What are Green Wedges?

Metropolitan Melbourne’s non-urban areas that lie outside the Urban Growth Boundary are known as Green Wedges. There are 12 designated Green Wedge areas, spanning 17 municipalities, which collectively form a ring around metropolitan Melbourne.

Land in each Green Wedge area has unique uses and appearance, ranging from the Mornington Peninsula’s coastal landscape to the open basalt plains in the west and the Yarra Valley’s vines and valleys.

These areas contain a mix of agriculture and low-density activities.  Some are home to major infrastructure that supports urban areas, such as Melbourne and Moorabbin airports and the western and eastern water treatment facilities. They also include major quarries used in the building industry, cultural heritage sites, biodiversity conservation areas and water catchments that provide clean drinking water for a growing population. All of these land uses are vital to the functioning of metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

About one third of the total Green Wedge area is public land, including national parks, other parks, reserves, and closed protected water catchments. As such, they contribute significantly to the open space network, providing tourism and recreation opportunities.

Green Wedges Map

Green Wedge Management Plans

As the land and conditions of each Green Wedge vary substantially,  in order to protect the values of these areas, councils are required to prepare Green Wedge Management Plans. The purpose of a Green Wedge Management Plan is to identify a vision, objectives and actions for the sustainable use and development of the area.

A Green Wedge Management Plan identifies values and features, the preferred future land use, and environmental and natural resources that should be protected, based on community needs. The plans also outline the type, scale and form of expected change in the green wedge, and how those changes will be managed and facilitated.

The Victorian Government has supported councils in the preparation of Green Wedge Management Plans through targeted funding, and technical advice and guidance.

A Planning Practice Note was prepared in June 2015 to guide the development of Green Wedge Management Plans:

Below is a list of Melbourne's 12 Green Wedges, and links to their Green Wedge Management Plans.

Below is a list of Melbourne's 12 Green Wedges, and links to their Green Wedge Management Plans.

The Werribee South Green Wedge is located within the City of Wyndham, with a small portion extending into the City of Hobsons Bay. Wyndham City Council has developed a Green Wedge Management Plan to plan, manage and protect this green wedge area.

map of the Werribee South Green Wedge area

The Western Plains South Green Wedge spans across areas within the City of Wyndham and the City of Melton. The preparation of a Green Wedge Management Plan has not yet started for this green wedge area.

map of the Western Plains South Green Wedge area

Western Plains South Green Wedge map (PDF, 1734.42 KB)

The Western Plains North Green Wedge is located within the City of Melton. Melton City Council has developed the Western Plains North Green Wedge Management Plan for the Western Plains North Green Wedge to guide its sustainable use and development.

map of the Western Plians North Green Wedge area

For more information visit the City of Melton website.

Western Plains North Green Wedge map (PDF, 1603.45 KB)

The Sunbury Green Wedge is located within the City of Hume, with a small portion extending into the City of Brimbank. Brimbank City Council has developed a Green Wedge Management Plan for the Brimbank portion of this green wedge, while Hume City Council has completed Phase 1 of development of the Hume portion of the green wedge area.

map of the Sunbury Green Wedge area

For more information, visit the City of Brimbank website.

The Nillumbik Green Wedge is located within the Shire of Nillumbik with small portions extending into the City of Whittlesea and the City of Manningham. Nillumbik Shire Council has developed a Green Wedge Management Plan for directing the sustainable management of this green wedge area.

map of the Nillumbik Green Wedge area

For more information visit the Shire of Nillumbik website.

The Manningham Green Wedge is located within the City of Manningham with small portions extending into the Shire of Nillumbik and the City of Maroondah. Manningham City Council has developed a Green Wedge Management Plan for guiding sustainable use and development of the Green Wedge, and lists priority actions for implementation from 2011 to 2020.

map of the Manningham Green Wedge area

For more information visit the City of Manningham website.

The Yarra Valley and Yarra and Dandenong Ranges Green Wedge includes non-urban land within the Shire of Yarra Ranges, the northern hills area of the Shire of Cardinia, and small portions within the City of Knox and the City of Maroondah.

Yarra Ranges Shire Council has developed a Green Wedge Management Plan for Green Wedge land within its municipality, which accounts for the majority of the Yarra Valley and Yarra and Dandenong Ranges Green Wedge.

The southern portion of the Yarra Valley and Yarra and Dandenong Ranges Green Wedge is known as the Northern Ranges Green Wedge and is within the Shire of Cardinia. Cardinia Shire Council has commenced preparation of a Green Wedge Management Plan for the Northern Ranges Green Wedge.

Map of the Yarra Valley and Yarra and Dandenong Ranges Green Wedge area

For more information visit the Shire of Yarra Ranges or Shire of Cardinia websites.

The Southern Ranges Green Wedge is primarily located within the Shire of Cardinia, with smaller areas extending into the Shire of Yarra Ranges, City of Casey, City of Knox, and City of Greater Dandenong.

A Green Wedge Management Plan has not yet been commenced for this area, however the portion within the Shire of Yarra Ranges is covered by the Yarra Ranges Green Wedge Management Plan.

map of the Southern Ranges green wedge area

Southern Ranges Green Wedge map (PDF, 2210.38 KB)

The Westernport Green Wedge lies largely within the Shire of Cardinia along with the southern coastal and rural parts of the City of Casey. Cardinia Shire Council has developed the Cardinia Western Port Green Wedge Management Plan. Casey City Council is currently preparing the Western Port Green Wedge Management Plan for its portion of the Westernport Green Wedge.

map of Westernport Green Wedge area

For more information visit the Shire of Cardinia or City of Casey websites.

Westernport Green Wedge map (PDF, 2010.46 KB)

The South East Green Wedge includes non-urban land within the municipalities of Kingston, Greater Dandenong, Frankston and Casey.

Kingston City Council has developed a Green Wedge Management Plan for the northern portion of the South East Green Wedge. Greater Dandenong City Council has developed the Greater Dandenong Green Wedge Management Plan for its portion of the South East Green Wedge.

In 2008, the former Department of Planning and Community Development commissioned a study by consultants, SGS Economics and Planning to prepare base information to assist with the preparation of a South East Green Wedge Management Plan. The South East Green Wedge Background Report and Issues Paper provides information about land use and economic conditions in the South East Green Wedge, summaries of existing conditions, analysis of the issues and possible management solutions.

map of the South East Green Wedge area

For more information visit the City of Kingston and City of Greater Dandenong websites.

The Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge is located within the Shire of Mornington Peninsula with a small portion extending into the City of Frankston.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has commenced preparation of a Green Wedge Management Plan and has established an interim Green Wedge Management Plan as a point of reference for other planning processes that are in progress.


Mornington Peninsula Green Wedge Map

History of Green Wedges

For more than 40 years, planning policy has sought to protect the value of what are now Green Wedge areas.

Melbourne's early planning policies sought to permanently protect the valuable natural attributes of non-urban areas by channelling urban growth into clearly defined corridors centred on transport networks.

The Planning Policies for the Melbourne Metropolitan Region (1971) were first to focus on the long-term conservation of resources within non-urban areas. The report identified the that the values of Melbourne’s non-urban land should be preserved:

“Land use, resources, terrain, vegetation and habitat vary extensively throughout the non-urban areas. It is intended that the basic attributes and resources contained within the areas shall be preserved to a maximum degree, and that environment management policies shall be specifically oriented towards this objective.”

Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, page 54 (1971).

During the 1980s, the principle of protecting non-urban areas was reaffirmed through a range of metropolitan policies, such as Shaping Melbourne's Future (1987). It was reinforced through new metropolitan planning schemes in 1989, where the regional component of all metropolitan planning schemes was amended to incorporate a policy statement for non-urban areas.

While the metropolitan strategy, Living Suburbs (1995), gave less prominence to Green Wedges, it nonetheless included objectives to protect the non-urban values of these areas. The subsequent reform of the Victorian planning system in the mid-1990s included policies and a suite of provisions for guiding effective decisions in these non-urban areas.

It was not until 2002 that the term 'Green Wedges' was formally recognised, appearing in the metropolitan strategy, Melbourne 2030: Planning for Sustainable Growth. Together with the introduction of an 'urban growth boundary' to better manage outward expansion, Green Wedges were enshrined in legislation and the Victoria Planning Provisions.