Submissions to this project have closed

Project overview

The Victorian Government is committed to protecting Melbourne’s green wedges and keeping farms on our urban fringes working and producing for generations to come. Some of Victoria’s most productive agricultural land is within 100 km of central Melbourne. As our climate changes, the ideal conditions of agricultural land become even more important to Victoria’s food production.

Melbourne’s green wedges and surrounding farmland are critical to our economic prosperity. They provide thousands of jobs in agriculture, conservation, and tourism as they host a range of activities including food production and agritourism such as our famous wineries. They also provide critical infrastructure like water treatment plants, and raw materials to build our houses, roads and train lines. They also include some of the world’s best parks, wetlands and nature reserves, and contain a rich Aboriginal and post-contact cultural history.

Protecting the significant features and assets found in these areas is important for ongoing environmental, economic, cultural and health and wellbeing outcomes for all Victorians.

Proximity to Melbourne, the rapid pace of growth and change, and the range of other land uses competing for space make these areas some of the most contested in the state. Beautiful and scenic rural landscapes near Melbourne are an attractive location for urban development and rural living. These urban uses compete with agriculture, resulting in the permanent loss of agricultural land and associated businesses.

Robust planning controls are needed to maintain the benefits provided by green wedges and manage land use to support long term agricultural use that serves the needs of Melbourne’s growing population.

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, local communities are reconnecting with green spaces near their homes and with where and how our food is produced. Strengthening protections for green wedges and agricultural land will ensure people can continue to get out into nature and connect with the land.

Consultation and next steps

In 2019, we consulted on how we should identify important agricultural land and better understand what outcomes people would like us to achieve (Phase 1 consultation). We also consulted with green wedge councils in 2018 – 2019 to identify key challenges relating to land use planning in the green wedges.

Both of these processes informed the development of proposed planning system reform options for Melbourne’s green wedges and agricultural land.

From mid-2020 – early 2021 we consulted with stakeholders and the community on the proposed options (Phase 2 consultation). Consultation closed at 5pm on Friday, 5 February 2021.

A report summarising feedback received during Phase 2 consultation will be released in mid-2021. Click the ‘follow’ button at the top of this page to receive project updates.

We are reviewing submissions to determine which of the proposed planning system reform options will be implemented, and how. It is anticipated that implementation will occur in 2021 – 2022.

Contact Us

Have questions or want to learn more about the project? Please contact us below:

  Phone
Call 136 186 from anywhere in Australia, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Costs may vary - mobiles and public telephones may incur additional costs.
Translating and relay services

If you need assistance, please contact Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) for help with translating and interpreting. Contact TIS National on 131 450 (within Australia) and ask to be transferred to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning customer contact centre on 136 186, or visit www.tisnational.gov.au.

If you are deaf, or have a hearing impairment or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service on 133 677 or visit www.relayservice.gov.au.