Online planning tools

Smart Planning will utilise technology to deliver truly accessible and efficient planning processes. Information will be easier to find and understand. Tasks will be quicker and easier to complete.

The planning.vic.gov.au website will provide a user-focused and easy-to-use entry-point for planning applications, information, services and engagement.

A single entry point for Victorian planning

Traditionally, planning information and services have been housed on departmental websites. However, the department responsible for planning has changed numerous times. As a consequence, online information has become fragmented. State planning information and services currently exist across as many as six websites, with no easily identifiable entry point.

Each of Victoria's 79 local governments also provide planning information and systems on their own websites.

Smart Planning will deliver a user-focused and centralised planning portal that offers a single point of entry for Victorian planning information and services.

The portal will provide access to planning policies, legislation, scheme information, guidelines and data. New and more interactive engagement opportunities will also be available.

Easy-to-understand information will help homeowners and business owners determine what can be built in their neighbourhood and how they can modify their properties.

New tools will make it quicker and easier to carry out tasks related to planning.

PDF maps will replaced with consolidated and interactive maps. Online planning applications for ministerial permits will be available for the first time, enabling efficient lodgement, management and end-to-end tracking.

Interactive planning scheme maps

The Victorian Government maintains and manages 15,000 static PDF maps that indicate zoning and overlays.

These static maps provide limited information about what land use is viable at, and surrounding, a location. Users often have to access multiple files.

Digital, interactive maps will display the zones and overlays in an easy-to-use and more accessible tool.

Online planning scheme management

Processing council planning scheme amendments still largely relies on manual input. It is a lengthy and inconsistent method, without systems in place to validate data. Additionally, state planners are inundated with non-value adding activities – such as manual formatting – in order to assess and maintain current planning schemes.

Smart Planning will bring the online planning scheme amendment process online through a planning scheme information management system (PSIMS).

PSIMS will:

  • create a centralised system to store planning scheme policies and clauses (ordinance), improving search and publishing capabilities
  • improve the format and structure of ordinance through the use of templates
  • allow members of the community and industry to comment electronically on exhibited amendments
  • allow state and local planners to electronically amend, check, approve and publish planning schemes.

Our resources will, in turn, be freed to be utilised more appropriately and efficiently.

Online Ministerial permits

The Minister for Planning is the responsible authority for certain classes of planning permits. These include developments over 25,000sqm of gross floor area in the central city and wind farm projects. The Minister is also responsible for particular planning scheme areas (such as Flemington Racecourse) and decides requirements for Environmental Effects Statements (EES) and heritage permits.

Currently, all ministerial permits, heritage permits and EESs are lodged manually by community and industry applicants. This is a time-consuming process for applicants and they cannot easily track the progress of their applications.

We are piloting an online state permit system to provide enable efficient lodgement, management and end-to-end tracking.

A single online system for all ministerial permit applications to be available in early-2018.

In the longer term, this online service will be available for all planning permit applications, through planning.vic.gov.au.