Phase 2 Engagement - Now Open

Phase 2 Engagement - Now Open

Overview

Extensive feedback in Phase 1 engagement was collected about what the community and stakeholders valued about the Surf Coast region, the threats to those values and suggestions for how those values should be protected. This feedback was an important input into the declaration of the area as a distinctive area and landscape. This feedback has also informed the questions listed below.

Now that the area has been declared, a Statement of Planning Policy (SPP) needs to be prepared. The feedback we receive through this current phase of engagement will help us to prepare a draft SPP.

The SPP will be used to create an integrated framework for making land use planning and development decisions and for guiding land management programs and actions within the declared area.

You will also be given an opportunity to provide a written submission on the draft SPP in the third phase of engagement, scheduled to occur in the first half of 2020.

Surf Coast Planning Workshops

Surf Coast Planning Workshops were held on Friday 25 October and Wednesday 6 November 2019.

These workshop provided an opportunity to discuss and test long-term vision statements and potential policy approaches to help shape the draft Surf Coast SPP.

For those who could not attend the workshops, we invite you to complete our online survey below.

Survey Extended

Please be informed that the closing date for submitting a survey has been extended until midnight on Friday 15 November 2019.

How to have your say

The following questions are designed to help us draft a vision statement, objectives and strategies for each of the policy domains to be included in the draft SPP. These include:

1. Landscape

2. Environment and Biodiversity

3. Risk and Resilience

4. Aboriginal Cultural Heritage

5. Post-Contact Heritage

6. Economy and Infrastructure

7. Settlement

You can provide your input on as many or as few of the policy domains that are of interest to you. We also would like to hear if there is anything you think we have missed.

This survey closes at midnight on Friday 15 November 2019.

Completing this survey helps to guide the team developing the draft SPP. In the first half of next year the full draft SPP will be exhibited and we will be seeking your feedback again.

Which of the following statements describe your connection to the declared area? Tick all that apply
Which town do you most associate with?

Section 1: Landscape

You said that you value coastlines, including beaches, cliffs, and ocean, with the most valued areas being Jan Juc, Point Addis, Bells Beach and Point Danger. You also said that you value viewpoints that reveal landscapes such as rolling hills, the ocean and cliff lines.

Draft Vision

These results helped us draft this 50-year vision statement:

The Surf Coast declared area is a celebrated area of Victoria, known for its picturesque landscapes and pristine beaches.

The distinct landscapes of Point Addis, Bells Beach, the surrounding coastline and hinterlands are treasured and protected landscapes, enhanced by the natural backdrop of the Otway Ranges. The open rural areas between settlements are safeguarded to maintain the important views across the landscape and sense of openness.

1. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the draft vision statement?
You have 800 characters left.

Potential Approaches

3. Please let us know how important the following statements are to you. These will help inform draft objectives and strategies to achieve the proposed vision:
Very important
Important
Neutral
Low importance
Not at all important
Maintaining and enhancing the rural landscapes between the townships of Bellbrae, Torquay, Jan-Juc and greater Geelong would improve the distinctive feel of the declared area.
There is a need to protect existing and create new vantage points for all to see the valued landscapes of the Surf Coast.
New urban development and infrastructure should be designed to fit in with the existing landscape features of the Surf Coast.
Planning should help to conserve and enhance areas with identified geological or landscape value by increasing efforts towards protecting the health of ecological systems and the biodiversity they support.
Planning should help to conserve and enhance areas with identified geological or landscape value by increasing efforts towards protecting the cultural heritage values they support.
You have 1000 characters left.

Section 2: Environment and Biodiversity

You said that you value native vegetation and areas that create homes for threatened species. You also said that the natural environment is what is most attractive about the Surf Coast and this should be maintained and enhanced.

Draft Vision

This feedback helped us draft this 50-year vision statement:

Creeks, wetlands, saltmarshes, woodlands and beaches in the declared area provide habitat for rare flora and fauna like the Bellarine Yellow Gum, Orange Bellied Parrot and Hooded Plover. Areas of remnant vegetation, along road ways and across the hinterland, are not only protected but are also increasing.

The Point Addis Marine National Park, Point Danger Marine Sanctuary and coastal reserves provide a home for a variety of aquatic life for locals and visitors to enjoy.

5. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this the draft vision statement?
You have 800 characters left.

Potential Approaches

7. Please let us know how important the following statements are to you. These will help inform draft objectives and strategies to achieve the proposed vision:
Very important
Important
Neutral
Low importance
Not at all important
Ensure development provides a buffer for sensitive wetlands, creeks and sites of significant biodiversity.
Empower landowners and responsible public entities to prepare and implement strategies to control invasive flora and fauna species.
Encourage ecological restoration works in areas of identified significance as well as ongoing management plans using best practise techniques.
You have 1000 characters left.

Section 3: Risk and Resilience

You identified the impact of climate change as a threat and area of concern for the future. This included concerns about extreme weather events, erosion, bushfire and sea level rise.

Draft Vision

This feedback helped us draft this 50-year vision statement:

The significant features of the declared area, such as the beaches and natural landscapes, are conserved and enhanced and impacts from coastal erosion, sea level rise, bushfire and extreme weather events are minimised. Settlement areas are planned to reduce risks and respond appropriately to climate change impacts.

9. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the draft vision statement?
You have 800 characters left.

Potential Approaches

11. Please let us know how important the following statements are to you. These will help inform draft objectives and strategies to achieve the proposed vision:
Very important
Important
Neutral
Low importance
Not at all important
Work is undertaken in conjunction with government agencies to maintain and enhance the natural landscape and ensure the ecological and biodiversity characteristics of the area remain.
New developments or land uses in areas at high risk of bushfire or coastal erosion are avoided.
The levels of coastal erosion occurring throughout the declared area are monitored and reviewed.
You have 1000 characters left.

Section 4: Aboriginal Cultural Heritage

You said that you value sites of Aboriginal heritage significance like those at Bells Beach and the Karaaf Wetlands.

Draft Vision

This feedback helped us draft this 50-year vision statement:

There is a healthy, balanced ecological system, incorporating Wadawurrung cultural (including natural) values, stories and creations. A recognised connection to land, sea, sky and water, where sacred sites are respected and existing Wadawurrung cultural heritage is appreciated for its ancient and contemporary use and is conserved for future generations.

13. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the draft vision statement?
You have 800 characters left.

Potential Approaches

15. Please let us know how important the following statements are to you. These will help inform draft objectives and strategies to achieve the proposed vision:
Very important
Important
Neutral
Low importance
Not at all important
With Traditional Owners, identify, protect, conserve and enhance sites, landscapes and views of Aboriginal cultural significance, consistent with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and Cultural Heritage Management Plans.
With Traditional Owners, acknowledge, protect, promote and interpret tangible and intangible Aboriginal cultural values, heritage and knowledge when planning and managing land use and development, water and other environmental resources.
You have 1000 characters left.

To understand how best to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage we need to know a little bit more:

17. If you own a piece of land have you ever seen objects that are culturally significant?
18. Are you aware of the appropriate process in order to identify and record cultural objects?
19. Are you aware that the Wadawurrung are the Traditional Owner group for land in the declared area?
You have 400 characters left.

Section 5: Post-Contact Heritage

You said that you value sites like Bells Beach and the Great Ocean Road as well as the area’s connection to leisure and relaxation and surfing culture.

Draft Vision

This feedback helped us draft this 50-year vision statement:

There continues to be a strong surfing and associated leisure culture that is internationally renowned. The declared area’s history as the gateway to the Great Ocean Road and as an important shipping lane with numerous shipwrecks also contributes to the community’s identity and sense of place.

21. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the draft vision statement?
You have 800 characters left.

Potential Approaches

23. Please let us know how important the following statements are to you. These will help inform draft objectives and strategies to achieve the proposed vision:
Very important
Important
Neutral
Low importance
Not at all important
Consider the impact of buildings and works on heritage places and ensure that the distinct cultural, aesthetic and landscape values are being conserved and enhanced by bearing in mind the impact on significant views from and to heritage places.
Acknowledge and promote the areas unique intangible heritage which appreciates the areas long history with recreation, leisure and surfing culture.
You have 1000 characters left.

Section 6: Economy and infrastructure

You said that you value the agriculture industry and a sustainable tourism economy which focuses on surfing, ecotourism and local retail. You also value economic prosperity which provides opportunities for young people.

In addition to this, strategic infrastructure, such as the Great Ocean Road, Surf Coast Highway and the Armstrong Creek Transit corridor to Torquay, will be critical for maintaining a high standard of amenity and ensuring the success of the local economy.

Draft Vision

This feedback helped us draft this 50-year vision statement:

The Surf Coast has a thriving tourism industry that prioritises the sustainable management of the area’s distinctive cultural heritage, environments and landscapes, and recognises the management of the Wadawurrung People. Agriculture, retail and extractive industries continue to support the regional economy in a managed and sustainable way.

Existing infrastructure is improved and opportunities for future infrastructure, such as the Armstrong Creek Transit corridor to Torquay, are supported to facilitate economic growth in the region.

25. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the draft vision statement?
You have 800 characters left.

Potential Approaches

27. Please let us know how important the following statements are to you. These will help inform draft objectives and strategies to achieve the proposed vision:
Very important
Important
Neutral
Low importance
Not at all important
A sustainable visitation management strategy for the region will facilitate a strong tourism economy that is respectful of the cultural heritage, environmental and landscape features of the area.
Agricultural land uses located in between settlement areas should be supported and encouraged for their contribution to the regional economy.
Agricultural land uses located in between settlement areas should be supported and encouraged because they create a sense of rural openness between settlements.
Strategic extractive resource areas should be protected from encroachment from urban development.
Local retail, accommodation and food services should be supported through facilitating commercial developments in defined locations within townships.
Support strategic infrastructure projects and upgrades that are designed to be sympathetic to the area’s distinctive cultural heritage, environments and landscapes.
You have 1000 characters left.

Section 7: Settlement

Regarding townships in the declared area, you value the beachy, coastal, laid-back and small town feel of the settlements. You value development that is low rise, and complementary of the surrounding environment. You also said that you like the ease of access to services and the availability of amenities.

Draft Vision

This feedback helped us draft this 50-year vision statement:

Torquay-Jan Juc is a thriving coastal settlement that provides residents with access to a diversity of services, amenities and jobs. It supports a relaxed coastal lifestyle for its residents, visitors and people living and working within the region.

All settlements have their own distinct character.

29. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the draft vision statement?
You have 800 characters left.

Potential Approaches

31. Please let us know how important the following statements are to you. These will help inform draft objectives and strategies to achieve the proposed vision:
Very important
Important
Neutral
Low importance
Not at all important
Clarifying the preferred locations for future growth and implementing settlement boundaries will ease pressure on the environmental, cultural heritage and natural resource values, while providing greater certainty for residents and businesses.
Opportunities for infill development within the boundary of existing townships should be encouraged ahead of developing further greenfield land.
New urban development and infrastructure should be designed to fit in with the unique coastal character and history of townships and their natural settings, including foreshore areas and biodiversity corridors.
Defining the roles, functions and identities of each township, and sub-precincts within Torquay-Jan Juc, will help settlements to thrive by supporting the local economy, encouraging jobs growth and meeting the needs of residents and workers.
Defining an urban-to-rural transition area within the boundary of townships would help protect and enhance environmental, cultural heritage, landscape and natural resource values, and reduce bushfire risks.
Mandating that development be not located on ridgelines would better protect existing vantage points and view lines of hills and environmental values.
Increasing building heights in defined locations would help strengthen the economic performance of townships and help curb the need for increased greenfield growth.

Overview

Overview

The Surf Coast is renowned for its excellent beaches, coastal biodiversity, and a wealth of recreation and tourism opportunities. It is also the gateway to the Great Ocean Road, a national heritage site.

The region has experienced increasing urban development pressure, particularly in Torquay-Jan Juc. To ensure the region’s long-term sustainability, we must effectively balance growth while protecting the features and characteristics that make the Surf Coast special.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is working with local councils, the Wadawurrung People, the community and other key stakeholders as they undertake this project.

The Surf Coast Distinctive Area and Landscape Project will inform the development of the Great Ocean Road Strategic Framework Plan, which will provide further protection to the Great Ocean Road Region.

Declaration

Declaration

In September 2019, parts of the Surf Coast Shire Council and City of Greater Geelong were declared a Distinctive Area and Landscape under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

The following maps depict the declared area:

The declaration area is shown shaded in blue on the map above.

Statement of Planning Policy

Statement of Planning Policy

Now that the Surf Coast has been declared, work has begun to develop a Statement of Planning Policy for the area. The Statement of Planning Policy will include a 50-year vision and land use strategies to better protect the unique features of the Surf Coast for current and future generations. It also provides the opportunity to designate long term, protected settlement boundaries.

Results of Phase One

Results of phase one engagement

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) undertook its first phase of community engagement from 14 May 2019 to 14 June 2019.

Extensive feedback was collected about what the community and stakeholders valued about the Surf Coast region, the threats to those values and suggestions for how those values should be protected. This feedback was an important input into the declaration of the area as a distinctive area and landscape. It has also informed the phase two engagement questions listed below.

A summary of our phase one engagement findings and the full consultation report are available to download here: