Smart Planning Online

Another arm of the State Government’s Smart Planning program is Smarter Online Resources. In December 2016 the website was launched, its aim: to bring together all planning information into one location. The site will also be home to the Victorian Planning Portal – a single point of entry for online tools and policy information across the state. Recent and future components of the Victorian Planning Portal are:

VicPlan – Zones & Overlays viewer – VicPlan allows the user to access a site or area and be given direct links to the applicable planning rules, similar to the way Planning Maps Online works but with a quicker interface and links. VicPlan provides a simplified format compared to the current resource Planning Maps Online, but expects to enable users to view planning map histories from around mid-2018). Both VicPlan and Planning Maps Online can be found at VicPlan appears to have been developed for “home- and business-owners, or those looking to buy a property, who want to know what uses are allowed at a location.”

Online planning scheme management (PSIMS) – The PSIMS is an online system to hold the state’s planning schemes, and will:

  • create a centralised system to store planning scheme policies and clauses, improving search and publishing capabilities
  • improve the format and structure of planning schemes through the use of templates
  • allow members of the community and industry to comment electronically on exhibited amendments
  • allow state and local planners to electronically amend, check, approve and publish planning schemes.

Currently much of this work is done manually. The development of the PSIMS system will increase efficiency and consistency across the state, and be particularly useful for practitioners working across multiple Councils.

Online ministerial permits – The Smart Planning program is implementing an online state permit system for lodgement, management and end-to-end tracking of ministerial permit applications, to be available in mid-2018. In the longer term, this online service will be available for all planning permit applications, through Currently, some Councils provide systems for lodging planning permits and plans to Council online. The ability to manage this process online across all municipalities will save time and resources in paper, printing and postage, distribution and viewing. It will make it easier for people to become involved in the planning process online.

We will continue to keep readers up to date with developments in the State Government’s Smart Planning program as it progresses, through the BDAV News.

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