Vic Government refuses Port Fairy coastal development based on climate change impacts

A PROPOSED residential development on the Port Fairy coastline has been refused by the Victorian Government in order to protect Victoria's coastline and to prevent inappropriate development on land that is at risk from erosion and climate change impacts.

Planning Minister Justin Madden and Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings last week announced the refusal to grant a planning permit for residential development at East Beach, Port Fairy, 300 kilometres west of Melbourne and located within Moyne Shire Council.

The Mayor of Moyne Shire, James Purcell, said the subject land had two issues. "One is that it backs onto an area which is the Moyne River, which could be subject to flooding, and also on the other side of it is actually the ocean which could be subject to inundation," Mr Purcell said.

Mr Madden said that "Victoria's assessment of overall coastal vulnerability to coastal climate change impacts is well advanced. The development at Port Fairy was refused because the proposal was inconsistent with existing planning and coastal policies and because the site is vulnerable to coastal erosion and flooding from the sea from the nearby Moyne River."

Mr Madden said the decision to refuse the permit application for the 22 lot residential subdivision on sand dunes at East Beach is in line with independent expert advice from a joint Planning Panel and Advisory Committee (PAC) after an investigation and consideration of coastal planning policies. The Panel also recommended the land be rezoned to limit future inappropriate development and the Planning Minister has reportedly acted on that advice.

Mr Madden said the Government would work with Moyne Shire Council to plan for the future and address the long-term impacts of climate change on Port Fairy's coast.

The announcement coincided with the release of a Coastal Climate Change Advisory Committee Issues and Options Paper for public comment.  The Paper outlines options on how Victoria's land-use planning system could support the Victorian Coastal Strategy and its management of the coastal impacts of climate change.

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