Below is all you need to know about planning in 3 minutes… time well spent!
Gareth, Michelle and Stuart
What have we been doing?
We prepared a submission on the proposed VicSmart provisions and regulations. The submission is premised on the view that VicSmart will proceed, however we see some substantial technical and operational issues that need to be resolved cooperatively with the Department over the next twelve months. Thank you for your feedback and copies of your submissions. Our submission will be available on the MAV website this week.
Meeting with the Minister
We had our quarterly meeting with the Hon. Matthew Guy, Minister for Planning in August. We discussed the Metropolitan Strategy, queried when it will be released and presented the draft local government model for the Metropolitan Planning Authority developed with councils over the past few months. The Minister reaffirmed his commitment to reviewing planning fees this financial year.
Development around high pressure gas pipelines
Energy Safe Victoria presented to the MAV Planning Committee on development around high pressure gas pipelines. The State Planning Policy Framework says a lot of things about a lot of topics and naturally, some of these conflict. For those of you that aren’t aware, Clause 19.02-6 of the planning scheme aims to ensure gas is safely delivered at minimal risk to people, other critical infrastructure and the environment.
Proposed model for new Metropolitan Planning Authority released
With the cooperative efforts of the Metropolitan Strategy Reference Group, we developed and released a preferred operational model for the Metropolitan Planning Authority. The model has been sent to the Victorian Government to inform the preferred shape, role, function and governance of the proposed Authority. In it, we also call for a formal State-local government protocol to be developed to determine the definition, criteria and thresholds by which areas and projects of ‘metropolitan significance’ are identified. The protocol would confirm and re-state the principles of subsidiarity and outline rules governing matters dealt with by the Minister, the MPA and local government in the Metropolitan Strategy. Thank you for your participation, particularly members of the Reference Group and MAV Planning Committee who provided invaluable advice throughout the process.
Bushfire Management Overlay information sheets
With funding from the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure and assistance from Casey, Manningham, Golden Plains, Ballarat, Whittlesea, Swan Hill and Surf Coast councils, we developed a series of information sheets for planning permit applicants, designers and builders. The sheets will be distributed to planning directors and managers shortly.
MAV meets with the SPPF Review Committee
The Victorian Government has announced a review of the State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) and the establishment of an Advisory Committee comprised of Geoff Underwood (Chair), Lester Townsend, Cazz Redding and Nicola Smith. The MAV met with the Committee and provided feedback on the need to spatially resolve the SPPF and refocus its content. We expressed the view that the role and function of the SPPF has become a little unclear, and more and more unwieldy over recent years. The role of the Committee is to unpack how to align and integrate the Metropolitan Strategy, Regional Growth Plans, reformed zones and development contributions. The Committee is due to report by 18 October. It is unclear if this will be prior to the finalisation of the Metropolitan Strategy and the development contribution system review. Council consultation sessions will be held in Melbourne, Bendigo, Geelong and Traralgon in late September.
Planning workforce profile survey
In partnership with the MAV and the Planning Institute of Australia (Victoria), the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure has prepared a comprehensive workforce profile survey. Results from the survey will help to build a profile of the Victorian planning workforce, provide a basis for consistent long-term tracking of the available planning workforce, and give a better understanding of how planning services are being delivered.
Please encourage your colleagues to take the survey too.
A specific survey for council planning directors has also been distributed directly to all councils.
MAV launches yammer network for planners
We have been given the green light to establish an online yammer network for council planners. The initiative, a suggestion from the City of Ballarat, recognises we are all experiencing similar issues and working on the same projects, but don’t have a space to share experiences and utilise the collective knowledge of the sector. The network is similar to LinkedIn or Facebook but provides a secure space for collaboration and enables planners to ask questions of one another, upload project briefs, reports, consultation material and interesting Planning Panel Reports and VCAT cases. Planning directors and managers will receive an email invitation shortly. Feel free to forward on to your staff.
Reformed residential zones workshop
On Friday 13 September we are hosting a session for the sector to share the different approaches being adopted to convert the residential zones. Nine councils from a range of areas (metropolitan, interface, regional and rural) have been invited to share their approach to the new zones, the work they are doing and the top three lessons that they believe have broader application to other municipalities across the state. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from three different councils and to offer feedback on the issues raised. An invitation has been sent to planning directors and managers. There are ten spots left. Make sure you register. For further information contact Gareth Hately on 9667 5596.
MAV Planning Improvement Conference – further speakers announced
The MAV is proud to announce two guest speakers for the coming STEP Planning Improvement Conference, Switching on the Bright Ideas.
Michael Fromberg – Head of Customer Operations, Business Operations and Service, Australia Post
Michael will bring lessons from Australia Post on the challenges faced when establishing a culture of continuous process improvement, and methods to support delivery of cost, quality and service objectives. Michael will also be speaking on recognising who is the customer and how to improve this relationship. Australia Post has undertaken a period of great change and has risen successfully to this challenge. Come and hear Michael speak and take his learnings back to your council.
Associate Professor Trevor Budge AM - Community Planning and Development Program, La Trobe University
Trevor has a BA with majors in Geography and History, a Diploma of Education, a Diploma of Town and Country Planning, and an MA by research in Town Planning. He has worked for state government departments, regional planning bodies and local government, and he conducted his own consulting business for 16 years prior to becoming a full-time academic. Come along for his interactive and informative lecture on keeping a planning scheme contemporary.
This exciting event also includes three concurrent master classes in the afternoon on planning enforcement, VicSmart and planning scheme amendments. These classes will be important for professional development and staying on top of what is happening in the sector.
Please ensure your council is represented at this important event and register early – the limited number of seats are selling quickly!
Financial Costs of Settlement Patterns Modelling Tool
We have conducted three training sessions for the Financial Costs of Settlement Patterns Modelling Tool for councils. The tool provides rural and regional councils with a high level understanding of both the short and long-term costs of adopting different settlement patterns based on the dwelling densities and typical infrastructure. Metropolitan councils have also attempted to understand how this tool could be applied in a high density environment. Sessions have been well received and the feedback invaluable. The workshops provide a detailed introduction to the application of this tool, and the potential costs of pursuing differing types of dwelling densities within their municipalities.
A further training session at the West Gippsland Performing Arts Centre in Warragul will be held on 12 September from 12 - 2.30 pm.
In other news...
Government releases revised rural zones
The long awaited reformed rural zones have been released with the Government’s response to the Reformed Zones Advisory Committee report. The changes introduce more varied uses and generally relax permit requirements for non-agricultural uses. The inclusion of additional rural-related and tourism uses that support agricultural production is a win for regional Victoria. We acknowledge the complexity associated with the review and the difficulty in developing a suite of controls that are relevant across Victoria. We will continue to highlight the need to allow flexibility to adjust uses, where justified, to suit local circumstances. The reformed rural zones will be introduced into the Victoria Planning Provisions and planning schemes by Amendment VC103 in September. The MAV hopes to see a 12 month review to fine-tune the provisions and address challenges that councils may encounter.
Victorian Freight Plan
The Victorian Government has released its long-term freight plan titled Victoria - Freight State outlining a vision for maintaining and increasing Victoria’s competitive advantage as the nation’s centre for freight and logistics. The plan also has a number of planning implications as it incorporates major new East West and orbital road and rail links that will support the movement of freight between the major ports and freight distribution and processing areas. Via these new infrastructure projects, the Government has indicated it intends to support a progressive decentralisation of heavy freight activity away from the central city area and towards the periphery of Melbourne, which will free up more land for redevelopment opportunities in the inner areas.
New Melbourne MSS approved – well done City of Melbourne
The role of central Melbourne as a hub for urban renewal, jobs and greater liveability will be further enhanced following approval of the City of Melbourne's new Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS). The new MSS will support existing urban renewal areas such as Southbank and Docklands and address new areas for residential and job growth including Fishermans Bend, E Gate, the Arden-Macaulay and City North precincts. Some of the key themes of the new strategy are using land more productively, connecting the city with efficient and convenient transport links and responding to the impacts of climate change.
The new MSS will be incorporated into the Melbourne Planning Scheme under Amendment C162 when it is gazetted.
Bass Coast adopts Draft Rural Land Use Strategy
Bass Coast Shire Council considered the proposed changes to the Draft Rural Land Use Strategy at its 21 August meeting and decided to adopt the Strategy with proposed changes. The next step is to implement the Strategy into the Bass Coast Planning Scheme through the Amendment process.
Regional Cities Victoria launches framework
The Regional Cities Victoria (RCV) Growth Framework has been released. Developed by RCV, the organisation representing the state’s ten largest regional city councils, the framework has three core components: a resource paper explaining the economic theory underlying regional city growth; a set of growth indicators enabling each regional city to determine its current position and to set growth benchmarks; and a diagnostics tool each regional city can use to set targets and priorities.
Interesting tid bits
Expanding land supply through transport improvements… more
Town centre performance in major Australian cities… more
Understanding community perceptions of sea level rise… more