Parliament approves plan to expand Melbourne's growth boundary

MELBOURNE'S Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) has been enlarged by 43,600 hectares after the Victorian Parliament today passed Amendment VC68 to expand Melbourne's UGB.

The expanded UGB will provide 24,500 hectares of developable land with the potential to provide 134,000 new dwellings on Melbourne's fringe.

The government said the amendment will also protect 15,000 hectares of native grasslands in Melbourne's west and 6,000 hectares of land would be zoned for rural conservation purposes.

Planning Minister Justin Madden said the planning scheme amendment to expand the UGB would redefine the city's limits and was fundamental to maintaining housing affordability.

"This is a significant moment in Victoria's planning history and will be the last significant shift of the boundary our generation will see," Mr Madden said.

"Expanding the boundary is a major component of the Brumby Labor Government's long term plan to manage Melbourne's growth, keep house prices affordable and ensure our city remains one of the world's most welcoming and liveable cities."

Mr Madden said the next stage in providing more housing in the growth areas would be consultation on the Growth Area Framework and the preparation of Precinct Structure Plans (PSP) for Melbourne's newest suburbs.

Mr Madden said infrastructure in growth areas, particularly public transport, would benefit from a dedicated funding source in the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC).

Several Council planning schemes will be amended to incorporate the amendment, including Casey, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Hume, Melton and Mitchell Shire Councils.

The amendment also plans the alignments of the Regional Rail Link (west of Werribee to Deer Park) and the Outer Metropolitan Ring / E6 Transport Corridor.

Planning scheme amendment VC67 was 'split' to create VC68. Amendment VC68 does not include the changes to Clause 12 of the Victoria Planning Provisions which were intended to translate the policy elements of Melbourne @ 5 million into planning schemes. These changes were contained in Amendment VC67 which was approved by the Planning Minister last month but not pursued in Parliament due to political opposition. A separate planning scheme amendment will be prepared to implement the Melbourne @ 5 million policies.

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