The Victorian Government is committed to protecting the long term future of agricultural land in Melbourne’s green wedge and peri-urban areas. Some of Victoria’s most productive agricultural land is within 100 km of central Melbourne. In 2015-16, the region grew 10 per cent of Victoria’s agricultural produce, including 59 per cent of vegetables.
Melbourne’s green wedge and peri-urban areas support Melbourne through food production, biodiversity, recreation, open space, natural resources, heritage and landscape conservation, and critical infrastructure provision.
Protecting the significant features and assets found in these areas is important for ongoing environmental, economic, cultural and health and wellbeing outcomes.
Proximity to Melbourne, the rapid pace of growth and change, and the range of other land uses competing for space, make these areas some of the most contested in the state
Beautiful and scenic rural landscapes near Melbourne are an attractive location for urban development and rural living. These urban uses compete with agriculture, resulting in the permanent loss of agricultural land and associated businesses.
Robust planning controls are needed to maintain the benefits provided by green wedge and peri-urban areas and manage land use to support long term agricultural use that serves the needs of Melbourne’s growing population.
Planning Projects Team
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
In 2019 we engaged with farmers, community members, industry, local government and stakeholders to test criteria for protecting agricultural land around Melbourne. You can read the consultation findings report here: PDF (PDF, 1.3 MB) or Word (DOCX, 3.0 MB).
We have considered your feedback and have developed planning options to deliver lasting protection of agricultural land and guide decision-making in our green wedges.
These options are outlined in a consultation paper, which will be available to download on Engage Victoria when the public engagement launches.
We want to make sure everyone’s got a chance to tell us what they think during this challenging time, so we’ve adjusted our consultation programme.
For the first ten weeks of consultation we’ll be talking with State Government agencies, councils and key industry stakeholders. On Wednesday 12 August 2020, we’ll be opening up consultation to the public and stakeholder organisations for another ten weeks.
We’re looking at options for online forums and other ways to replace face to face consultation – stay informed at Engage Victoria.
You’ll be able to read the proposed planning system changes and have your say at Engage Victoria from Wednesday 12 August 2020. The same documents, information and submission forms will be available during both stages of the consultation. We won’t be making any changes in between the stages.
This project responds to a key Victorian Government election commitment to permanently protect the green wedges against overdevelopment through tightened statutory planning controls. The commitment calls for clearly defined permitted land uses, determining the appropriate size and scale of uses within the non-urban setting, and permanent planning controls and legislation to protect and support strategic agricultural land.
The project also delivers on key Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 actions, including:
- Action 17 (Supporting Strategic Planning for Agriculture), which recognises the importance of supporting sustainable agricultural land and protecting the right to farm in key locations in Melbourne’s green wedges and peri-urban areas.
- Action 72 (Review Green Wedge Planning Provisions), which aims to ensure the green wedge planning provisions support Plan Melbourne outcomes for green wedges.
And contributes to delivery of:
- Action 73 (Green Wedge Management Plans) which seeks to support local governments in preparing and implementing Green Wedge Management Plans in order to protect the important values of Melbourne’s green wedges.
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Have your say
Further consultation on how to improve planning for Melbourne's green wedges and agricultural land is planned for mid-late 2020.
Targeted Stakeholder Consultation
Targeted stakeholder consultation commenced in June 2020, for a period of ten weeks.
Public consultation will open in August 2020, for a period of ten weeks.
Submissions opens on
9.00am - Wednesday 12 August 2020
Submissions close on
5.00pm - Wednesday 21 October 2020
Previous consultation findings
The first step to protect food production in the green wedge and peri-urban areas was to understand the potential of the land. Technical research informed the development of draft criteria to protect agricultural land, which were available for community consideration and comment from 12 March 2019 to 17 May 2019. An independent consultation findings report was released in September 2019.
- Protecting and Supporting Melbourne's Strategic Agricultural Land Consultation Findings Report (PDF, 1.3 MB) or (DOCX, 3.0 MB)
These technical studies informed the previous stage of the project and engagement on protecting Melbourne’s agricultural land.