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The Minister for Planning is responsible for approving planning scheme amendments and large scale developments and has the power to intervene on matters associated with planning and heritage processes.
The Minister may:
- amend a planning scheme without the usual notice requirements
- advance the processing of an amendment to a planning scheme
- take responsibility for a planning application being assessed by council
- take responsibility for a planning application that is before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
- take responsibility for recommendations for registration and permits under the Heritage Act that are being considered by the Heritage Council or VCAT.
These powers are provided for under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, the Heritage Act 2017 and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998.
The Minister and planning scheme amendments
The Minister for Planning approves all amendments to planning schemes.
Learn more about planning scheme amendments.
Planning authorities must consider all Ministerial directions when preparing a planning scheme or an amendment to a planning scheme.
View Ministerial directions.
The Minister and planning permits
The Minister for Planning is the responsible authority and planning authority for certain large scale developments and in the following areas:
- Alpine Resorts planning scheme – Mt Hotham, Falls Creek, Mt Buller, Mt Stirling, Mt Baw Baw, Lake Mountain.
- Boroondara planning scheme – Kew Residential Services
- Central Geelong where the application is for:
- use and/or development in excess of 5,000 square metres
- use and/or development of five or more storeys, excluding a basement, or
- use and/or development of 50 or more dwellings.
- French Island and Sandstone Island planning scheme – French Island, Sandstone Island and Elizabeth Island
- Greater Dandenong planning scheme – Central Dandenong
- Melbourne planning scheme where:
- the proposed development exceeds 25,000 square metres
- the proposed development and use of land is on behalf of the Minister of the Crown
- the site is the Melbourne Showgrounds or Flemington Racecourse, or
- the proposal is on other specific sites, including the Melbourne Casino.
- Port of Melbourne planning scheme
- Port Phillip planning scheme – Fishermans Bend urban renewal area, where development is located in specific areas and the application is for:
- development with a building height of 4 storeys or greater
- use and or development for 60 or more dwellings
- use and or development with a gross floor area exceeding 10,000 square metres, or
- use and or development where any part of the land is owned by a public authority and or municipal council and the estimated cost of development is more than $10,000,000.
These areas of responsibility change from time to time.
Each planning scheme also lists who is responsible for administering that scheme (issuing permits). This is usually the council, but the minister may be responsible for specific types of applications, or for particular properties. You can check clause 72.01 and the Schedule to clause 72.01 of the relevant planning scheme for this information.
Where the Minister for Planning is responsible authority for endorsing, approving or being satisfied with matters required by a condition of a permit (issued under Part 4 Division 1 of the Act) or scheme provision, the municipal council is the responsible authority for enforcement of those conditions or provisions.
The Minister for Planning is also responsible for making decisions on applications for:
- renewable energy facilities
- non-government schools
- clause 53.20: Housing by or on behalf of Homes Victoria
- clause 52.20: Victoria’s Big Housing Build
- Development Facilitation Program eligible projects
Find out how to submit an application.
View the Ministerial permit register.
The Minister for Planning has the power to 'call in' or assume responsibility for certain planning permit applications.
In certain circumstances the Minister has the power to intervene by:
- amending a planning scheme
- advancing the processing of an amendment to a planning scheme
- calling in a matter before VCAT
- calling in a permit application from a responsible authority (usually the local council).
VCAT appeal call in
The Minister has the power under Section 58 of Schedule 1 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act to call-in appeals being reviewed by VCAT where they consider that:
- the proceeding raises a major issue of policy
- the determination of the proceeding may have a substantial effect on the achievement or development of planning objectives.
The Minister has the option of appointing an advisory committee to review these appeal call ins.
Permit call in
The Minister has the power under Section 97 of the Planning and Environment Act to call in a planning permit application being considered by a responsible authority that they consider:
- raises a major issue of policy and that the determination of the application may have a substantial effect on the achievement or development of planning objectives
- the decision on the application has been unreasonably delayed to the disadvantage of the applicant
- the use or development to which the application relates is also required to be considered by the Minister under another Act or regulation and that consideration would be facilitated by the referral of the application to the Minister.
The Minister for Planning can appoint a panel to consider the objections and submissions received in respect of the application.
Planning Panels Victoria is responsible for managing the panels and committees convened to review and make recommendations about any planning permits called in by the Minister.
More information about Ministerial interventions.
Other Acts and regulations
In addition to the Planning and Environment Act and Regulations, the Minister for Planning has responsibility for other legislation specified in a General Order which is replaced or amended from time to time.
More about planning and subdivision regulations.
Page last updated: 26/09/23