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A new era in Victorian Planning_____

Murrindindi Planning Policy Framework (PPF) Gazetted - Tract

A new era in Victorian Planning

The first fully integrated Planning Policy Framework (PPF) has been gazetted!

Murrindindi is the first municipality in Victoria to have a fully integrated PPF, after Planning Minister Richard Wynne approved Amendment C65 to the Murrindindi Planning Scheme today. All Victorian Councils will ultimately adopt the new PPF format as part of DELWP’s Smart Planning program.

The PPF was introduced to improve the operation of planning policy in Victorian planning schemes. By placing policy under the same thematic headings, the PPF creates a direct line of sight between state, regional and local policy. This results in better alignment, less duplication, and a strengthening of policy.

Most importantly for those troubled by lengthy planning schemes, the new format and accompanying redrafting result in a much more succinct policy expression. On average, Tract have found that translating local planning policy into the new format reduces length by about 57%, while maintaining policy intent and retaining valued local content.

In the case of Murrindindi, the reduction has been of almost 8000 words, or 60%, with a new Municipal Planning Strategy (replacing the Municipal Strategic Statement) and 8 local policies. Policy content has also moved to more logical locations in planning controls, such as heritage application requirements being moved to Clause 43.01 (Heritage Overlay) and gaming location criteria being moved to Clause 52.28 (Gaming).

But the new format is not just about length. The translation process is a holistic review that involves a more consistent structure, rewriting content using the drafting rules established in the new Victoria’s Planning Scheme Practitioners Guide and deleting strategies that the planning system cannot achieve.

Ultimately, this will lead to less repetition, more effective policy, and faster planning process.
Murrindindi’s new PPF flows from Amendment VC148, which in July 2018 introduced the structure and framework of the PPF. VC148 replaced the State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) by integrating state and regional policy thematically and made way for Local Planning Policy Frameworks (LPPF) to be incorporated into the PPF at a later stage. Today, Murrindindi was the first Council to achieve this milestone, and other Councils are soon to follow.

Tract are the planning consultant assisting DELWP on the translation, working across the State with 25 Councils to date. The PPF is a key initiative of the Smart Planning program which is changing the way planning schemes are drafted, navigated and understood. Smart Planning has prepared the system for future digitisation which will bring about benefits in transparency, accessibility and efficiency. Other major Smart Planning reforms to date are the Amendment Tracking System, VicSmart expansion, Planning Resource Library, VC142 (quick fixes including removal of redundant provisions and permit requirements) and VC148 (a new VPP structure, reducing car parking requirements, and removing permit requirements).

To translate all Victorian planning schemes, a PPF working group has been established to ensure a consistent and rigorous approach.

While most of the translations are generally policy neutral and approved through a fast track process, some Councils are taking the opportunity to incorporate new content. These schemes will be exhibited through a normal amendment process including an opportunity for public submissions and potentially a planning panel. Swan Hill and Moonee Valley have both recently gone through this process.

The amendment and freshly gazetted Murrindindi PPF can be viewed here.

If you would like more information about these changes, please contact your existing Tract contact or reception on 03 9429 6133.
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