State Projects and Local Government projects – New Planning Scheme Provisions 

VC194 introduced new provisions for State projects, and Local Government projects with a cost under $10 million. The amendment was approved on 25 March 2021 to assist with social and economic recovery after Covid and to provide timely delivery of state and local government infrastructure projects.  

The new clauses provide a new assessment pathway for State and local government infrastructure projects, providing exemptions from planning scheme requirements for State projects and from some permit and notice and review requirements for local projects, subject to meeting specific criteria.   

Clause 52.30State Projects applies to projects decided by the Planning Minister to be a State project (subject to criteria set out in Clause 52.30-2) to be exempt from planning scheme requirements. These eligibility criteria must consider the objectives of planning in Victorian and take into account any significant impacts, including social and economic impacts. The Minister’s ability to make these decisions expire in 2025.   

These exemptions do not apply to:  

  • subdivision in green wedge land,   
  • where an environment effects statement has been or is required to be prepared, use or development carried out by/on behalf of the Director of Housing,   
  • where Clause 53.02 applies (Bushfire Planning)  
  • a requirement in Clauses 45.07 (City Link Project Overlay) 45.07 (Upper Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges Regional Strategy Plan) And 51.03 (Melbourne Airport Environs Overlay).   

Also, native vegetation offsets apply, including native vegetation removal information requirements.  

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has prepared an online assessment guide for State projects for information requirements and assessment criteria for DELWP.   

Clause 52.31 Local Government Projects relates to projects undertaken by or on behalf of a Municipal Council, where the estimated cost is less than $10m. This clause gives exemptions to requirements of a zone, or schedule to a zone, to obtain a planning permit to construct a building or construct or carry out works, except for works in:  

  • an Urban Floodway Zone,   
  • development associated with accommodation, earth and energy resources industry, energy generation, industry or warehouse,    
  • where an environment effects statement has been or is required to be prepared.   
  • works in a Floodway zone, Land Subject to Inundation Overlay and Special Building Overlay where the relevant floodplain management authority is satisfied.  

Pursuant to Clause 52.31-2, buildings and works carried out by or on behalf of a municipal Council are exempt from notice and appeal requirements, but not where:  

  • the cost of development is greater than $10m,   
  • development associated with accommodation, earth and energy resources industry, energy generation facility, industry or warehouse, and   
  • certain vegetation removal/lopping applications.  

The provisions do not prevent State government or local governments carrying out public consultation before carrying out a project (which is otherwise exempt from notice and appeal), but do not require public consultation or public input under Clause 52.31, except in the specific non-exempt items noted here.  

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