As part of the Smart Planning program’s reforms to simplify and modernise Victoria’s planning policy and rules, Smart Planning has undertaken a review of the local schedules in all Victorian planning schemes.
The aim of the review is to identify and fix obvious and technical errors, update incorrect references and names that were changed by amendments VC142 and VC148 in 2018, and highlight further opportunities for improving the operation of local provisions.
Removing these errors and inconsistencies will improve the readability and transparency of the planning scheme and make local content more compliant with the Ministerial Direction – Form and Content of Planning Schemes.
When the process is complete, more than 7,000 local schedules will have been reviewed and 90 percent updated.
The local schedule updates are the first tranche of clean-up amendments and it is expected that more significant changes will need to be undertaken in consultation with councils.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are the local schedules being reviewed and updated?
Amendments VC142 and VC148 introduced widespread changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP). Most local schedules to planning schemes now contain out-of-date references to ‘State Planning Policy Framework’ and ‘Local Planning Policy Framework’, clause numbers, clause names, land use terms, and background and incorporated documents.
Smart Planning undertook a thorough examination of all Victorian planning schemes to identify and correct errors, inconsistencies, out-of-date clause references, obsolete terminology and redundant clauses.
Making these changes will improve the effectiveness of local provisions in implementing policy objectives and reduce room for errors of interpretation and unintended outcomes.
Have councils be consulted as part of this project?
Yes. In July 2017, the Smart Planning program undertook extensive consultation to inform the program’s reform proposals. The discussion paper Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions was released for public comment and more than 250 submissions were received from a range of stakeholders.
In December 2018, Smart Planning advised all councils of the work being undertaken to update local schedules across all planning schemes. In April 2019, Smart Planning advised councils of an indicative timeline for the gazettal of the local schedule updates to their planning schemes.
The technical details of the local schedule updates were not individually discussed with councils because the changes being made are primarily administrative and are being delivered in a policy neutral manner under section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
What is the scale of changes that are being made to local schedules?
The scale of changes is minimal. The intent is to make minor corrections and highlight further work that will be required by councils to ensure local schedules are compliant with the Ministerial Direction – Form and Content of Planning Schemes.
DELWP will work with councils to identify further updates that are required, and how these can be implemented.
Will the updates make all local schedules fully compliant with the Ministerial Direction – Form and Content of Planning Schemes?
Some errors and inconsistencies within local provisions could not be updated as part of this project because the required changes were outside the scope of a s 20(4) amendment. Where it appeared that amending a schedule may result in changes to the intent or operation of the schedule, the provisions have been left as they are.
Further reviews and redrafting of schedules may be required for schedules that are no longer fit for purpose, or, in some cases, the development has been completed and the schedule can be removed from the planning scheme. This work will be undertaken in consultation with councils.
When will the local schedule updates be gazetted?
The first batch of amendments to local schedules was gazetted in May 2019.
The local schedule amendments to the remaining planning schemes are planned to be gazetted in the second half of 2021.
How does the Amendment Tracking System (ATS) help amend local schedules in alignment with the Ministerial Direction – Form and Content of Planning Schemes?
ATS contains the most up-to-date versions of local schedule ‘templates’. Using the templates to create new schedules or amend existing schedules ensures that amendments are automatically drafted in accordance with the Ministerial Direction – Form and Content of Planning Schemes. For example, a clause heading drafted in ATS will automatically apply the appropriate heading design and once an amendment is gazetted, the required date stamp is automatically inserted next to the provision.
Where a new planning scheme amendment is seeking to revise or update a local schedule, it will be expected that the local schedule is fully compliant with the Ministerial Direction – Form and Content of Planning Schemes.
Page last updated: 14/07/21