Archive:  Urban Growth Boundary Expansion

Last Updated  24/11/10




Click here to see how close the new boundary is to Macedon Ranges



Email Politicians Saying Resist Govt's Attempt To Expand Urban Boundaries

(22/5/10 - P)   The legislation blowing out Urban Boundaries and imposing GAIC tax comes back on May 25 

Protectors of Public Lands Inc has sent around a message urging people to ask Upper House politicians (Liberals, Nationals, Greens and DLP) to not vote with the State government next Tuesday, when this legislation - which has already been defeated once - comes back to parliament.


Click here for PPL's message and email addresses for relevant politicians.


MRRA Says:


If approved, this legislation will bring Melbourne's Growth Boundary within a few kilometres of Macedon Ranges' boundary.  This expansion is another prong in the government's irrational growth and development agenda.  In our view, it doesn't serve Macedon Ranges well.  Please send an email along urging that these mindless proposals be again rejected.  Click here for our earlier articles on this subject.


Decision On Growth Areas Tax And Blow Out Of Urban Growth Boundary Deferred Until February 2

(11/12/09 - P)  Last minute amendments from government throw debate into disarray and deferral  

This week's debate in the Upper House on the Growth Areas Tax and massive expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary was thrown into disarray with the late arrival of amendments from the government.  The whole mess has been put off until February 2, unless the government calls an additional parliamentary session next week. 


Click here to see a media release from the Protectors of Public Lands Inc on this issue (Minister Madden Makes Planning Policy On The Run).


Protest Rally, Parliament House Steps, Tuesday 24 November, 12.30pm

(19/11/09 - P)  Expansion of Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary, destruction of Green Wedges and GAIC tax 

The rally has been organised by Taxed Out, and that group is joined by the Green Wedges Coalition, Protectors of Public Lands and Planning Backlash.  Click here for more information. 


Urban Growth Boundary Planning Scheme Maps Now Available

(19/11/09 - P)  These changes are scheduled to be debated in the Upper House on 24th November 

Planning scheme (zoning) maps for expansion of Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary [UGB] are now available. You can access the maps by going to  The maps are part of Amendment VC55. These maps and changes will be debated in Victoria's Upper House on November 24.


The Department of Planning and Community Development [DPCD] tells us Amendment VC55 has been approved by the Minister for Planning [Justin Madden] but will not come into operation unless and until it is ratified by parliament, and unless and until the amendments to the Planning and Environment Act 1987 implementing the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution have been enacted by the Victorian Parliament, and those amendments to that Act have come into operation.  The DPCD invites you to click on this link to obtain More information about delivering Melbourne's newest sustainable communities...


MRRA Says:


We had a quick look at the VC55 zoning maps but only for areas near Macedon Ranges' boundary. 


The UGB expansion and the inclusion of Rural Conservation Zone [RCZ] within that expanded urban boundary makes a mockery of any concept of 'proper' or 'orderly' planning, and makes the RCZ quite meaningless.  What's the point of putting a 'conservation' zone where houses are going to go?


The expansion is putting more people in danger by putting them in the 'fire fringe' - areas at high or worse risk from fire (and not only today's risks, but those that will flow from increased climate change effects).  These areas aren't going to get any safer!


The public acquisition overlay for the new freeway hurtling through the backblocks of the metro area - obviously, no-one looked for a route that avoids existing residential areas. Will there be an Environmental Effects Statement [EES], or will the line someone doodled on a map be forced on us?


These maps provide an excellent example of totally 'minimalist' Environmental Significance overlays [ESOs], and how fortunate so many of these ESOs run in straight lines or follow property boundaries!  Makes it so much easier to apply them if you don't have to worry too much about all that identification and mapping of real values.


And dontcha just love the Department's totally spinning take on one of the greatest land grabs the State has ever known?  "Delivering Melbourne's newest sustainable communities" - yeah, right.  Watch out for those flying pigs...


Massive Expansion Of Urban Growth Boundary PROTEST RALLY 14th July:

(13/7/09 - P)  Submissions on this incomprehensible land-grab - almost up to Macedon Ranges' boundary - close Friday 17 July 

The Protectors of Public Lands Inc, Green Wedge Coalition, Environment Victoria, CanDoBetter and others have added their alarm to MRRA's at the State government's intention to add 50,000 hectares of land to Melbourne's growth areas, this by scooping up land currently in the Green Wedges and turning it into land for houses. It goes further than that, with others now also calling for the government to change its mind.  Along with the PROTEST RALLY tomorrow, there are plenty of issues being raised and suggestions for matters that can/should be included in submissions. 


Details of PROTEST RALLY Tuesday July 14, 11.30am, corner of Collins and Williams Streets, Melbourne.


See Environment Victoria:  Native Vegetation E-Bulletin, Rally and Submissions


See Can Do Better:  Where do you go when Government and the Media donít care?


See Protectors of Public Lands: information on how to make a submission


See "Make an online survey / submission This shouldn't take long and could make a big difference


See Green Wedge Coalition Media Release


See MRRA story. (below)


Urban Growth Boundary To Skirt Macedon Ranges' Boundary - Just One Month To Comment

(21/6/09 - SP)  Sprawl sneaks up on area of State environmental significance - how do we protect that significance? 

Faced with a growth crisis of its own making, the State government has drawn new lines on the map of Melbourne sending the suburban sprawl closer to Macedon Ranges.  Proposed changes also link Melton with Watergardens, and Watergardens with Werribee.  Sunbury will swap country style for city style.


As part of the scramble to accommodate the relentless population expansion so foolhardily encouraged by the government in the name of development and growth  (remember 'Melbourne will be bigger than Sydney'?), new transport infrastructure in the form of a new freeway 'ring road' south of Sunbury, somewhat erratically linking Melton with Sunbury with Kalkallo before... er, circuitously... turning south again, will be built, along with extension of suburban train services to Melton and Sunbury (none are evident on the plan for the Kalkallo/Wallan area).  Expectations seem to be that country rail services will be improved by a new, dedicated country rail corridor from St. Albans to Spencer Street.  What hasn't been explained is, with new and existing suburban services extending beyond St. Albans, how do country trains avoid suburban trains past St. Albans? 


There is also an enormous interstate freight terminal planned for Donnybrook/Beveridge, as well as an "investigation" area proposal to run a freeway link through Bulla, from the new ring road to the airport. 


These expanded residential areas are massive chunks of land, now to be swallowed up by suburbia. The expansion towards Wallan in places seems around 20 - 25 km, and maybe even more (north-south) between Werribee and Melton. In comparison, the land grab near Sunbury seems almost modest, even if it does put suburbia on both sides of the Calder Freeway, a very unattractive outcome if the low standards already seen along this important road are anything to go by.


Given the complexity of this issue, the mere one month period that has been allowed for public comment seems a suspiciously short timeframe.


Click here to see the 17/6/09 government press announcement, or go to to access documentation and more information on this project.  You can take a quick look at the expanded boundaries closest to Macedon Ranges by clicking here.


MRRA Says:


Will the headlines in 10 years' time read, "Melbourne Sprawl Hits Swan Hill"?


One consequence of the government's undebated open-door growth policy is that now Melbourne is to sprawl  well north of Macedon Ranges' southern boundary - if we read these maps correctly, the new growth boundary comes within about 5km of tiny Darraweit Guim, and not far short of Riddells Creek.  A new ring road ploughing through the countryside to deliver 'outer' Melbournians to their ever more remote and more bushfire-prone, less serviceable homes and dysfunctional suburbs will put more and more pressure on Macedon Ranges.  Here in Macedon Ranges, we continue to wait for the protection this government promised - in writing - before it was elected, 10 long years ago.  Time to act, we think.


These changes are of breath-taking scale, and such a grand gesture may be designed to relieve government of the political awkwardness of regularly having to get parliament's consent to 'adjust' the 'immobile' growth boundary yet again.


And where is the water coming from?  Please, please, spare us the public relations spin about desal plants and pipelines.  Even if these were well thought out (which they are proving not to be), at best their output (if any) would only provide sufficient water catch up with the shortfalls already being experienced.  That's hardly drought-proofing, and we suspect that in no way will they 'safeguard' Victoria's or Melbourne's water future, particularly with current galloping growth rates.  Using a more realistic and revealing assessment of our dire water shortages than 'per person per day', such as total usage, would allow us all to see the bleak reality of Victoria's position.  Oils ain't oils, and 4 million people using 155 litres a day ain't quite the same as 5 or 6 million using 155 litres a day - which is one reason why the dams keep dropping.


As for the green wedges...  How anyone has the effrontery to say, as they slice and dice the wedges, that they are committed to protecting green wedges - well!  Yet the Victorian government says it, and that in turn says a lot about the government.  We also noticed that, in these documents, Sunbury is apparently on the Ballarat rail line - crikey, if they don't know Sunbury is on the Bendigo line, what else did they get wrong?


We despair...  What a complete mess all round this government has made of it.  In less than one term Victorian policy has done a backflip and the State is being locked into a damaging, depressing, insecure and increasingly chaotic future, with ever more despotic edicts being forced on us all to deliver it.  Comparisons of the Brumby government with the excesses of the Kennett government are now beginning to see the Brumby government come off second best.


Who would open the population floodgates, as this government did, without working out what the impacts would be, without planning for it?   Someone who apparently sees Victoria only in terms of economic development and having more and more economic consumers, of course.  Someone who thinks water is an economic issue.  Someone who sees climate change as an economic opportunity rather than an environmental and social disaster. Someone who perhaps belongs in a board room rather than in government.


There's also a niggling thought that perhaps this is a 'create the problem, then create the solution' scenario, with elastic boundaries and rules and democracy dumped to give a leg up to like-minded, government-friendly developers who already own much of the land - after all, the Victorian government is a member of the Property Council of Australia, and we hear developers swarm all over Spring Street, gaining access the rest of us could only dream about.  Lockerbie... here we come.


Changes To Urban Growth Boundary

(30/5/09 - P)  Sprawl comes close to Macedon Ranges as the "immovable" growth boundaries are expanded yet again 

On 19 May 2009, the Minister for Planning announced a change to the Investigation Area boundary in Melbourne's west and a revised consultation timetable for the Urban Growth Boundary Review. Public consultation on the proposed Urban Growth Boundary will now occur from mid-June to mid-July 2009.  You can check out maps, reports and other documentation by going to DPCD's website


MRRA Says:

Macedon Ranges' residents need to keep a close eye on the way 'metro' keeps creeping closer and closer, and on the way these boundaries keep being arbitrarily changed.  As it says above, there will be consultation from mid-June to mid-July. 


Shadow Minister For Planning Says "Labor's UGB Lies Exposed"

(10/12/08 - P)  Brumby Government opens the door on another 43,000 hectares of urban sprawl

The Victorian Opposition claims the government is making policy on the run.  Click here to see the Opposition's media release.


MRRA Says:


This is a move that gives a good impression that 'ad hoc' has replaced 'plan' as the cornerstone of planning in Victoria.  The government is now confronted by the consequences of naively driving population growth without planning for it or realistically measuring Victoria's carrying capacity before opening the floodgates. The Labor mantra of 'great place to live, work and raise a family' rings increasingly hollow as conditions for Victorians plummet towards third world, courtesy of too many people too quickly and a complete lack of foresight by those responsible for it.  As Melbourne grinds to a standstill and we look forward to our cup of water a day, hear us when we say: O-V-E-R-P-O-P-U-L-A-T-I-O-N does not S-U-S-T-A-I-N-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y make!


New Outer Ring Road Could Spell Disaster For Macedon Ranges - Deliver Suburbia To Our Door?

(28/11/08 - SG)   Has this been the plan all along?  Is this why someone wants to get rid of Statement of Planning Policy No. 8?

An article in yesterday's Age newspaper should ring alarm bells for Macedon Ranges residents.   It seems a new outer ring road is being proposed, mooted to be included in the State government's new transport plan for Victoria, to connect Werribee with Craigieburn.  That would take the new road right past Gisborne.  Also mooted is an expansion of Melbourne's current urban growth boundary, supposedly 'set in stone' when Melbourne 2030 was introduced, but after a shift or two already obviously not.  The Age article suggests the road will likely direct urban sprawl northwards and westward, and reports that the State Opposition has given in-principle support for the new road.  Click to see the Age article.


MRRA Says:


We will have to wait for the actual plan, of course, but surely it wouldn't auger well for Macedon Ranges if this new road went ahead.  Have a think about some of the outrages that have already got up on the basis of freeways in the Shire that were primarily built to stop the carnage on the old Calder Highway, not promote growth.  It sometimes seems anything can be justified by a part-time rail service (compared with Melbourne's one-every-ten-minutes) and a freeway.  How much worse could it be with another freeway on the doorstep of Gisborne, Riddell and - wait for it - Clarkefield?


Does anyone who makes these decisions care about Macedon Ranges?