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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.

Last updated: 13 August 2019