VICTORIAN Planning Minister Matthew Guy last week released the report of the Ports and Environs Advisory Committee and announced new planning controls for the state's ports.
In a move that My Guy said will further protect ports and surrounding environs to ensure their ongoing productivity, the Minister outlined new planning controls for the ports of Melbourne, Hastings, Geelong and Portland.
Mr Guy accepted a key recommendation of the Advisory Committee to implement a Port Zone that aims to emphasise the strategic and economic importance of each of Victoria's trading ports.
A new Ministerial Direction will also be introduced to prevent the encroachment of sensitive land uses (such as dwellings and hospitals) near the ports.
According to the government, the new planning controls will better protect both the operation and the expansion of the ports while protecting the amenity of residents and workers in areas proximate to the ports.
Ports Minister Denis Napthine said the implementation of port zones was vital for the future prosperity of the Victorian economy.
Dr Napthine said the government has already announced the $1.2 billion expansion of the Port of Melbourne and moved to fast-track the development of Hastings as a second international container port.
"These new planning protections are another key element in our plan to secure the growth of the Victorian economy and support our freight and logistics industry," Dr Napthine said.
Mr Guy said the Department of Planning and Community Development will work with Port of Melbourne Corporation to develop further planning measures to account for the recently announced expansion of Webb Dock, which was not considered as part of the Advisory Committee's scope.
The Ports and Environs Advisory Committee was appointed by the former Labor Government in 2009 and submitted its report to the Minister for Planning in 2010.
The Ports and Environs Advisory Committee Report and Ministerial Direction 14 are available from the Department of Planning and Community Development website at <http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/>.