What are Green Wedges?
The non urban areas of metropolitan Melbourne that lie outside the Urban Growth Boundary are known as Green Wedges. There are 12 designated Green Wedge areas that collectively form a ring around the city.
About one third of the total Green Wedge area is public land, including national parks, other parks and reserves and the closed protected catchments from which much of Melbourne’s water supply is harvested.
Other important functions provided by the Green Wedges include biodiversity, agriculture, open space, attractive landscapes, tourism and recreation, cultural heritage and infrastructure that supports the city, such as reservoirs, sewage treatment plants, quarries and airports.
Each Green Wedge is unique with its own range of key features and related values. A tailored management approach is needed for each Green Wedge. They are being developed by Councils in Green Wedge Management Plans.
Where are they located?
There are 12 Green Wedges, spanning 17 metropolitan fringe municipalities.
- Werribee South
- Western Plains South
- Western Plains North
- Yarra Valley and Yarran and Dandenong Ranges
- Southern Ranges
- South East
- Mornington Peninsula
When were Green Wedges established?
Green Wedges were first identified in the 1960s and successive governments have expanded them to include other non-urban areas surrounding metropolitan Melbourne, including the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula.
A number of planning changes have been introduced over the past ten years to establish and protect the Green Wedges including:
- establishment of an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) restricting urban related development to within the UGB
- new Green Wedge Zones to replace existing rural zones in Green Wedge land
- introduction of a core planning provision for Green Wedges to tighten the range of uses and subdivision allowed in Green Wedge land
- an amendment to the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to recognise the UGB and Green Wedge land.
Green Wedges are essential for the liveability, environmental health and prosperity of the city and the State. Governments have provided resources to Councils to complete Green Wedge Management Plans, in addition to the planning scheme controls that have been put in place.
What will be the future role of Green Wedges?
An audit of Green Wedge land is currently underway that will examine the effectiveness and appropriateness of existing Green Wedge policy and planning controls to inform improvements to the planning and management of these areas. The Green Wedge Audit will be conducted with input from local councils and communities.
A Peri-Urban Planning Unit has also been established in DPCD to further strengthen the Government’s partnership with interface (Green Wedge) and peri-urban councils. The Unit will assist councils with improving their approach to environmental and biodiversity issues; planning for fire and flood, the quality of urban environments and township character.
The Unit will also focus on population management, long term strategic planning and structure planning of towns and future communities and the development of Statements of Planning Policy for a number of key areas in Victoria, including the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula green wedges.