Overview

The Victorian Government is committed to protecting the long-term future of strategic 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.

The first step to protect food production in the peri-urban and green wedge areas is to identify what areas have the greatest agricultural potential. A lot of technical work has been done to ensure we have a good evidence base for identifying strategic agricultural land. A common set of criteria to help guide the assessment process has been developed.

In the future strategic agricultural land will be recognised and protected in the planning system. This work is about more than protecting strategic agricultural land. It is also about providing greater certainty for agricultural businesses in key precincts to support long term investment.

The Victorian Government encourages everyone to join the conversation about what strategic agricultural land we protect and how. You can contribute in the following ways:

    • Attend a regional workshop
    • Provide your feedback online
    • Download a engagement pack and host your own local conversations

    This consultation is open for six weeks from Tuesday 12 March to Tuesday 23 April.

    This is the first step in the process to protect strategic agricultural land. We plan to release a summary of the outcomes from this consultation stage and more details on the planning response later in the year.

    What areas might be strategic agricultural land?

    The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has been working with Agriculture Victoria and Deakin University’s Centre for Rural and Regional Futures to better understand the suitability and capability of land in the region. Knowing the suitability and capability of land is important for assessing the value of land for agriculture.

    DELWP has developed draft criteria to identify strategic agricultural land. The draft criteria considers the naturally occurring features of the land as well as current land uses, location of important infrastructure and links to processing and supply industries. You can view the proposed criteria in the key documents, and provide feedback through the submission form below.

    DELWP have also identified potential locations of strategic agricultural land in Melbourne's green wedge and peri-urban areas, for further investigation. You can view this map in the key documents section, and in the online feedback section below.

    Not all agricultural land will be identified as strategic agricultural land. It will depend on the nature, extent and significance of the land as assessed against a common set of criteria. Agricultural land may still be locally significant even if it is does not meet the criteria required to be considered strategic agricultural land. These areas will not be turned over to residential development. Existing planning controls that apply will remain in place and not be weakened.

    Attend a regional workshop

    Anyone can attend a regional workshop. At the workshop you will hear about the process to develop the draft criteria and map, and be able to provide input about what strategic agricultural areas we protect and how.

    Regional workshops will be held in the last week of March and first week of April. The location and dates are:

    • Bacchus Marsh – 6pm to 8pm, Wednesday, 27 March
    • Mornington – 6pm to 8pm, Thursday 28 March
    • Koo Wee Rup – 10am to 12pm, Tuesday 2 April
    • Kilmore – 6pm to 8pm, Wednesday 3 April
    • Yarra Junction – 6pm to 8pm, Thursday 4 April

    You need to RSVP for the workshop so we can keep an eye on the number of attendees, via eventbrite or by calling 03 8392 5595. The address of the workshop will be provided after you have registered (look for the additional information section in your confirmation email).

    Provide your feedback online

    The first step to protect food production in our green wedge and peri-urban areas is to identify what areas have the greatest agricultural potential.

    A lot of technical work has been done to ensure we have a good evidence base for identifying strategic agricultural land. A common set of criteria to help guide the assessment process has been developed. Now we want to test this work with stakeholders and the community.

    Please review the Fact Sheet, proposed criteria and maps before completing this submission form.

    Do you understand why protecting agricultural land around Melbourne for food production is important? Required

    Proposed criteria

    Please review the proposed criteria for assessing whether agricultural land is strategic.

    Please explain why.

    How important are the proposed criteria?
    Not important
    Somewhat important
    Important
    Very important
    Land capability
    Water access
    Resilience and adaptability
    Existing land use and integration with industry

    The proposed criteria will effectively determine whether agricultural land is strategic now and in the future.

    Do you agree with the above statement? Required

    In the future strategic agricultural land will be recognised and protected in the planning system. The outcomes the Victorian Government are hoping to achieve by protecting this land through the planning system are:

    • Provide confidence to the agricultural industry to establish and grow.
    • Provide flexibility for agricultural businesses to expand, adopt new technology and respond to changing markets and consumer preferences.
    • Protect the ‘right to farm’.
    • Ensure separation from sensitive uses and minimise risk of land use conflict.
    • Prepare for climate change by safeguarding areas with recycled water access and high resilience.
    What is your relationship to the project? Required

    Choose as many as apply

    What region of the green wedge and peri-urban areas around Melbourne do you live/work/own/have an interest in? Required

    Please provide your email address to receive a copy of your submission