VICTORIAN Planning Minister Richard Wynne last week introduced a Bill into Parliament that will allow Macedon to be declared a distinctive area and provide strengthened planning controls and protect the Macedon Ranges from inappropriate development.
Mr Wynne said the government will work with the public on the draft Macedon Ranges Localised Planning Statement to ensure it reflects the community's vision for the future of Macedon Ranges, including settlement boundaries around townships in the area.
The settlement boundaries will apply to the townships of Gisborne, Kyneton, Romsey, Riddells Creek, Lancefield and Woodend. They will be subject to the same protections of Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary – and will require parliamentary approval to amend them.
"The Macedon Ranges has a unique history spanning thousands of years and we're giving it a safe and secure future. This is an important location not just for locals, but all Victorians," Mr Wynne said.
"This landmark legislation will lock down the treasured natural landscapes that should never be encroached on – and encourage development in appropriate areas to ensure townships grow sustainably."
The State Government established the Macedon Ranges Protection Advisory Committee in 2015 to work with the community and the council on how best to protect what makes the Macedon Ranges special. The Committee made 12 recommendations and all have been accepted by the government.
According to Mr Wynne, the draft localised planning statement was prepared in partnership with the Macedon Ranges Shire Council and the Traditional Owners of the Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and the Wurundjeri peoples.
More information is available from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website at <https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/policy-and-strategy/macedon-ranges-protection>.