THE Victorian Government has announced the introduction of new rules to streamline planning approval processes for new or expanding greyhound facilities.
The new rules will govern the scale of racing dog facilities, ensure appropriate setbacks from boundaries and neighbouring dwellings, require gates that prevent the escape of racing dogs and ensure landscaping is used to preserve views from nearby properties.
If these requirements are met, small facilities will not need planning permits and medium-sized facilities will be able to avoid the advertising period.
In a statement, Planning Minister Richard Wynne described greyhound racing as an important industry in Victoria that employs almost 3,000 people and delivers more than $400 million in economic benefits to the state each year.
"These are sensible planning measures that will give local trainers and greyhound facility operators more clarity and certainty," Mr Wynne said.
"The greyhound racing industry in Victoria generates thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefits, and we will be keeping a close eye on councils to ensure this operates as it is intended.
"We're getting the balance right so new developments and upgrades don't detract from nearby neighbourhoods and communities."
To implement the new rules, the Victoria Planning Provisions and affected planning schemes will be amended to incorporate the document 'Guidelines for Racing Dog Keeping and Training Facilities' and the table of uses of the six rural zones (RLZ, GWAZ, GWZ, RCZ, FZ and RAZ) will be updated.
The new provisions follow an extensive consultation process with local community groups, industry experts and local governments. Mr Wynne said the government will closely monitor local councils to ensure the new provisions are being properly applied.
More information is available from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website at <https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/policy-and-strategy/planning-reform/new-planning-guidelines-for-greyhound-facilities-across-victoria>.