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Planning Law & Statutory Planning (ABPL90130)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeABPL90130
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject covers the legal framework within which urban planning takes place, and the ways in which local provisions (e.g. ‘Planning Schemes' in Victoria) can be used to implement plans by regulating development. It focuses on the legal frameworks and measures used in Australia, with particular emphasis on Victoria, but critically compares these with alternative approaches used in other jurisdictions. The intention is to teach students not just how to ‘operate' the current legal and statutory systems, but also how to change them to produce better outcomes. We begin by considering the role of regulation and laws in the process of urban planning, and the objectives that statutory planning seeks to achieve. We consider the possible tensions and conflicts between these objectives, and the different basic approaches that might be adopted in dealing with these tensions. The course then introduces the framework of planning law and governance in Victoria, comparing it with practice elsewhere in Australia and in selected overseas jurisdictions. The Victorian statutory planning process is covered in detail, addressing the making and amending of planning schemes, scheme administration and appeals. Finally, we consider the relationship between these state systems and other regulatory systems, such as Commonwealth environmental legislation, before turning to the question of possible reform of the Victorian and Australian systems.

Intended learning outcomes

This subject aims to equip students with:

  • understandings of the main processes and actors in Australian planning, with international comparisons;
  • understandings of the primary legislative basis and related processes of Australian and Victorian planning and environmental systems;
  • the ability to understand and work with Victorian legal and statutory planning and environment systems;
  • an understanding of the limitations of current approaches and of possible alternatives.

Generic skills

  • Critical evaluation of policies and practices.
  • The ability to efficiently locate available information.
  • Understanding professional roles and responsibilities.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Two assignments equivalent to 3000 words in total (30% each) one due in week 5 and one in week 11.
  • A two hour open book examination at the end of semester (40%).

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorAlan March
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours1x2 hour lecture per week, 1x1 hour tutorial per week
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

Time commitment details

170 Hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    There are no specifically prescribed or recommended texts for this subject.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 13 August 2019