Nillumbik’s first Community Panel begins Green Wedge deliberations

Published on 07 August 2018

Photo of Nillumbik landscape

Nillumbik’s inaugural Community Panel will meet for the first time on Thursday (9 August) to begin the important process of reviewing its Green Wedge Management Plan (GWMP).

Mayor Peter Clarke and expert independent facilitators, MosaicLab will welcome the 40-member Community Panel and outline the process and tasks ahead during the introductory session at the Shire offices.

Cr Clarke said the Community Panel will respond to the question “What is the best way for us to manage Nillumbik’s Green Wedge, now and into the future?”

“For the first time, Nillumbik Council has commissioned an independent organisation to assemble a Community Panel to provide an accurate and fair representation of the community’s views,” Cr Clarke said.

“Industry-leaders MosaicLab will independently facilitate the Community Panel to consider the social, economic and environmental matters that impact the management of the Green Wedge which covers 91 per cent of our Shire.

“Over five sessions from August to October, the Community Panel will hear from a range of speakers and have access to detailed information which will help shape their views and opinions about how to best manage Nillumbik’s Green Wedge.”

The Community Panel will prepare a final report and recommendations to the Council that will directly inform and influence the preparation of the final Green Wedge Management Plan.

Cr Clarke said experienced community engagement consultants MosaicLab, who have run many successful campaigns with Australian councils and organisations, will facilitate the panel sessions.

 “Nillumbik Council is involving the community in a meaningful and legitimate way through this process in the decisions that affect their lives,” Cr Clarke said.

“Community members can register their interest in being an observer to the panel sitting days through an Expression of Interest on Participate Nillumbik - process.”

Council is due to officially accept the Community Panel’s report in October, before releasing a draft GWMP for public consultation over a three-month period.

It will seek to adopt a final GWMP in June 2019.
Additional information on green wedges:

  • Green wedge areas were first set aside by the Victorian Government in the 1970s to conserve rural activities and significant natural features between the growth areas of metropolitan Melbourne.
  • Green Wedges Melbourne’s 12 Green Wedges sit outside the Urban Growth Boundary and are considered the ‘lungs’ of Metropolitan Melbourne.
  • 13,000 Nillumbik residents live in the Green Wedge. It is also home to agricultural producers, wineries, artists, recreation facilities as well as precious flora and fauna.
  • The State Government expects each of metropolitan Melbourne’s councils with a designated green wedge area to prepare a management plan and review it on a regular basis.
  • The key tasks of a Green Wedge Management Plan is to articulate the type, scale and form of change in the Green Wedge and how those changes will be managed and facilitated.
  • The Shire of Nillumbik’s Green Wedge Management Plan was last reviewed in 2010.
  • The current plan identifies a vision, objectives and actions for the sustainable use and development of Nillumbik’s Green Wedge. It identifies the values and features of the Green Wedge, preferred future land use, environmental and natural resources that should be protected and expresses the community’s needs and desires.

In 2017, initial engagement took place between Council officers, community stakeholders and representatives of Council’s Environmental Advisory Committee. This verified the interest in reviewing the Green Wedge Management Plan via the methodology subsequently adopted.