VICTORIAN Planning Minister Matthew Guy last week provided an update on the establishment of Localised Planning Statements for the Yarra Valley and Macedon Ranges and the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas, with the Statements expected to be finalised by December this year.
The establishment of Localised Planning Statements was part of the Coalition's 'Plan for Planning' released during the 2010 election and aims to ensure the areas' significant and unique geographic and physical features are preserved and enhanced.
Mr Guy said the key areas of the Mornington Peninsula, the Yarra Valley, Macedon Ranges and the Bellarine Peninsula are distinctive in their own right and contribute to the quality of life for all Melburnians and Victorians.
"The Yarra Valley alone plays a key role as a tourist destination, leading wine region and enjoys a reputation as a provider of sustainable and high-quality produce," Mr Guy said.
"On Melbourne's doorstep, the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas boast strong economies based on their coastal resort towns, tourist development and rural lifestyle.
"Further inland the Macedon Ranges Shire is characterised by its unique landscapes which attract thousands of visitors each year as well as world class agribusiness exporting a range of local produce from bees to beef and grapes to grains.
"We have to acknowledge their distinctiveness and treat them differently when it comes to their proximity to, and relationship with, metropolitan Melbourne and neighbouring regions," the Minister said.
According to Mr Guy, the new Localised Planning Statements will contain strategies to ensure that the locations are preserved and enhanced for use by present and future generations as unique local areas.
Each council will receive funding of $25,000 to assist in the formal community engagement and consultation process.
It is expected that the upcoming Metropolitan Planning Strategy and Regional Growth Plans will help determine the final Localised Planning Statements to ensure continuity and consistency in Victoria's approach to strategic planning.