| What’s happening in planning?
Save the date – MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference
Work is underway preparing this year’s conference program, which will take place on the 29-30 June in Inverloch. We will be forming a working group to develop the program, and welcome anyone with ideas to contact Michelle Croughan or Emlyn Breese.
As you might be aware the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is currently reviewing the framework for protecting Victoria’s biodiversity.
Submissions have closed on the biodiversity plan and can be viewed online.
The MAV has prepared a draft submission for the native vegetation clearing regulations following an informative briefing by DELWP at the MAV attended by over 40 representatives from councils. We are accepting feedback on the draft until COB Friday 17 February.
We are also preparing a draft submission to the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act review. Of particular interest for land use and planning is the potential for enforcement of native vegetation clearing regulations by DELWP staff through the FFG. A briefing (register here) will be held at the MAV on Monday 27 February from 1.30-3.30pm. Any comments on the MAV’s draft submission would be appreciated.
For further information on the native vegetation clearing regulations contact Michelle Croughan or Emlyn Breese.
For further information on the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act contact Claire Dunn or Emlyn Breese.
Ecologically Sustainable Development policy
The Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) is currently facilitating a third round of councils interested in seeking a local ESD Planning Policy amendment, and would like to extend an invitation to join this group to all Victorian Councils.
Seven councils have had a local ESD Policy gazetted in the past 15 months, with two more policies currently before the Minister and another two councils with an amendment in process. CASBE’s work to date on this project has clearly demonstrated that councils can successfully work together to achieve a common goal.
CASBE is an association of Victorian councils committed to the creation of a sustainable built environment within and beyond their municipalities. For further information, contact Natasha Palich.
In October, the State Government released its response to the Animal Industries Advisory Committee's Final Report titled Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries.
Of particular interest to planning are recommendations including new land use definitions, guidance to improve the quality of planning applications, making separation distances more consistent, a graduated approach to planning based on risk and improving the information available to local governments for decision making covering catchment areas, regional growth, land suitability and technical advice from industry specialists.
The government has established a governance structure for the implementation of the recommendations. The MAV is on the Steering Committee and has organised two senior council representatives to participate in the Implementation Reference Group. We have also established a working group to provide advice to the department on technical aspects of the implementation.
Thank you to all council representatives that have generously donated their time to ensure that workable outcomes are achieved.
New building legislation
The Building Amendment (Enforcement and Other Measures) Bill had its second reading in December. We are preparing a members brief to outline the implications to councils of the proposed changes to the Building Act 1993.
The primary implications for councils appear to be the provision of stronger enforcement powers, increased rigour required for inspection and record keeping and a requirement for signed consent or a warrant for access to a residential premise.
The MAV is exploring whether guidance about the new system can be provided in a form similar to the handbook for the Public Health and Wellbeing Act.
Better Apartments training
DELWP has released the Better Apartments Design Standards which are proposed to come into effect in March.
DELWP is running an education and training program on the requirements of the Design Standards for relevant stakeholders.
The following sessions are being held from 9am-4.30pm for local government town planners:
- Metropole Fitzroy - 16 and 23 March
- Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre - 5 April
To register, email DELWP no later than 3 days prior to the event. Please provide your name, contact details and the session you wish to attend.
Consultation on the 'Transform' phase of Smart Planning reform is due to begin soon.
The MAV will assist DELWP in organising a workshop session aimed at councillors, executives and officers towards the end of March. This session will take place in Melbourne and we will be providing more details as soon as they are finalised.
DELWP has advised us that a number of more general sessions will be run in regional areas to which councils will be invited.
The Bureau of Meteorology in November released the first major update to its flood modelling guidelines since 1987. The updated Australian Rainfall and Runoff Guidelines will improve accuracy and consistency when applied to modelling to inform engineering and planning decisions.
Smart Cities Plan
The Commonwealth Government has released the Smart Cities Plan.
The primary vehicle for investment is through City Deals, three of which have been signed so far covering Launceston, Townsville and Western Sydney.
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has committed in 2017 to providing further information on the City Deal process as well as the competitive bid process for regional areas.
In other news...
The EPA has released a guideline outlining how to conduct and assess odour environmental risk assessments (odour ERA) as part of planning permit applications for broiler farms with more than 400,000 birds.
30-year infrastructure strategy
Infrastructure Victoria has released the final version of its 30-year strategy to Parliament.