All Green Wedges

Green Wedges to be protected and refreshed in latest Metropolitan Planning Strategy

Green Wedge Coalition

The good news in Minister Wynne’s new Plan Melbourne Refresh is that Melbourne’s Green Wedges are safe, behind the locked-down Urban Growth Boundary that was an election pledge of the Andrews Government.

More good news is that the new plan builds on and provides much-needed detail to former Minister Guy’s original 2014 Plan Melbourne, which also committed to a permanent Urban Growth Boundary.

Let’s hope this heralds more collaborative planning and ends the practice by new governments of throwing out old, often sound policies and bringing in more development-oriented ones. Effective planning requires consistency, commitment and long-term vision.

We still need the Government to review and tighten controls on inappropriate develop-ments allowed in by the last Government’s deregulation of green wedge zones, especially the Rural Conservation Zone. Minister Wynne told us he would review the Green Wedge and Rural zones after he had reviewed the residential zones. We hope this will now be soon.

In the meantime we are battling applications like:

  • A “cleanfill” application at Oaklands Junction, where a developer wants to cover good farmland and environmentally significant grassland with up 600,000 tonnes of perfectly good soil generated by wasteful development practices;
  • Various communities applying  to set up large urban-style  residential and community developments: (a 3000-seat centre in Carrum Downs, a church in Lyndhurst with 23 metre towers and footprint twice the size of St Paul’s Cathedral,  a mosque in Narre Warren North; a brewery, a private school carpark  and restaurants with double the maximum number of patrons on  Mornington Peninsula.

Our members are also striving to save endangered species and significant landscapes on former green wedge land rezoned by former Labor and Liberal governments  in 2010 and 2012, for instance the Jacksons Creek Valley near Emu Bottom in Sunbury, Growling Grass Frogs in Merri Creek and Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat in  South East Growth corridor. 

Please attribute these comments to Kahn Franke, president of the Green Wedge Protection Group  and the Green Wedges Coalition, 0456 701 663, Rosemary West,  Green Wedges Coordinator;   0418 554 799,   or Alan Thatcher, GWC secretary, 0417 387 678;   To contact  delegates from other Green Wedges, see attached constituent membership list. 


  1. Sunbury Residents Association is battling to protect the Jacksons Creek Valley

 from encroaching suburban development around Victoria’s oldest homestead, Emu Bottom;  Contact Trevor Dance,  for more information see: sunbury?recruiter=149425465&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

2.The need to protect the Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ):

We have particular concern about the undermining of the Rural Conservation Zone,

which covers much of the Green Wedges as well as rural land around the water catchments, high fire risk areas and most privately-owned environmentally significant land.  

As part of their deregulation of the planning scheme to promote an anything goes approach, the previous government  removed the “in conjunction”  requirement and minimum lot sizes from the RCZ for tourist and other uses and allowed schools, trash and treasure markets and ‘innominate uses’ (ie uses not named in the planning scheme) to be approved by Council permits, where previously they were prohibited.  We are disturbed that this is likely to mean:

  • diminished concern for environmental conservation ( a primary purpose for Green Wedges);
  • diminished protection for our drinking water catchments and conservation areas in the new urban growth areas and in the rural areas;
  • diminished concern for increasing fire risk and the need for rural buffers;
  • diminished concern for  the substantial amount of agriculture in the RCZ in, for example, Nillumbik & Manningham Green Wedges, as well as Frankston and Casey

The Rural Conservation Zone as it stands is apparently to be opened up to all manner of urban development,   allowing restaurants, residential hotels, group accommodation, rural store and motels on lots of any size outside the Green Wedges, without requiring any associated farming, wineries or other green wedge uses.  We have pointed out the need to balance tourist facilities with conservation of the environmental assets that attract tourists to these areas. Why would tourists want to go bush for the weekend or to a restaurant in the country for Sunday lunch or to pick up their native plants if there is a quarry or crematorium next door not to mention mining service stations and trash & treasure markets?  There is a lot of grazing and other farming in the RCZ, and as we know, farmers see this kind of urban development as a blight that impacts on their work practices and hours and will terrify the livestock as much as the tourists. 

Unacceptable new development uses arising from RCZ change from prohibited to ‘permit required’ for innominate uses: 

Cemetery, Crematorium; Cartage contractor’s depot; Saleyard; Veterinary Clinic

Display home (prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57)

Freeway Service Centre/ Service Station (both prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57.)

Funeral Parlour (prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57)

Hospital (prohibited in Green Wedges under Cl 57)

Research Centre (no conditions, except in Cl 57; cf GWZ & GWAZ require min. lot size)

Many other uses previously not allowed in the zone.


Uses where “in conjunction” ruling has been removed in RCZ (except in Green Wedges by Clause 57):

Restaurants; Residential hotels; Group accommodation


Uses changed from prohibited to permit required

Primary & secondary school

Trash and Treasure Market

Animal boarding. 


Plan Melbourne refresh - submissions analysis May 2016

Green Wedge Coalition

Plan Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy Submissions Analysis - May 2016

This following documentation is a direct extraction of content from the State Government’s recently released Plan Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy Submissions Analysis May 2016 relevant to the issues of the Green Wedge Coalition as detailed in our submission to Plan Melbourne refresh process made in December last year.

This report was independently prepared for the State Government by Capire Consulting.


Plan Melbourne refresh - submissions analysis May 2016

Alan Thatcher
Green Wedges: 

Plan Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy Submissions Analysis May 2016

This report was independently prepared for the State Government by Capire Consulting.

This summary does not provide the state government’s response to the main messages but aims only to overview what organisations and individuals said.

Green Wedges proposed planning scheme amendments - May update

Alan Thatcher
Green Wedges: 

Attached is the May update for proposed planning scheme amendments in the Green Wedge municipalities.

Those proposed amendments that relate directly to the Green Wedge zones are shaded in light blue.

Please note C100 for the Frankston City Planning Scheme is for a review of the planning scheme and offers the opportunity for GWC members to have their say about the future direction for land use and development in the municipality.

Green Wedges proposed planning scheme amendments

Alan Thatcher
Green Wedges: 

Proposed planning scheme amendments


The purpose of this listing of proposed planning scheme amendments (attached as a pdf file) is to alert your groups to any proposed land use changes in your municipal planning scheme that may be of concern to your organisation for the future of the Green Wedges.. And assist in pointing your organisation to the appropriate sources of information and most importantly timelines. Please forward this information to any groups as you think appropriate.


Future directions - GWC website update March 2016

Alan Thatcher
Green Wedges: 

Louis Delacretaz has done an excellent job redesigning the  new look Green Wedge Coalition website. 

I have attached my first 'Future directions website update. This is the same document that was circulated to you earlier by Rosemary West in a request for information on activities from member groups.

The purpose of this document is three fold, to identify:

1. Overall priority issues

Plan Melbourne Discussion Paper (2015)

Green Wedge Coalition

The future of the Green Wedges is vital to the quality of life andthe reputation of Melbourne asone of the world’s most liveable cities.

Yet the Green Wedges are in danger of disappearing from both the ongoing encroachment ofurban development and more insidiously a gradual increase in built development under uses permissible under existing nonurban zoning. These could lead to ‘death by a thousand cuts’.

Saturday, 12 September, 2015


At our recent electoral forum on planning policies for Green Wedges, the ALP and Greens Planning Spokespersons Brian Tee and Greg Barber both provided strong commitments to protect Melbourne’s Green Wedges by opposing any further expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary(UGB).  The Planning Minister Matthew Guy has matched that commitment, though he declined our invitation to address our forum (which we combined with the AGM), after initially agreeing to attend. 

This marks a big improvement on the 2010 election, when Green Wedge supporters were reeling from the rezoning of 43,000 ha of Green Wedge land for urban growth in 2010 and bracing ourselves for a new round of rezonings in the Coalition Government’s election policy  This led to another 6000 ha of excisions from the Green Wedges, including some owned by Liberal Party donors and to a review of the rural zones which allowed a number of urban uses including schools and hotels into the Green Wedges. We support the protection of agriculture but making agriculture as-of-right and undermining the Native Vegetation controls will mean more clearing of which we won’t even be notified. Mr Tee says a Labor Government would again review the zones with a view to tightening controls on urban uses in the Green Wedges. 

We are now back to bipartisan support for Green Wedges, for the first time since 2008. An important milestone:  we hope the losses of the past five years have been stemmed.

The Green Wedges are however, still under threat, though we have been quieter than in the turbulent days of the "logical inclusions", "anomalies" and the rural zones review.  The threats this year are not as direct as they were before the 2010 election, but still there.

The main threat now is uncertainty.  Plan Melbourne provides for a permanent urban boundary, but the Metropolitan Planning Authority is responsible for implementation, with input from Councils. Minister Guy says this does not herald a new round of rezoning bids and we certainly hope he is right.


Apart from this, the main threats to the Green Wedges now consist of:

* A weakened Rural Conservation Zone as a result of the Rural Zones Review 

*  Decisions by Kingston Council to rezone or pave the way for subdivision of their Green Wedge land that could inspire developers and their friends in other Councils to do the same, unless the Minister promptly and firmly says no.  He has said he would fix these issues but has not done so. (see Defenders of the S-E Green Wedge bulletin (below)).


These comments may be attributed to Rosemary West, joint coordinator of the Green Wedges Coalition, 0418 554 799; For comment,  call Kahn Franke, President, GWC (Nillumbik) 0456 701 663 or for Kingston issues, Barry Ross, secretary, Defenders of the South East Green Wedge,9598 6266.


Matthew Guy is proposing planning changes that would “urbanise” ​​our precious green wedges by allowing schools, medical centres, service stations, hotels, shops and other suburban facilities to be built anywhere across the countryside.


He is also proposing new residential zones will allow shops, offices, medical centres and churches to be established without a planning permit in many residential streets. The new commercial zones setup a retailing and commercial free-for-all. Much of Melbourne will have little protection against piecemeal development. Our historic strip shopping centres will be demolished or distorted to facades in front of medium and high-rise development.

All this would be a disaster. It is completely unacceptable to communities in and around the city. We will all join to deliver that message loud and clear to the Baillieu Government on Thursday 29 November.

We ask you to join us to defend Melbourne and its Green Wedges –-- for you, and for your children and grandchildren.

Planning Minister Guy’s proposals are “a ‘hit job’ on Green Wedges, according to RMIT University Planning Professor Michael Buxton. They would give developers carte blanche to build across the peninsula’s beautiful open farmland and the environmental and agricultural treasures and landscapes of all the green wedges.That means we would lose it forever.


For more information, please see Green Wedges Coalition submission, one of 2000 received by Government despite a brief ten week period for submissions and virtually no community consultation, except by alert councils at Manningham and Mornington Peninsula. 

Mornington Peninsula groups are hiring buses to get supporters to the rally and home again. The aim is to get to the city mid-morning so you can shop, meet friends &c then attend the rally at 1pm. Details of route, times and prices are being worked out. If you are interested in the bus option, please contact Peter Hall (Flinders Community Association) (5989 0140) or David Harrison (Red Hill Community Action) 2285). They believe seats will fill fast, so don’t delay! 



Submission to the planning zones review

Rosemary West

1. Background: Green Wedges and the role of the Green Wedges Coalition


 The 1968-71 metropolitan planning process officially established nine Green Wedges as non-urban zones between Melbourne's main urban development corridors. It outlined acceptable non-urban uses, including recreation, flora and fauna conservation. landscape protection, resource utilization and farming. The protection of public land and of public open space is integral to the first two of these uses, but not necessarily to the others.


Saturday, 29 September, 2012


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