Climate change is a long-term challenge for Victoria and will result in more frequent and intense weather events, including bushfires, droughts, extreme rainfall and coastal inundation. You can read more about responding to climate change in our energy and water topics. Preserving our natural environments also has important economic consequences, like supporting tourism in Victoria's regions.

Tourism supports many local jobs and powers the economy of regional Victoria. Victoria’s regions have a wealth of natural tourist destinations, from the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians in the west, to the Victorian Alps and the Gippsland Lakes in the east. They contain many important Aboriginal heritage sites. These sites continue to provide a vital focus for Aboriginal cultural practices. They have immense potential for wider public education and interest.

The 2019/20 bushfires and the coronavirus pandemic have hit the regional tourism industry hard. Border closures and health restrictions have resulted in cancellation of important regional events. The impacts of climate change and coastal erosion are also threatening Victoria’s coasts. Some tourist destinations will need to rebuild before to being ready for tourists. Others are preparing how to manage tourists in a COVID-normal environment.

The Victorian Government has announced $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package. This provides funding for tourism infrastructure and visitor facilities across the state. It includes:

  • revitalisation of the Great Ocean Road
  • development of visitor facilities at Wilsons Promontory
  • improvements to the Mallee Silo Art Trail
  • Falls Creek to Hotham Alpine Crossing hiking trail
  • the Brambuk Cultural Centre in the Grampians.

These measures provide a strong stimulus for nature-based tourism. They should help to attract more visitors to regional Victoria in the short term.

Regional tourism has significant, sustainable growth potential. But we are keen to know more about what support the industry needs to encourage longer term growth.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 16. Invest in protecting Victoria’s coasts (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next eight years, invest in coastal protection upgrades and maintenance, including beach and dune protection and rehabilitation, and storm surge protection, particularly for coastal tourism assets in Barwon, Great South Coast and Gippsland regions.

Draft recommendation 82. Plan for future investment in regional nature-based tourism infrastructure (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next five years, develop a Victorian nature-based tourism strategy to guide industry development and prioritise further investments.

Draft recommendation 83. Develop a Victorian Aboriginal tourism strategy (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Partner with Traditional Owners to develop a Victorian Aboriginal tourism strategy in the next five years to guide future Aboriginal tourism investments, including through Joint Management Plans.

Draft recommendation 84. Boost tourism infrastructure by allowing more national parks to grant long leases (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Attract investment in Victoria’s regional tourism industry by immediately allowing more national parks to grant leases of up to 49 years for infrastructure proposals that meet specific criteria and complement environmental and heritage values.

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Click on the headings below to learn more about our draft recommendations on climate, managing waste and providing more green open space

Climate change is a long-term challenge for Victoria. It will result in more frequent and extreme weather events. Victorians are already seeing climate change affect society, the economy and the environment - most recently in the form of extreme drought and the catastrophic summer bushfires of 2019-20.

The climate consequences for infrastructure are now better understood. They can be better considered in the infrastructure and built environment frameworks.

What are we recommending?

Draft recommendation 9. Specify climate scenarios and carbon value in assessing infrastructure (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately update and expand practical instructions on integrating climate-related risks into infrastructure assessment, including on future climate scenarios and valuing emission reductions.

Draft recommendation 10. Strategically review climate consequences for infrastructure (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Strategically review the climate change consequences for Victoria’s infrastructure needs and priorities, commencing in November 2021 after delivering the first set of targets, pledges and plans under the Climate Change Act 2017.

Draft recommendation 16. Invest in protecting Victoria’s coasts (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next eight years, invest in coastal protection upgrades and maintenance, including beach and dune protection and rehabilitation, and storm surge protection, particularly for coastal tourism assets in Barwon, Great South Coast and Gippsland regions.

Draft recommendation 91. Create climate-adapted facilities for rural communities (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next five years, fund local governments to plan and help deliver a network of designated, accessible climate-adapted community facilities, to manage the health impacts of extreme heat and bushfire smoke.

Draft recommendation 95. Make social housing suitable for changing local climates (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Prioritising northern Victoria, begin a long-term program of modifying social housing to be climate resilient by improving the energy efficiency and energy affordability of residences.

Explore the Energy and Water topic pages for more recommendations related to climate change.

Victoria is producing more waste today than ever before. Between 2000 and 2018, waste generation doubled from 7.4 million to 14.4 million tonnes each year. About 30% goes in landfill. We are only recycling 70% of total waste. Much of our waste has been going to landfill or stockpiles.

What are we recommending?

Draft recommendation 28. Facilitate improved recycling infrastructure for priority materials (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately focus efforts to increase and upgrade waste processing infrastructure on six priority materials. Facilitate increased recovery and reprocessing capacity and capability for paper and card, plastics and organics by 2025. Revisit funding mechanisms and align recycling infrastructure with land use planning.

Draft recommendation 29. Strengthen end markets for recycled materials (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately accelerate market development for recycled materials by updating standards and specifications, and explicitly require the Victorian public sector to use recycled products where feasible. In the next five years, support research, development and demonstrations to build confidence and demand for recycled products.

Draft recommendation 30. Address barriers to recycling and reducing waste (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next year, reduce recyclable material contamination by supporting greater consistency in kerbside and commercial collection and separation of glass, paper, cardboard and organic materials. Immediately define and implement behaviour change programs to reduce contamination, and consistently maintain these programs in the next 30 years.

Draft recommendation 31. Minimise waste and improve residual waste infrastructure planning (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next two years, improve infrastructure planning for managing residual waste, and further clarify the role of waste-to-energy facilities. Over the next 30 years, consistently invest in waste avoidance through behaviour change programs, pricing, regulation and incentives.

Accessible public open space is important for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The pandemic served to highlight how much communities value green open space. Meanwhile, new development is providing less private open space, gardens and tree canopy cover in suburbs.

The Victorian Government and local councils should fund and target connectivity and tree planting in open space. It should also work with utility providers to address and remove barriers to achieve greener outcomes.

What are we recommending?

Draft recommendation 37. Develop an interconnected open space network (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately provide direct funding, and reform the developer open space contribution scheme, to create an interconnected open space network and extend Melbourne’s urban tree canopy.

Draft recommendation 71. Target 30% tree canopy coverage in new growth areas (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Achieve 30% tree canopy coverage in new growth areas by mandating coverage during precinct development. Fund relevant Victorian Government agencies and local government to plant, replace and maintain canopy trees.