In Planning

Victoria Minister for Planning Matthew Guy

Industry Advice To Reform Victoria’s Planning System

Victor P Taffa

Planning Minister Matthew Guy today established an expert advisory group to help overhaul the planning system in Victoria.

The new advisory group is part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s planning reform agenda aimed at restoring confidence and certainty in the planning system.

“The planning system has not been overhauled since 1993, meaning it has developed in an uncoordinated, unplanned and confusing manner. Victorian communities deserve better.” Mr. Guy said.

“I have appointed Geoff Underwood to head the independent advisory group formed by planning experts to advise me on aspects of the Victorian planning system and legislation that can be improved.”


Mr. Underwood is a planning consultant with 40 years of experience in Victorian state Governments. He has worked with industry groups and been on numerous national committees and inquiries.

“The Victorian planning system needs to be more transparent in its decision making, contain simpler planning processes, clearer rules and certainty in outcomes.” Mr. Guy said.

“More than 55,000 development applications are considered in Victoria each year, representing over $17 Billion of investment. Victorians want to have confidence in a planning system to effectively manage this ongoing growth and change.”

The advisory group will be an ongoing part of other initiatives already underway to reform the planning system including introducing code assessment, improving the development contributions system, reviewing the Urban Growth Boundary, and establishing an Urban Renewal Authority.

“The advisory group will give an industry perspective on the legislative base and structure of planning schemes (including the structure of state and local policy provisions), and the regulations under The Planning and Environment Act 1987.” Mr. Guy said.

“The advisory group will be seeking submissions from all interested people and groups on issues they have with planning controls and how they think they can be improved.”

Other advisory group members include Catherine Heggen, a consultant town planner; David Keenan, the CEO of Mitchell Shire Council; Terry Montebello, a planning law expert; Jane Nathan, a former councillor, Mayor and commissioner at municipal level; and Leigh Phillips, an experienced planner who has served in various state departments.

The advisory group has been asked to make an initial report to the Minister by 30 November 2011.


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