The Victorian Government is committed to protecting the long-term future of agricultural land in Melbourne’s green wedge and peri-urban areas. Some of Victoria’s most productive agricultural land is within 100 km of central Melbourne. In 2015-16 the region grew 10 per cent of Victoria’s agricultural produce, including 59 per cent of vegetables.
Melbourne’s green wedges also support Melbourne through biodiversity, recreation, tourism, open space, natural resources, heritage and landscape conservation, and critical infrastructure provision.
Protecting the significant features and assets found in these areas is important for ongoing environmental, economic, cultural and health and wellbeing outcomes.
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 wedge and peri-urban areas and manage land use to support long term agricultural use that serves the needs of Melbourne’s growing population.
Consultation on improving planning for Melbourne’s green wedges and agricultural land
In 2019 we engaged with farmers, community members, industry, local government and stakeholders to test criteria for protecting agricultural land around Melbourne. You can read the consultation findings report here.
We have considered your feedback and have developed planning options to deliver lasting protection of agricultural land and guide decision-making in our green wedges.
These options are outlined in a consultation paper, which will be available to download on this page when the public engagement launches.
Update on consultation approach and timing
We want to make sure everyone’s got a chance to tell us what they think during this challenging time, so we’ve adjusted our consultation programme.
For the first ten weeks of consultation we’ll be talking with State Government agencies, councils and key industry stakeholders. On Wednesday 12 August 2020, we’ll be opening up consultation to the public and stakeholder organisations for another ten weeks.
We’re looking at options for online forums and other ways to replace face to face consultation – stay informed at https://engage.vic.gov.au/gwal.
You’ll be able to read the proposed planning system changes and have your say at https://engage.vic.gov.au/gwal from Wednesday 12 August 2020. The same documents, information and submission forms will be available during both stages of the consultation. We won’t be making any changes in between the stages.
What are the next steps for the project?
We will consider community and stakeholder feedback received during the consultation process as we refine the options for improving planning for Melbourne’s green wedges and agricultural land. We will collate and analyse feedback received during the consultation period in the coming months, and report on results.