East Gippsland Shire Council is working on two important plans to guide decision-making for a prosperous and sustainable future for East Gippsland and is calling for public comment.
Council is aiming to balance a pressing need for housing and the sustainable growth of East Gippsland’s towns and settlements with the need to preserve rural areas and the surrounding natural environment.
Its Rural Land Use Strategy aims to provide a framework that supports the farming sector, promotes opportunities for rural tourism and protects the natural environment and rural landscapes. The strategy reinforces Victorian Government policy to avoid a loss of agricultural land and to direct housing to areas specifically zoned for that purpose.
The final draft of the Rural Land Use Strategy is available for public comment now.
Council’s Housing and Settlement Strategy aims to guide the location of housing and settlement growth to 2041. A discussion paper on the Housing and Settlement Strategy has been prepared to encourage early community feedback on key issues relating to housing growth across the shire.
Mayor, Cr Mark Reeves, said that Council is keen to receive community input on both strategies.
“With continued population growth, an ageing population and serious concerns about housing affordability, it is important that a range of housing options are available in the future, and that new housing development is sustainable,” he said.
“We also need to ensure that our important rural areas are preserved to support agricultural production and protect the rural ambience of our shire. Well-planned housing growth and the preservation of rural land go hand in hand,” Cr Reeves said.
The Rural Land Use Strategy provides direction across five key themes:
· Food and fibre
· Rural tourism
· Rural industries
· Environment, landscape, catchments and natural hazards
· Rural housing
The issues up for discussion in the Housing and Settlement Strategy include:
· Where new housing should be developed
· How to provide greater choice in housing type and affordable housing
· What new infrastructure is required to support housing growth
· How to retain the character of existing settlements
More information and the opportunity to provide feedback is available via the Council website.