The three-year funded project called Planning in the Economic Growth Zone (PEGZ) seeks to improve the planning system and ensure that development and investment can progress in a streamlined manner with greater certainty across the Latrobe Valley, Victoria (Latrobe City, Baw Baw Shire and Wellington Shire).
What has the PEGZ project done?
The project is currently one year into its three-year term. Project initiatives that have been achieved or are underway include:
- A Planning Scheme Review has commenced to ensure the Baw Baw, Latrobe and Wellington planning schemes are streamlined, more consistent and have redundant provisions removed. The project will look at permit triggers and greater use of VicSmart.
- A Priority Planning Project Pathway has been established to fast-track and provide increased certainty to the developer/investment community for major projects. This approach is being implemented by the three councils, with support from the Latrobe Valley Authority, Regional Development Victoria and 10 referral authorities.
- Checklists have been prepared and are being trialled by councils to assist applicants with application requirements for specific types of planning permit applications. This is to reduce further information requests and ensure consistency across the three councils.
- Standardised planning permit conditions and preambles have been developed for the three councils. A workshop on writing conditions and preambles occurred in May 2018.
- A Council Planning Processes and Delegation review has begun, which will review council processes within statutory planning and planning delegation.
- A review of the Economic Strategies within the planning schemes has begun. It will look specifically at economic directions and provide recommendations on how to strengthen and update economic development strategies.
- Facilitation of a planning scheme amendments for major economic investment.
- Funding has been provided to assist councils with online lodgement of planning permit applications.
- Future work includes a complete redrafting of all three planning schemes and associated strategic work, website consistency and improvements, fact sheets and a regional planner’s toolkit.
What support and assistance do PEGZ project planners provide local councils through Gippsland?
The PEGZ project planners provide significant in-house support to the three councils which has included processing a backlog of planning permit applications, writing reports, planning advice and internal process improvements. Major strategic project (Morwell-Traralgon Employment Corridor) assistance has also been provided in preparing planning scheme amendment documentation and a report on heavy industry.
Ongoing work is underway to explore cultural improvements including: building capacity and capability of planners and elected members; fostering a culture of enabling economic development; expanding investor/applicant forums; adopting a professional performance monitoring approach; developing a regional planner’s toolkit.
The project compliments work to improve business conditions in the Economic Growth Zone, including providing funding assistance to businesses that are growing and expanding in our region.
The project also supports the work of the Victorian Red Tape Commissioner, the Victorian Planning Authority and Regional Development Victoria.
For more information about the project contact DELWP Regional Planning Services, Gippsland on (03) 5172 2114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.