The Bass Coast contains distinctive rural and coastal landscapes, productive agricultural land, and sensitive environments of significant biodiversity value. The area attracts lifestyle residents, as well as holiday makers and includes the popular tourist destination of Phillip Island.

The small coastal towns along the Bass Coast are experiencing increasing urban development pressures, due to the municipality’s high growth rate and proximity to Melbourne. There is a need for greater planning certainty to ensure these stay liveable and sustainable communities into the future.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is working in collaboration with the Bass Coast Shire Council, and Traditional Owners, the Bunurong People in preparing the draft State of Planning Policy, with input from local communities and other key stakeholders.


In October 2019 Bass Coast was declared a Distinctive Area and Landscape under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. The declaration triggers the requirement to prepare a Statement of Planning Policy.

The declaration area is the municipal district of Bass Coast Shire and a map of the Declared Area is available to download from the Document Library.

Statement of Planning Policy

The Statement of Planning Policy will include a 50-year vision and land use strategies to better protect the unique features of the Bass Coast for current and future generations. It also provides the opportunity to designate long term settlement boundaries.

The Policy will be informed by strategic planning work already undertaken, relevant technical studies and outcomes from community engagement.

Results of phase one engagement

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) undertook its first phase of public engagement from 10 July 2019 to 12 August 2019.

The engagement sought community feedback on:

  • What is most valued about the Bass Coast?
  • What threats there are to these values?
  • Ways we could protect what is valued?
  • The vision for the future of the Bass Coast?

A summary of phase one engagement findings and the full public engagement report are available to download from the Document Library.

Next steps

Now the declaration of the Bass Coast as a Distinctive Area and Landscape has been made, work on the Statement of Planning Policy has begun.

A second phase of public engagement is being planned for late 2019 to early 2020 which provides an opportunity to provide input on the policy directions. A further phase of public engagement will occur next year on the draft Statement of Planning Policy, which will include a public submissions process.

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