Coast study launched

Alex de Vos
A REPORT to guide development on Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast coastal landscapes was released on Wednesday.
But Minister for Planning Rob Hulls said the report would not stop future development on the coast.
The Coastal Spaces Landscape Assessment Study was developed over three years through extensive community consultation.
“We asked the local communities to tell us what they love about their coast and to take photos of what they want to see maintained,” Mr Hulls said.
The report will be incorporated into local planning schemes so that any development applications will take account of the significant landscape values.
“When planning permits are sought, developers must seriously consider this document,” Mr Hulls said.
“But it doesn’t stop development, it just means development has to be appropriate,” Mr Hulls said.
The report was fuelled by community concern about development pressure on the coast and would manage population growth and protect the environment, Mr Hulls said.
The landscapes include Swan Bay on the Bellarine Peninsula.
“Victoria’s coastal landscapes are some of the most spectacular and recognisable in the country, if not the world.
“This study is the first of its type in Victoria to comprehensively identify significant landscapes and map their locations right along the whole coast,” Mr Hulls said.
State Government has committed $600,000 toward the report and managing coastal landscapes.
“An important step now is to continue to work with local government to finalise the detail at a municipal level,” Mr Hulls said.