Planning Minister Matthew Guy today announced the final reformed rural zones, which will be formally introduced into planning schemes on 5 September 2013.
The new rural zones seek to encourage agricultural use of land, while at the same time providing greater flexibility, where appropriate, to use land for rural industries and employment-generating activities such as tourism, agricultural services and the sale of produce through “farm gate” outlets.
Tourism is a particular focus of the rural zone reforms. While land in the Green Wedge zones will retain its designation for primarily agricultural and open-space purposes, land in other rural zones – including the Rural Conservation Zone – will accommodate a wider range of “stand alone” activities intended to encourage tourism growth and job opportunities in rural Victoria.
While the six rural zones will continue under their existing names, each of them will be amended, to varying extents.