Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan
The Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan is one of eight regional growth plans being prepared across Victoria. It will provide a broad direction for regional land use and development as well as detailed planning frameworks for key regional centres.
On this page:
Draft regional growth plan
A draft Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan has been developed and is now available for comment until Friday 5 July 2013.
The draft plan identifies a number of drivers that will affect how the region develops and how land is used. The themes covered in the plan include:
- the regional economy
- environment and heritage
- living in the region, and
- regional infrastructure
The draft plan is underpinned by nine principles designed to achieve the vision:
- Population growth should be planned in sustainable locations throughout the region.
- The region’s economy should be strengthened so that it is more diversified and resilient.
- The region should capitalise on its close links with other regions and cities.
- The development of sustainable and vibrant communities should be supported by enhancing the level of access to key services.
- Land use patterns, developments and infrastructure should make the region more self-reliant and sustainable.
- Planning for growth should be integrated with the provision of infrastructure.
- The region’s land, soil, water and biodiversity should be managed, protected and enhanced.
- Long term agricultural productivity should be supported.
- The importance of cultural heritage and landscapes as economic and community assets should be recognised.
Draft vision for the region
The Central Highlands Regional Strategic Plan outlines a vision for the future of the Central Highlands region to 2030 and beyond to be a productive, sustainable and liveable region for its people. This plan shares the same vision.
Draft regional growth plan
Download a copy of the draft plan:
NOTE: This document is a large file and may take time to download. The plan is also available to download in smaller sections below:
A draft background report contains additional information that was relied upon to develop the draft plan.
Download a copy of the background report:
- Draft Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan: Background Report (PDF - 6.2 MB)
- If you require an accessible version of this report please contact us at CentralHighlands.RGP@dpcd.vic.gov.au
NOTE: This document is a large file and may take time to download. The report is also available to download in smaller sections below:
- Draft Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan: Background Report Part 1 (PDF 1.8 MB)
- Draft Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan: Background Report Part 2 (PDF 1.0 MB)
- Draft Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan: Background Report Part 3 (PDF 1.8 MB)
- Draft Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan: Background Report Part 4 (PDF 1.9 MB)
- Draft Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan: Background Report Part 5 (PDF 1.3 MB)
How to provide feedback
We need your feedback to help consider:
- how and where people will live in the region
- how we manage changes in population and communities over the long term
- how we plan for the future of rural areas to encourage economic development, and
- how we grow while protecting and respecting the region’s environmental assets.
Feedback can be provided in a number of ways:
Download and complete a feedback form:
Send it to us by:
All comments and submissions must be received by 5pm on Friday 5 July 2013.
- Email: CentralHighlands.RGP@dpcd.vic.gov.au
- Fax: (03) 5327 2830
- Mail: Tim Westcott, Senior Project Manager Department of Planning and Community Development, 111 Armstrong Street North, Ballarat VIC 3350
About the region
The Central Highlands region is located in Western Victoria, astride the Western Highway corridor, to the immediate west of the Melbourne metropolitan area. Ballarat is the regional centre, with other key towns including Bacchus Marsh, Daylesford, Beaufort and Ararat.
The Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan covers the municipalities of Moorabool Shire Council, Hepburn Shire Council, Ballarat City Council, Pyrenees Shire Council, Ararat Rural City Council and the northern part of Golden Plains Shire Council.
The southern portion of Golden Plains is part of the G21 Regional Growth Plan. Central Goldfields Shire and Northern Grampians Shire are also partners on the project steering committee, but are included within neighbouring regional growth plan areas.
There are a diverse range of conditions experienced across the Central Highlands planning for the region will need to recognise the following key sub-areas:
- Ballarat as a large regional city.
- Areas within 100 kilometres of Melbourne (known as peri-urban areas) which are strongly influenced by Melbourne and experiencing growth pressures.
- The western parts of the region which are based around a more rural economy.
The region is home to about 170,000 people. The population has been growing at about 1.8% per annum over the last five years. Victoria in Future 2012 projects that the population of the region will increase by around 78,200 people between 2011 and 2041, with Ballarat and Bacchus Marsh being the centres likely to grow by the greatest number of people.
A substantial part of the region’s growth results from the region’s attractive assets such as its rural landscapes, quality heritage, national parks, environmental features and strong network of cities and towns that provide highly liveable places.
Developing the plan
Opportunities for community engagement
To help develop the regional growth plan, there are two periods of public consultation during the project:
- Consultation on emerging strategic directions for the plan - completed
- Consultation on the draft Regional Growth Plan - underway
For news about the project please read the project updates:
Strategic directions phase
The strategic directions consultation phase concluded on Friday 24 August 2012. This community consultation phase invited comments from the community on the proposed principles for the plan and a concept plan for regional growth.
Interviews were also completed with people from a wide range of backgrounds including:
- small business owners,
- members of community organisations and environmental groups,
- tourism agencies and businesses and
- local economic development organisations such as progress associations.
The feedback has been reviewed and reported back to the project steering committee ahead of the creation of a draft Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan. For further information see the latest newsletter.
The strategic directions brochure can still be downloaded for your information.
Central Highlands Regional Strategic Plan
The Central Highlands Regional Strategic Plan was developed in 2010 by a regional committee comprising all Central Highlands local councils. The plan is owned by the region, and represents the region’s aspirations and agenda for regional development and long term strategic planning.
Implementation of the Central Highlands Regional Strategic Plan will position the Central Highlands region to 2030 and beyond to provide a productive, sustainable and liveable region for its people.
View the Central Highlands Regional Strategic Plan on the Regional Development Victoria website.
The Central Highlands Regional Strategic Plan was reviewed in 2011 to focus on the following strategic directions:
- plan for growth
- improve transport infrastructure and services
- raise the region’s profile as a tourist and heritage destination
- utilise the region’s strength in ICT to provide better services to businesses and communities
- improve access to health and tackle inequality
- provide better access to education and training
- continue to foster leadership capacity in the region, and
- productive and resilient landscape management.
Regional planning issues for the Central Highlands
As part of the initial phases of preparing the Regional Growth Plan a draft issues paper has been prepared in consultation with state and local government partners and other key agencies.
The draft issues paper sets out background information about the settlement, infrastructure, community, economic and environmental characteristics of the region.
It references existing work and policy that has been undertaken to plan for the region. This material has been used to help identify what are the important issues that will drive the future policy directions of the Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan.
Download a copy of the draft issues paper:
The Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan is being developed over a two year period and development phases of the project are listed below:
|2.||Data review and Issues Paper prepared||Aug-Dec|
|3.||Integrated issues analysis
|4.||Prepare Draft Regional Growth Plan
|5.||Draft Regional Growth Plan consultation||Jun-Jul|
|6.||Prepare Final Regional Growth Plan||Jul-Sep|
Managing the project
The Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan is being prepared in a partnership between local government and state agencies and authorities.
A project steering committee provides overall strategic direction for the development of the plan.
A technical working group includes expertise from state and local government, as well as key agencies such as water authorities and catchment management authorities.
Coordination of the project is being provided by the Department of Planning and Community Development’s Grampians Region office.
Project Steering Committee members include:
- Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority (on behalf of the catchment management authorities in the region)
If you would like any further information about the Central Highlands Regional Growth Plan, please contact our project team on telephone: (03) 5327 2842 or by email at CentralHighlands.RGP@dpcd.vic.gov.au
If you provide feedback or information via this website, the personal information is collected by the Department of Planning & Community Development (DPCD) and/or its contracted service provider for the purposes of recording public comment relating to the Regional Growth Plan project.
Collection of this information is required to allow members of the community to be involved in the planning process. We may use the information to consult with you in activities such as making draft documentation available for feedback and other community consultations etc. Your information may also be included in a report that may be made available to the public in various ways, including by publication to the general public on our website. However you can contribute to this project anonymously if you would prefer.
You can request access to your personal information by contacting DPCD's Ballarat Office by phone (03) 5327 2842. If normal access cannot be given to you, contact DPCD's Freedom of Information unit by phone (03) 9208 3112 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.