The Smart Planning Program is the Victorian Government's plan to deliver a more accessible and efficient planning system. It will make Victoria the most efficient and transparent state in the country for planning, and drive investment.

Introduced as part of the 2016-17 Victorian Budget, it will make planning processes and services more efficient, accessible, open and collaborative, through simpler rules and modern digital tools.

Smart Planning is the first review and reform of Victoria's planning system since the 1993 Perrot Review.

What Smart Planning will deliver

Smart Planning will:

  • simplify and modernise Victoria's planning rules
  • make planning information easier to find and understand
  • introduce user-focused digital tools to improve accessibility and interactivity of information and services 
  • establish more effective and accessible engagement with community, businesses, local government and industry.

Simpler and more accessible planning rules will reduce the size and complexity of planning regulation. This, in turn, will create a more efficient system.

A user-focused online portal will provide clear planning information and efficient service tools. 

A collaborative engagement process  will ensure Smart Planning delivers solutions that meet the needs and expectations of Victorians. Online and in-person engagement will provide opportunities for all stakeholders to inform the program direction and decision-making.

The Victorian Government's new online engagement tool, Engage Victoria, will provide a platform for stakeholders to give feedback, generate ideas and discuss issues. We are also establishing a high-level advisory group and various reference groups to guide progress of the program.

Further communication and consultation activities will commence in early 2017.

Why planning reform is needed

The planning system is a key tool of government policy. However,  it has become increasingly complex, inaccessible and inefficient. 

Since the Perrott Review, there have been many additions to planning provisions and local planning schemes.

They now include a massive 75,000 pages across 8500 documents, plus 15,000 PDF maps. The system has become difficult to use and understand, and less effective for implementing policy.

This has led to:

  • lengthy approval times and higher compliance costs than necessary
  • barriers to the community and business professionals understanding and participating in the planning process.

New technologies can simplify processes and services, and improve engagement. By utilising these tools to improve the current system, Smart Planning will, in turn, open up further opportunities to continue to improve planning in Victoria.

More information

For more information, view the Smart Planning FAQ page, or download on the Smart Planning fact sheets:

For enquiries, or to subscribe to the Smart Planning newsletter, email smart.planning@delwp.vic.gov.au

Stay up to date with the Smart Planning Program, and other state planning information, by subscribing to Planning Matters, our weekly planning bulletin.