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In this guide, the following key terms are abbreviated as follows:

  • The Act: The Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • MPS: Municipal Planning Strategy
  • PPF: Planning Policy Framework
  • PPN:  Planning Practice Note
  • VPP: Victoria Planning Provisions


In this guide, the terms below are defined as follows:

  • provision: Any provision in a planning scheme, whether a policy or a requirement.
  • parent provision: A VPP provision in a planning scheme (as opposed to a local schedule provision).


Planning schemes are the primary tool to enable state and local government land use planning policies to be implemented and effect positive change to the built environment.

The efficiency and effectiveness of planning schemes is important to Victoria’s economy and liveability. Each year the planning system processes around 55,000 planning permit applications, which represents around $30 billion of future investment in Victoria.

The Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) is the template on which Victoria’s planning schemes are based. The VPP sets standardised planning scheme provisions that are designed to implement the six principles for planning schemes in Victoria set out in Chapter 2.3:

  • User focused
  • Consistent
  • Proportional
  • Land use focused
  • Policy and outcome focused
  • Digital ready

This guide helps practitioners implement these principles in the formulation and drafting of planning scheme provisions.

The guide sets out key rules for practitioners when preparing a planning scheme provision. These rules complement existing directions and guidance and seek to ensure that:

  • The intended outcome is within the scope of the objectives and power of the Act and has a sound basis in strategic planning and policy.
  • A provision is necessary and proportional to the intended outcome and applies the VPP in a proper manner.
  • A provision is clear, unambiguous and effective in achieving the intended outcome.

1.1 Who this guide is for

The guide applies to the preparation and application of a planning scheme provision in Victoria. It is primarily intended for use by practitioners considering or preparing a new or revised provision for a planning scheme.

The guide explains:

  • The principles that should underpin the creation, selection and application of a planning scheme provision.
  • How a planning scheme relates to the VPP.
  • Rules and advice about how the various components of a planning scheme operate.
  • How to select, write and apply various elements of a planning scheme.

1.2 Other useful documents

The guide should be read in conjunction with the other documents that give instruction or advice about preparing and using planning scheme provisions. Diagram 1 shows how the various documents about the VPP, planning schemes and planning scheme amendments relate to each other.

See description below.
Diagram 1: Planning system documents

Relationship diagram of documentation in the planning system.

  • Using Victoria's Planning System explains The Act.
  • The Act is linked to the VPP, which links to Planning schemes and Amendments.
  • The Ministerial Direction The Form and Content of Planning Schemes instructs the Planning schemes.
  • Planning Practice notes and the Practicitoners guide explain the Planning schemes.
  • Other Ministerial Directions under the Act instruct Planning scheme amendments.
  • Advisory Notes explain Planning scheme amendments.

Guide to Victoria’s Planning System gives information about how the planning system and various planning processes work. It includes an explanation of the planning scheme amendment process – the process by which any provision prepared using this guide will be introduced.

The Ministerial Direction The Form and Content of Planning Schemes sets out instructions about how planning schemes are constructed and provides templates for local provisions.

Planning Practice Notes give technical advice about the planning system, each dealing with separate aspects of the system.

Planning Advisory Notes give point-in-time information about a change to the planning system, particularly relating to VC Amendments.


This publication may be of assistance to you but the State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.

Page last updated: 17/04/24