Recent changes have been made to the Victorian Planning Provisions by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in order to exempt accommodation that is purpose built for rural workers from requiring a planning permit subject to no more than 10 workers being accommodated.

The changes apply to land in the Farming Zone and should assist with the provision of much needed affordable farm-worker accommodation.  Hopefully it will encourage farmers to build farm-worker accommodation, which will in turn assist with farmers being able to attract and retain workers. 

In particular, it is pleasing to see that unlike for specialist disability accommodation, the development (and not just the use) of farm-worker accommodation is exempt from a planning permit.  Perhaps this is an important lesson as in our view, the only way to cut red-tape effectively for projects of state significance is by removing the need for a planning permit altogether, with appropriate guidelines provided. 

Due to the difficulties with farmers being able to attract workers and this being exacerbated by Covid, Collie welcomes these changes and hopes they contribute to making life on the farm easier.