The Victorian State Government expects each of metropolitan Melbourne’s green wedge councils to prepare a Green Wedge Management Plan and review it on a regular basis. Council made a commitment to review the Nillumbik Green Wedge Management Plan (2010 - 2025) when it was elected in 2016.
Council wants to ensure that a plan to manage the Green Wedge is in place that recognises the diverse communities that exist within it and to acknowledge the very real day-to-day issues that people experience as they live, work and play in our rural areas. The plan will be for the future as well as the here and now.
Melbourne’s Green Wedges and peri-urban areas are the non-urban areas outside Melbourne’s urban growth boundary. Green Wedges have long been identified as a key part of Melbourne’s famed ‘liveability’.
Green Wedge areas were first set aside in the 1970’s to conserve rural activities and significant natural features and resources between the growth areas of metropolitan Melbourne as they spread out along major road and rail links.
Green Wedge land has been defined under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 since 2002. New planning zones and stronger regulations were also introduced at this time to better control the subdivision and use of green wedge land.
There are 12 designated Green Wedge areas within the 17 metropolitan-fringe local government areas.
Plan Melbourne, the State’s Metropolitan Planning Strategy, states that ‘Green Wedge Management Plans must be in place to support achievement of desired green wedge outcomes’. The key task of a Green Wedge Management Plan is to articulate the type, scale and form of change in the green wedge and how those changes will be managed and facilitated.
“Green Wedges, like any other place are dynamic and constantly evolving. Changes identified through the preparations of a Green Wedge Management Plan may embrace new productive land uses, investments and developments consistent with state policies for green wedges, environmental enhancements and sustainable resource management." - Preparing a Green Wedge Management Plan Planning Practice Note 31
While the whole of Nillumbik is referred to as the ‘Green Wedge Shire’, in land use planning terms, green wedge land is defined as being outside the urban growth boundary.
In summary, the Nillumbik Green Wedge:
Kinglake National Park, reserves and bushland, together with lifestyle properties, hobby farms, orchards, wineries and broad acre farms all make up this unique landscape.
The Nillumbik Green Wedge doesn’t technically include the townships of Hurstbridge, St Andrews and Panton Hill due to their Township zone status, however for the purposes of the GWMP these townships have been included in the Review due to the role they play in supporting or servicing the Green Wedge. Other Green Wedge towns or settlements include Arthur’s Creek, Strathewen, Wattle Glen, Yarrambat and Kangaroo Ground. Together they provide community focal points and the location for local services, facilities and gathering spaces.
The issues in managing Nillumbik’s green wedge are complex and highly interconnected. The broad community engagement will allow everybody in the community to raise their issues, ideas and thoughts about green wedge management.
Topics that will likely be explored include (but are not limited to) agriculture, biodiversity, bushfire management, economic development and sustainability, landscape and open space, rural living, population and demographics, settlements, local infrastructure, diverse communities, social and community needs, recreation and cultural heritage.
To understand our community’s opinions and experiences, we undertook a broad community engagement phase to hear from the people that live in and around the Green Wedge. This includes those who own property, run businesses, invest, care for, or simply enjoy the Green Wedge.
You can see more information about this phase of community engagement here.