Moyne faces pressure from city expansion: report

MOYNE Shire faces ongoing challenges from its location as a rural municipality that surrounds a major regional growth centre.

A new document released this week says development pressure is spilling from urban Warrnambool into Moyne, creating changes to land use and lack of infrastructure in rural areas.

The report, which documented a four-yearly review of the shire’s planning scheme, was approved by councillors. It followed consultation with councillors, government authorities and officers and an audit of planning processes.

A commitment to maintaining the shire’s heritage values and liveability is at the core of the document.

Moyne Shire sustainable development director Oliver Moles said the review aimed to retain the shire’s reputation as a good place to live. He said the shire needed to continue to offer a variety of dwelling options that set it apart from bigger areas such as Warrnambool.

He said Port Fairy, Koroit and the rural living belt between the townships and Warrnambool remained the most popular destinations for people wanting to move to Moyne. “Often people who don’t want to live in Warrnambool come to Moyne for that rural residential experience,” Mr Moles said.

“I think the current issue with waiting lists for childcare in Port Fairy shows just how popular the town is with young families.

“And Koroit is also a popular place with its historic country town feel very appealing to people. Through our planning we have to ensure that Moyne does provide the lifestyle options people are looking for.”

The review also highlighted other issues and challenges including:

n the value of agriculture and associated industry to the shire’s economy;

n planning for the growth and development of Port Fairy; 

n rural-residential development pressure from small lots on high-quality agricultural land;

n the impacts and effects of environmental risks, including climate change and sea level rises;

n the provision of infrastructure and services to smaller townships;

n planning for future industrial land; and

n supporting the growth of tourism.

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