural land by encouraging mixed and medium-density development in established centres and renewal sites within existing urban areas;
  • b. integrates transport, infrastructure and land-use planning, and respects major service industries;
  • c. includes discrete, diverse centres of activity;
  • d. prioritises the efficient use of Victoria’s limited resources, economic opportunity, public transport, ecological sustainability, social equity and participatory decision-making at all levels over promotion of rapid and unsustainable population and economic growth, and thus deliver healthy, well-integrated, accessible and sociable communities; and,
  • e. proactively addresses critical need for public housing infrastructure and implements targeted measures to reduce and eliminate homelessness and improves housing affordability.

7. Victorian planning policy must lead authorities to whom local or designated decision-making devolves, by setting mandatory and guideline standards, and allocating supporting funding, for their climate adaptation and carbon emissions mitigation planning.

8. That housing is a critical infrastructure that all Victorians should have access to, and any short falls should be addressed by the government

9. Access to natural light, winter sunlight and the visual amenity of greenery is important for mental well-being.

10. Urban Growth Boundaries are permanent boundaries and should not be encroached upon by urban and industrial developments.

11. Green Wedges are first and foremost for the preservation of the natural environment and delivers on three key values:

  • a. Protection of biodiversity
  • b. Agricultural productivity, particularly for supplying food to adjacent urban areas
  • c. Preservation of green space, natural beauty and cultural heritage

12. Any development within the Green Wedges should be in line with preserving the environment, farmland and parkland and should be non-intensive.

13. Green Wedge land should not be further fragmented or subdivided.


1. Reform of the planning scheme to provide stable and sustainable zoning which:

  • a. answers community needs; and,
  • b. is based on publicly-accessible and thorough detailed description and needs-based research.

2. A planning strategy for greater Melbourne which:

  • a. is facilitated by a metropolitan planning authority with a robust governance framework and a strong focus on deliberative and democratic community representation;
  • b. prioritises public transport, rail freight systems and integrated transport hubs;
  • c. meets the shortfall in affordable, public and social housing;
  • d. delivers sustainable medium-density development along transit corridors that takes into account the current and future capacity of public transport;
  • e. protects heritage and urban bio-diversity;
  • f. protects and expands public open space;
  • g. enhances the food production capability of Melbourne; and
  • h. provides a clear framework for local government to fulfil its role as responsible authority for all planning applications, and planning authority for all local structure plans and master planning, within their boundaries; and,
  • i. ensures that health, education and emergency services are accessible.

3. Different target densities for activity centres, urban renewal areas and other residential areas which together act to prevent unsustainable urban sprawl. Targets will give due consideration to the history and character of the area, the provision of open space, canopy trees and space for community infrastructure, and will give local governments and their communities the required autonomy to prescribe built form design and development.

4. Mandatory inclusion of a mix of dwelling sizes in medium and high density general residential re-developments.

5. Planning of regional cities and towns allowing for expansion consistent with state economic, industry, and agriculture, coastal and environmental protection policies.

6. Appropriate regional and rural planning to protect productive agricultural land and minimise risks in bushfire prone areas.

7. Incorporation of Catchment Management Authorities’ flood inundation assessments into Victoria’s Planning Schemes.

8. The implementation of the planning scheme to ensure protection, remediation and enhancement of native vegetation and biodiversity, such protection including a credible mandatory Environmental Effects Statement process, which enables proposals that breach regulated or legislated standards to be blocked.

9. High quality public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure included in the commitment to, planning of and permits for any significant new or renewal urban land use projects.

10. Land use and transport decisions should be made after rigorous and transparent cost-benefit analyses, comparing relevant options.

11. All significant planning decision-making by local councils, within the statewide planning framework, mandated to include Community Engagement Frameworks.

12. Incorporation in the Planning scheme of the obligations of local and designated decision-making authorities regarding climate adaptation, through flood and coastal protection, water conservation, open space and biodiversity protection, sustainable design standards in the built environment (inc. renewal and retro-fit) and sustainable transport as they can be expressed in local projects, regulation and permit approval.

13. The removal of general thresholds in municipal Planning Schemes, which pass responsible authority status from Councils to the Planning Minister, and subjecting ministerial decisions under the power to 'call in' projects to greater transparency.

14. All significant planning scheme amendments that propose the protection of environmental, cultural and heritage values, to be coupled with interim controls that stay in place until the planning scheme amendment process for the permanent controls is completed.

15. VCAT reverting to being an administrative appeals body only, and reducing its discretion by:

  • a. requiring parties to first seek leave of the tribunal to hear an appeal, which must only be granted if the responsible authority has erred in law;
  • b. reducing the number of permit applications it considers due to failure of the responsible authority to make a determination within the timeframe set out in legislation by increasing this timeframe for very large sites
  • c. remaining accessible and affordable to all, and
  • d. hearing and concluding such appeal cases in a timely manner.

16. Urban planning to incorporate Crime Prevention through Environmental Design where consistent with ecological sustainability.

17. Mandate responsible authorities to enforce planning permits and prosecute breaches of the Planning and Environment Act.

18. Urban planning guidelines for new developments and urban renewal to include:

  • a. mandatory minimum percentages for affordable private housing and/or public housing, and area to be allocated for public open space in large new developments; and
  • b. the clustering of medium-density housing, community facilities and commercial developments around neighbourhood shopping centres and other social facilities (including health care and schooling) linked with public transport.

19. Public recreation open space being provided within accessible walking distance of all dwellings in urban areas.

20. Strengthening of the Heritage Act 1995 to:

  • a. ensure protection of declared heritage buildings, sites and streetscapes, including those of twentieth and twenty first century origin;
  • b. clarify and improve community engagement processes; and
  • c. restore objection and appeal processes to Heritage Council decisions.

21. Strengthening the Heritage Act 1995 and the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to ensure penalties, up to and including forfeiture of the land, for un-permitted demolition of State and locally significant heritage sites are substantial enough to act as a deterrent.

22. Strengthen heritage and planning laws to ensure penalties, up to and including forfeiture of the land, for un-permitted demolition of State and locally significant heritage sites are substantial enough to act as a deterrent.

23. Adequate resourcing for Heritage Victoria so it can fulfil its obligations and strategic objectives.

24. State owned heritage-listed properties audited in respect of energy efficiency and carbon emissions, in order to better integrate the principles of adaptive re-use and environmentally-sustainable design in the re-furbishing and maintenance of such properties.

25. Heritage values being appropriately integrated into all planning policy, to ensure that new and re-development does not compromise heritage values, including the internal and social heritage of buildings.

26. New large developments to include open space with trees where possible and to provide the dwellings with access to winter sunlight

27. Establish a standard for basic community, open space and other infrastructural provision for an area’s current or emerging density needs

Urban Growth Boundary and Green Wedges

28. To enact and enforce protections on Green Wedges so that they may preserve the natural environment.

29. Oppose any attempts at further expanding the Urban Growth Boundary into Green Wedges, including so-called “transition zones”.

30. Seek to redeem appropriate sites for reintegration into Green Wedges and identify opportunities for rehabilitation

31. Implement Green Wedges around metropolitan and regional urban centres to preserve our natural environment.

32. To enact policies that prevent land speculation in Green Wedges.

33. Improve the state planning scheme in relation to Green Wedge Zones to prevent uses of Green Wedges that are not in line with the three key values.

34. Introduce provisions to limit height and site coverage of buildings within Green Wedges.

35. Earth fill within Green Wedges must be properly regulated to prevent any pollutants

36. Exploitation of Green Wedges for any purposes other than the three key values further erodes our environment and must be opposed.

37. Support agricultural ventures within Green Wedges which sell locally what they grow and commit to using a low carbon footprint

38. Green Wedges must contain wildlife corridors that are created, maintained and proactively expanded

Planning Policy as amended by State Council on 20th August 2022.