To prepare for the introduction of the Planning Scheme Information Management System (PSIMS), the Minister for Planning has introduced:

  • a new Ministerial Direction on the form and content of planning schemes (the Direction)
  • Amendment VC133 to all planning schemes to facilitate their migration into PSIMS later this year.

Using the new Direction

The generic local provisions templates have been updated to reflect the new Direction.

To use the new templates, go to local provision templates.

The local provisions in Microsoft Word for each municipality reflect the superseded Direction. These should only be used to copy and paste content into the new templates when preparing an amendment.

PSIMS is part of the Victorian Government's Smart Planning Program to make the Victorian planning system more effective and accessible.

Processing council planning scheme amendments still largely relies on manual input and formatting, using MS Word to draft planning provisions and maintain planning schemes. It is a lengthy and inconsistent method, without systems in place to validate or control data.

PSIMS will:

  • bring the planning scheme amendment process online in an information management system
  • create a centralised system to store planning scheme policies and clauses (ordinance), improving search and publishing capabilities
  • improve ordinance format and structure through the use of templates that have the Ministerial Direction requirements built in
  • 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.

The Direction sets the style and format of planning scheme ordinance.

It also lists Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) clauses that must form part of every planning scheme and specifies how clauses are to be numbered and which may have a local schedule.

The new Direction will improve the format and operation of planning schemes and provide additional guidance for drafting amendments. It includes:

  • changes introduced by Amendment VC133
  • a table detailing which clauses in the VPP can include a schedule
  • requirements for drafting provisions in planning schemes, including numeric terminology and minimum requirements for images such as maps
  • new format and text styles
  • additional guidance on the drafting of schedules
  • amended title information, removal of incorrect references, clause numbers and changes that ensure requirements in schedules are derived from the ‘head’ VPP clause
  • guidance on the format and content for clause 21, Municipal Strategic Statement and clause 22, Local Policies.

Amendment VC133 makes administrative changes and technical corrections to the VPP and all planning schemes to ensure consistency, so that they can be successfully migrated into PSIMS.

The Amendment:

  • corrects numbering and naming of provisions
  • corrects formatting and references
  • simplifies provisions
  • facilitates consistency between strategy plans defined in the Act and planning schemes.

These changes are administrative and technical corrections. The Amendment does not change the operation of policy or the effect of provisions in planning schemes.