Planning & building

Councils play a vital role in Victoria’s planning and building systems. They are responsible for development of local planning policy, assessing the vast majority of planning permit applications, and have key responsibilities in enforcement of both the planning and building systems.

Current priorities

We are involved in capacity-building reform projects, and we represent councils in numerous State-led reviews and reforms in the planning and building spaces.

Our key areas of focus for planning and building include:

  • The Smart Planning reform program
  • Changes to residential zones
  • Addressing compliance and the building regulatory system
  • Coastal planning in response to climate change
  • Sustainable animal industries
  • Interaction between planning and the reform program for the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

Our immediate priorities include:

  • The Victorian Government’s Smart Planning reform program
  • Inadequacies in the building regulatory system leading to poor compliance levels
  • Reforms arising from the EPA inquiry, particularly related to the management of potentially contaminated land
  • The Public Housing Renewal Program and broader advocacy on affordable housing
  • Interaction between climate change and land use planning
  • Interaction between land use planning and renewable energy
  • Planning controls for animal industries
  • Ecologically Sustainable Development in planning and building.

Current projects

Submissions and briefs

We develop and form a collective local government sector view on a range of planning and building topics. Our most recent submissions include:

To access all MAV planning and building related submissions, visit the MAV submissions page.

Committees and reference groups

We represent local government on numerous high-level advisory and reference groups, including the:

  • Victorian Cladding Taskforce
  • Victorian Building Authority Stakeholder Reference Group
  • Smart Planning Advisory Group
  • Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries Steering Committee, Implementation Reference Group and Technical Reference Group
  • Earth Resources Ministerial Advisory Council
  • Victorian Swimming Pool and Spa Safety Committee.


We are currently updating our Councillor guide to land use in Victoria, and it will be available alongside our councillor training early in 2021.

Managing residential character in rural and regional Victoria

The MAV commissioned Planisphere to prepare a report defining the characteristics of residential development in rural and regional areas. The report also outlines mechanisms that can guide improved residential development and identifies areas of potential reform.

You can access planning and building-related presentations from past events on our past event presentations page.

Further information

Engage with us

Subscribe to our monthly Planning and Environment Bulletin to keep informed about local government related news and events.

For more information about our planning and building policy work, contact:

Emlyn Breese
Senior Adviser Planning and Environment
(03) 9667 5534