General Planning

Planning for sustainable animal industries in Victoria

In 2015, the Victorian Government appointed an Animal Industries Advisory Committee (AIAC) to consider how changes to the planning system could support the growth of Animal Industries in Victoria.

This arose from a need to update planning regulations to keep pace with rapid changes occurring across animal industries that have altered the way farms look and operate, including:

  • new technologies
  • changing consumer preferences
  • growing global demand for our high-quality food and fibre products.

The AIAC's 2016 Final Report proposed a series of reforms focusing on a broad range of planning issues and recognise the need to promote growth and innovation while protecting environmental and human health.

Download the Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries (PSAI) report:

Delivery of the reforms

Following the release of the PSAI Report, the Government committed to four key focus areas and 12 actions to ensure that planning process can accommodate the future needs of changing communities and industries (see below).

To support delivery of the actions, the government established a reference group comprising key industry representatives from the chicken meat, dairy, beef and pork industries, local government and community members. The reference group has provided significant advice and input into the drafting of the planning reforms.

The following list sets out the Government's actions, many of which are now complete:

Completed reforms

  • Action 1 — Support local government strategic planning by improving access to regional growth and land suitability information
  • Action 2 — Establish an implementation reference group to facilitate continued improvement in planning for sustainable animal industries
  • Action 3 — Introduce clear land use definitions for animal industries into the Victoria Planning Provisions
  • Action 4 — Take a graduated approach to planning controls based on risk. (Note, opportunities to develop further risk-based planning controls will be explored through Action 8.)
  • Action 5 — Provide planning and development assistance through Agribusiness Development Facilitation and interactive web-based development tools
  • Action 7 — Remove the 1992 Piggeries Code as an incorporated document in the Victoria Planning Provisions
  • Action 10 — Develop and make available short courses on sustainable animal industries
  • Action 11 — Enable clear identification of water catchment areas to assist planning decisions
  • Action 12 — Develop clear guidance to improve quality of planning permit applications, and develop model permit conditions to guide local government.

Reforms underway - to be completed by 2024

  • Action 8 — Develop a new general Code of Practice for animal industries complemented by industry specific technical guidelines
  • Action 9 — Develop a more consistent approach to determining separation distances for various animal industries and production systems.

Agriculture Victoria Planning and Advisory Service

In December 2021, the Victorian Government announced the Agriculture Victoria Planning and Advisory Service. The Advisory Service provides agricultural planning advice across all agricultural sectors including but not limited to dairy, pigs and poultry, cattle, sheep, goats, horticulture and grains.

Further information can be found on the on the Agriculture Victoria Planning and Advisory Service web page.

Strategic agricultural land and development

The absence of state-wide information on the strategic significance of agricultural land presents a challenge for policy and decision makers alike. This is particularly the case where there is a need to weigh up the economic and public value of agricultural uses against competing uses.

The Strategic Agriculture Land and Development (SALAD) Report examines land use change drivers and their impact on agriculture in Victoria. The report provides an overview of extent and nature of land use conversion across the state and comments on the significance of this conversation, offering options for intervention.

This report contains detailed, technical information and is too large to download via the website. Please email us directly at for a copy.

Improving environmental outcomes for intensive animal industries - 2018 symposium

In December 2018, over 140 delegates from around the world gathered at Agriculture Victoria's Centre for AgriBioscience in Bundoora, to attend a symposium exploring the changing nature of intensive animal production systems.

Hosted by Agriculture Victoria, this two-day event covered a range of subjects under the banner of improving environmental outcomes for intensive animal industries.

International and domestic speakers delved into a range of areas, including:

  • the changing nature of animal production systems
  • managing atmospheric and water quality impacts
  • getting better value from manure
  • developing effective research-based policy and regulation.

Videos from the symposium

You can watch all videos from the 2018 symposium on YouTube .

Further information

Planning permit requirements across zones in Victoria

There are a range of zones where animal production may be permitted, and this is outlined in the Victoria Planning Provisions.

Local laws should be considered when determining if an activity is permissible.

For more information on permit requirements across zones in Victoria, download :

PPN87: Preparing a planning permit application for animal production

This practice note provides information and guidance for applicants about preparing a planning permit application to use and develop land for animal production.

View PPN87 at the Department of Transport and Planning.


For further information contact the Agriculture Victoria Planning and Advisory Service for all agricultural land use planning enquiries on

Page last updated: 25 Jan 2024