Member's Statement: Distinctive Areas Landscapes

16 August 2023

Watch the video here:

It is incredibly exciting to stand here today to talk about the signing of the Bellarine distinctive area and landscape, or the Bellarine DAL. Last week the Minister for Planning released the final statement of planning policy for the Bellarine Peninsula. Within this policy the Bellarine has been declared a distinctive area and landscape under the Planning and Environment Act 1987. This policy locks in protected settlement boundaries for all townships on the Bellarine Peninsula, ensuring that the landscape and natural beauty of the peninsula are protected for future generations.

I am very thankful to our predecessor the Honourable Lisa Neville, who worked tirelessly alongside the community to safeguard the unique aspects of our region, and now we have a comprehensive 50-year policy in place for the Bellarine – a plan that not only prioritises environmental preservation but also seeks to protect our iconic townships. It was a collective goal to ensure the sustainability of our communities remained a priority, and through this DAL we are now providing the highest planning protection for Victoria’s most historic environmentally sensitive areas. This policy was prepared with traditional owners the Wadawurrung, the Borough of Queenscliffe and the City of Greater Geelong, with significant public consultation.

I remember when the Premier announced the final DAL at the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club there were literally tears of joy from the community members – happy tears that all their work and advocacy had been heard and their towns mattered. I am very proud to represent the Bellarine and this DAL.