Young lady looks at the planning portal on her laptop.

Modern technology can enhance the accessibility and efficiency of planning processes.

Smart Planning will utilise digital tools to ensure information is easier to find and understand, and tasks can be completed quicker and easier.

A single entry point for Victorian planning

Until now, the online location of planning information and services has reflected government structures rather than user needs. It has been fragmented across various domains, with no easily identifiable entry point.

In December 2016, we launched the planning.vic.gov.au website, which is bringing together planning information in one place. It will also be home to the Victorian Planning Portal – a single point of entry for online tools and policy information across the state.

These tools include the planning scheme information management system (PSIMS), online permits and interactive planning scheme maps.

VicPlan - Zones & Overlays viewer

The Victorian Government maintains and manages 15,000 static PDF maps that indicate planning scheme zones and overlays across the state. These maps are difficult to use and require users to access multiple maps to get information.

VicPlan is a state-wide planning scheme maps tool that makes it quicker and easier to access zone and overlay information for any site across the state.

Find out more about VicPlan

Online planning scheme management (PSIMS)

The Planning Scheme Information Management System (PSIMS), is an online system to hold the state’s planning schemes.

Currently, processing planning scheme amendments still largely relies on manual input. It is a lengthy and inconsistent method. Manual formatting and updating are non-value adding activities for planners, allowing them to focus on strategic and policy issues.

PSIMS will:

  • create a centralised system to store planning scheme policies and clauses, improving search and publishing capabilities
  • improve the format and structure of planning schemes 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.

Planning schemes will become more consistent with state frameworks and across municipalities. They will be easier to understand and interpret.

PSIMS will also lay the groundwork for further new features and capabilities that are currently not possible.

Find out more about the preparation for PSIMS

Online ministerial permits

The Smart Planning program is implementing an online state permit system for lodgement, management and end-to-end tracking of ministerial permit applications.

The Minister for Planning is the responsible authority for certain classes of planning permits, 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.

An online system for all ministerial permit applications will be available in mid-2018.

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