The Victorian Government has released a plan to protect Melbourne’s green wedge areas, to ensure that efforts to build more homes in established suburbs don’t come at the expense of productive agricultural land and community access to nature. 

The Victorian Minister for Planning, Sonya Kilkenny, released the Green Wedge and Agricultural Land Action Plan, outlining a focus on preserving green wedges and agricultural land on Melbourne’s outskirts, ensuring that as the city grows, homes are being built up and out – not just out.

Balancing land use needs on the city’s fringe for both housing and agriculture is essential for Victoria’s sustainability, and to protect the state’s unique natural environment and landscape.

With Melbourne’s population set to reach the size of London by 2050, the State Government’s landmark Housing Statement sets an ambitious target of building 800,000 new homes over the next decade, with 70 per cent of those set to be built in established suburbs.

Melbourne’s green wedges, stretching from iconic wine regions to market gardens in the west, are not only essential to the state’s economy but also makes Melbourne a great place to live. 

The plan protects areas responsible for supplying 41 per cent of metropolitan Melbourne’s food needs, including 80 per cent of its vegetables, as well as cultural heritage sites, water catchments, conservation areas and quarries.

Planning reforms will also be introduced to provide better permanent protection for green wedge areas against overdevelopment and inappropriate use through controls for agricultural land.

Legislation now requires councils to prepare and review management plans which will help inform agricultural activities that are consistent with green-wedge values.

Minister Kilkenny said, “From our iconic wine regions to market gardens, our green wedges contribute not only to our economy but make Melbourne one of the best cities in the world to call home.”

“More housing doesn’t have to come at the expense of our green wedges – that’s why we’re providing better permanent protection for these areas against overdevelopment.”

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