The Minister for Planning has appointed a Standing Advisory Committee (the Advisory Committee) to consider the proposed application of the three new residential zones into council planning schemes.  Councils have until the end of June this year to implement the new residential zones.

The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to assist councils and the Minister for Planning with the implementation of the new residential zones and advise on the suitability of the proposed application of the new residential zones and the method to introduce them.  Councils who have prepared, or are in the process of preparing amendments to implement the new zones and associated schedules were given an opportunity to request an Advisory Committee.

From our discussions with planning officers at the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI), we understand that requesting an Advisory Committee is the decision of each council.  The Minister for Planning does not have the ability to refer amendments to the Advisory Committee.

The Standing Advisory Committee consists of 19 members and is chaired by Con Tsotsoros.  The following fourteen councils have requested Advisory Committee advice:

  • Ararat;
  • Ballarat;
  • Boroondara;
  • Cardinia;
  • Darebin;
  • Greater Shepparton;
  • Kingston;
  • Latrobe;
  • Moonee Valley;
  • Moorabool;
  • Moreland;
  • Mornington Peninsula;
  • Southern Grampians;
  • Whittlesea.

Members of the public are able to make submissions on the proposed application of the new residential zones for the fourteen councils listed above.  All submissions will be referred directly to the Advisory Committee.  Submitters are able to request an opportunity to present to the Advisory Committee during the hearing however, given the relatively short timeframe in which the zones need to be implemented, presentation times may be limited.

The exhibition periods for each of the fourteen councils vary however, exhibition must have commenced no later than 20 March 2014.  The first hearings have been scheduled to begin on 28 April.

We understand that the period in which councils can request an Advisory Committee has now closed.  All other councils who are yet to prepare amendments to introduce the new zones will not be given an opportunity to request an Advisory Committee.  We note that councils are still able to undertake a full planning scheme amendment process where a Panel can be appointed to hear submissions however, if this implementation approach was used it is unlikely that the amendment would be approved before the beginning of July.

Amendments proposed  by councils that have not requested an Advisory Committee but have submitted directly to the Minister for Planning, for approval under Section 20(4) (without public exhibition) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act), will be processed by DTPLI.  We understand that DTPLI will be considering these amendments and preparing recommendations to the Minister for Planning.  In these instances there will be no opportunity for the amendment to be tested by an independent Panel.

Given the substantial impact that the implementation of the new residential zones could have on the future development of residential areas, it is concerning that the process of implementation that some councils are pursuing has limited opportunity for review and questioning.  The new residential zones are going to impact the way our City is developed well into the future and it is vital that they are implemented in a well considered manner.

Further information on the Advisory Committee can be found at:


Submissions can be lodged online, through the DTPLI website at: