Victoria’s precious Bass Coast region is now permanently protected from over-development thanks to strengthened planning controls introduced by the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne was in the seaside town of Kilcunda today to officially declare the Bass Coast Shire including Phillip Island, the Bunurong coastlines from Inverloch to Point Nepean, the George Bass Coast and Bass Coast Hills and surrounds as Distinctive Areas and Landscapes (DAL) under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.
The declaration comes after extensive consultation with the local community and includes a Statement of Significance from the Bunurong Land Council outlining the cultural, spiritual and heritage importance of the Bass Coast to the Bunurong People.
The Bass Coast Shire is highly valued by locals and tourists alike for its rugged coastline, beaches, prime farming land and iconic tourist spots including Philip Island, Cape Paterson and the Bunurong coastline.
The Labor Government will now work closely with Bass Coast Shire Council, Traditional Owners and the local community to develop a Statement of Planning Policy.
The Statement will outline a 50-year vision for the area, protect and enhance significant attributes and specify long-term settlement boundaries for key townships to protect rural and environmental values.
The Bass Coast is only the third area to be declared under the Act, following the recent declaration of the Surf Coast, and the Macedon Ranges in August last year.
The DAL will be subject to the same strong protections that are in place for Melbourne’s permanent Urban Growth Boundary which requires parliamentary approval for amendments.
For more information on Bass Coast Distinctive Area and Landscape Declaration visit engage.vic.gov.au/distinctive-areas-and-landscapes-program.
As stated by Planning Minister Richard Wynne
“This declaration acknowledges the special significance of this region to all Victorians and protects it for generations to come.”
“We’re looking forward to developing a 50-year vision for the area to protect and enhance the attributes of the beautiful Bass Coast.”
As noted by Member for Bass, Jordan Crugnale
“The local community is well aware of the assets of our stunning landscape and precious coastline and it’s great to see what we love about it being protected for future generations.”