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What is the Digital planning reform?

Our reforms will make it easier and quicker to use the planning system by moving the whole process online.

Delivering a better user experience, promoting better engagement and informed evidence-based planning decisions.

To make this happen we're identifying digital capabilities and investing in digital tools for councils.

The process

The 3-step process is:

1. Fact finding phase 

  • Digital planning survey – a stocktake of all digital technology and capability within local councils, identifying areas for improvement and to set a benchmark for digital reform in Victoria.
  • User research project - user experience design and customer centric research to develop strategic recommendations for the Planning portal.

2. Digital planning upgrade – a 4-year program to deliver an easy-to-use digital planning system to access guidance, information and services. The digital planning system consists of four connected parts:

  1. Planning portal
  2. Permits and applications
  3. Schemes and amendments
  4. Spatial, data and insight

3. Grants program for digital uplift of local councils – to accelerate digital planning services in councils.

The journey to date for digital planning in Victoria

  1. 2009

    Survey of councils to inform initial ePlanning business case.

  2. 2016

    Smart planning funded for digital uplift utilising modern technology and creating platforms for the future.

  3. 2017-18

    Launch VicPlan replacing 15,000 PDF maps. Amendment Tracking System launched allowing DELWP to lodge and track amendments. Moved Ministerial permits online.

  4. 2019

    DELWP Stored and published amendments online and moved heritage permits and exemptions online.

  5. 2020

    Digital planning platform and continuous improvement across core statutory systems.

  6. 2021

    To ensure a coordinated approach to digital reform we are working with: Service Victoria (Business Licencing) Department of Treasury and Finance (Regulatory Reform Incentive Fund) Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (Better Business Approvals and Rural Council Transformation).

  7. Present

    User Research on Planning website to identify opportunities to better support users of the planning system.

A digital roadmap is being developed to show current, planned and future initiatives. We have already delivered:

  • Planning Schemes Online – a new digital format of the planning schemes to improve search and navigation. The beta mode released in March 2021 is running parallel with the PDF schemes while we gather feedback.
  • Development Facilitation Portal – an online lodgement portal for accelerated assessment and determination of priority projects.
  • Regional Planning Hub - an online lodgement portal for regional councils to request surge support for statutory and strategic planning

Contact us

For enquiries, feedback or participation in co-design activities, contact Planning support.

Page last updated: 14/12/21