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 production, 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 and findings on defining Melbourne’s strategic agricultural land

The first step to protect food production in the green wedge and peri-urban areas is to understand the agricultural potential of the land. A lot of technical work has been done to ensure we have a good evidence base for identifying strategic agricultural land.

Draft criteria to help guide the assessment process were available for community consideration and comment from 12 March 2019 to 17 May 2019. An independent consultation findings report was released in September 2019.

Future opportunities to have your say

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will be releasing a consultation paper in early-mid 2020 to present proposals for improving planning for Melbourne’s green wedges and agricultural land. All Victorians will have the opportunity to provide feedback by making a submission.

Summary of key engagement findings and participation