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Alignment between land use and transport planning is critical to providing efficient, safe and sustainable movement for people and goods, and accommodating future growth in population and employment in Victoria.

Transport planning is complex and many parties are involved in development and delivery of transport infrastructure. Decisions about land use planning and transport planning must consider current and future needs of the transport system.

Clause 18 of the Planning Policy Framework specifies state, regional and local planning policies for land use planning for transport. This includes including:

The Transport Integration Act 2010 and the transport system must be considered when preparing and implementing local planning policies for transport into the planning scheme.

The transport system

The transport system is made up of components for moving and transporting people and goods. It includes:

  • movement networks
  • transport interchanges
  • infrastructure
  • land reserved for future transport needs.

State transport system

The state transport system is made up of elements of the transport system that are of state significance. In planning schemes, the state transport system is planned, delivered and protected differently to the local transport system.

The state transport system is made up of 5 principal movement networks.

State Principal Movement NetworkIncludes
Principal bicycle network

Strategic cycling corridors

Principal public transport network and regional railExisting and planned:
  • trams
  • metro and regional rail
  • key bus services
Principal road network
  • declared arterial roads
  • declared freeways (including toll roads)
Principal freight network
  • freight places
  • freight movement corridors
Principal transport gateways
  • Airports (Melbourne, Avalon, Essendon, Moorabbin, Albury, Mildura and Bendigo)
  • Ports (Melbourne, Geelong, Hastings and Portland)
  • Intermodal freight terminals (future Werribee and Beveridge)

Local movement networks

Local movement networks are planned for at the municipality level and include:

  • local roads
  • cycling and walking routes
  • community transport
  • ‘first and last mile’ freight links.

Together, the state transport system and local movement networks make the transport system for Victoria.

Planning policy for transport

State transport policy

State planning policy for transport sets the direction for how planning authorities should consider the transport system in land use planning decisions to support a safe, integrated and sustainable transport system. Integrating land use and the transport system from a planning perspective requires balanced consideration of how to best locate housing, jobs and services to make use of the transport system while protecting existing and planned transport infrastructure from the impacts of land use and development.

Clause 18 includes adopted state transport policy for interchanges and infrastructure required to connect and operate the movement networks, and land reserved for the future development of the transport system. The policy applies to state and local transport infrastructure.

While some planning decisions may relate to one type of transport or one part of the transport system, the starting point for decision making is facilitating the movement of people and goods, rather than specific modes of transport. This requires considering broad directions in clause 18.01 as well as the specific movement networks at clause 18.02.

Clause 18 requires that planning decisions consider potential impacts on state transport infrastructure at different stages of the planning or delivery process. The 4 categories used to identify the stage of the delivery for transport infrastructure and where each stage is identified are shown below.

See description below.
Transport infrastructure delivery stage

Diagram showing transport infrastructure delivery stages from most to least certain to be delivered.

Existing infrastructure is the most certain and the planning response should be to protect and improve it.

Infrastructure in delivery is infrastructure that is under construction with planning controls in place to support delivery. The planning response should be to protect and improve it.

Planned infrastructure is land reserved by a Public Acquisition Overlay or other statutory tool for a public purpose. The planning response should be to not compromise the infrastructure.

Potential infrastructure is the least certain and is only identified as needed. It is future or potential infrastructure identified as required in an approved State policy or strategy and eventually will be statutorily identified as an Area of Interest, has an EES underway or it is notated in a state policy document. The planning response should be to maintain the opportunity.

Once infrastructure has been identified as ‘potential infrastructure’ the role of a planning authority or responsible authority is to ensure the opportunity to deliver this infrastructure is not compromised by planning decisions, even it if may be several years until the infrastructure may be delivered.

Local transport policy

Local policy provides the detailed policy directions for local movement networks and land use or local responses to integrate into state movement networks.

A local policy should only identify potential or planned infrastructure when it forms part of a local movement network.

Common transport system terms

Several terms are used in state planning policy to describe the elements of the transport system. These are defined below.

high capacity public transport Public transport that accommodates more than ten passengers.
local movement networks Integrated with the State Transport System. Planned at a local level and generally include walking networks, cycling networks and local road networks. Provides a local and potentially regional service.
low capacity public transport Public transport that accommodates ten or less passengers.
motorway network Declared freeways including toll roads as defined in the Road Management Act 2004. Included in the Principal Road Network.
movement network Routes and places, generally defined by mode, that connect to form a network that allows for the movement of people and goods using a particular mode. For example, cars on the road network, bicycles on the cycling network, walkers on the walking network. The transport system comprises of multiple movement networks.
off road public transport Public transport that uses dedicated transport corridors that do not form part of the road network. Includes trains, trams, lightrail, rail, ferries, cycle share.
on road public transport Public transport that shares road space with other road users. May be high capacity (trams, buses) or low capacity (taxis, ride share, cycle share, community transport).
significant municipal road A road that is under control of the municipal council and is identified as a key part of the road network.
state transport infrastructure Existing and proposed transport infrastructure that forms part of the State Transport System.

Page last updated: 10/08/23


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