Planning for Melbourne’s Green Wedges and Agricultural Land

By on April 23, 2021

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of the CMPA.

Purpose

The green wedge and peri-urban areas (the study area) surrounding Melbourne provide a range of different and important services, capabilities and values that have regional and state significance (https://engage.vic.gov.au/gwal/).
This area, the subject of this consultation paper, is within a 100km radius from central Melbourne. It comprises 12 green wedge areas across 17 municipalities as well as a broader
peri-urban area that crosses 16 additional municipalities.

The paper provides background information and rationale for DELWP’s proposed planning options to protect these areas.

CMPA Submissions

General comments

It is pleasing to note that:

  • Extractive resources, extractive industries, and quarries are mentioned in the Consultation Report albeit in the context of planning challenges posed in Melbourne’s green wedge and peri-urban areas;
  • A number of documents pertaining to the extractive industry such as Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources 2018, Helping Victoria grow – extractive resource strategy Melbourne are referenced;
  • A series of actions have been undertaken to establish and protect green wedges that includes allowing industries such as sand and stone extraction to operate close to major markets.
  • Regional growth plans (Central Highlands, Loddon Mallee South, Hume and Gippsland) highlight the need to protect and enhance state significant assets in their peri-urban areas relating to extractive resources.
  • Desired planning outcome for green wedges and peri-urban areas: protect sand and stone resources for future extraction to ensure a continuous supply of construction material

The Consultation Report fails to mention that for extractive industries:

  • Quarrying is a temporary land use;
  • A quarry site may be rehabilitated back to agricultural land in some cases;
  • Agriculture is a compatible land use; and
  • The “Summary of proposed options (Appendix 1)” does not include sand and stone extraction.

Summary and recommendations

That extractive industry operations and buffers continue to be included as a permissible use of strategic agricultural land.

That extractive industry operations be recognised in the planning system as a compatible land use with strategic agricultural land.

That applications for new work authorities/work plan variations continue to be included as a permissible use of strategic agricultural land.

That Extractive Industry Interest Areas are recognised within strategic agricultural land.

That strategic extractive resource areas are recognised within strategic agricultural land.

Note: The full CMPA submission is available at;

https://cmpavic.asn.au/publications/submissions/.

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