A new consistent planning zone for Victoria’s major ports has been approved, in a move that will secure the future growth of the freight sector and its contribution to the State’s economy.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the zone and streamlined planning controls will create an effective buffer between port operations and uses in adjoining areas, and provide certainty for port operators, local councils and the community.
“Our ports are handling increasing freight volumes and have great opportunities to grow operations, and we need to balance the importance of protecting port operations with managing their potential impact on surrounding areas,” Mr Guy said.
Minister for Ports, David Hodgett, emphasised the need to plan for port infrastructure.
“The freight and logistics sector generates around $23 billion and thousands of jobs for the Victorian economy each year. Every business in Victoria either directly or indirectly relies on a competitive and efficient commercial port network to import and export goods, so we need to ensure they are given the flexibility to operate effectively,” Mr Hodgett said.
The new port zone will provide consistent planning controls for the state’s four commercial trading ports in Melbourne, Geelong, Hastings and Portland.
Port managers will no longer have to apply for a planning permit for buildings and structures associated with the port, such as wharves and warehouses, provided they comply with provisions of the relevant planning scheme. Sensitive uses such as accommodation, including caretakers’ houses, will not be permitted on port land.
The port zone, which will be introduced through planning scheme amendments across the four ports, supports key projects such as the Webb Dock redevelopment at the Port of Melbourne and plans to develop Port of Hastings as an international container port.
The port zone and port environs planning controls were informed by advice and recommendations from the Ports and Environs Advisory Committee and discussions with the relevant councils, port managers and government agencies.
Press Release, November 12, 2013