Victoria: Food in the State Metropolitan Planning Strategy

I received an email yesterday from Anthony Bernadi from the Heart Foundation regarding a new Metropolitan Planning Strategy being cooked up. I’ve copied it below – it might be of interest to you out there who need to reclaim the land in which you belong…

A new state Metropolitan planning strategy is currently being developed by the Department of Planning and Community Development. This strategy aims to provide a long term vision for Melbourne for the next 20 – 40 years, and includes consideration of planning for housing, transport, open spaces and communities. It will replace the Melbourne 2030 strategy (and the Melbourne@5 million update). Previous metro strategies have given little consideration to planning for food, and we would like to see a high priority given to planning for the availability and accessibility of healthy, sustainable food for Melbourne in the next metro strategy.

A recent series of reports in the Age highlighted the importance of planning for food, particularly in relation to the threat from urban development to key areas of fruit and vegetable production on the city fringe <> . Most of this land has been lost already to urban development, as these maps <>  show, and remaining areas must be protected in the new metro strategy. The Victorian Parliament Environment and Planning References Committee Inquiry into Environmental Design and Public Health in Victoria <>  recently emphasized this in its recommendation that, “the Melbourne Metropolitan Strategy includes measures to identify and protect valuable agricultural land in peri-urban Melbourne”.

There is little information available about the timeline for development of the strategy, or the consultation process, but a discussion paper is being written and a metropolitan planning strategy website <>  has been developed. The website has a number of live discussion forums, including a peri-urban forum <> , that seeks views about priorities for peri-urban areas on the fringe of the city, and a communities forum <> , about planning for ‘healthy, safe and connected communities’. These forums are good places to raise issues related to planning for food in the metro strategy.

We encourage you to make your views known about the importance of planning for food in the metro strategy on the forums, and to keep informed about the strategy’s development by subscribing <>  to the Metropolitan Planning Strategy newsletter for updates.

The Food Alliance and the Heart Foundation are preparing a joint briefing paper on food considerations for the new state metropolitan planning strategy, and this will be made available to stakeholders in the near future.

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About Juliette

When Juliette was little, she came home from school and asked her mum in her little teary voice why the other kids at school didn’t like her. Her mum reassured her and said 'Don't worry Juliette, you're just different. That's all.' Since then, aware of her obvious difference to everyone else, Juliette is spending her time doing exactly what people wish to be doing – exactly what she wants. This blog is a celebration of taking a deep breath and just doing it. Currently Juliette can be found sipping tea and gardening somewhere in Central Victoria, Australia with her beloved and their excitable boys. She is also completing her PhD in Civic Agriculture and teaches at RMIT in Sustainable Consumption and Design Activism.

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