Local Buffer Support Program

MWRRG is delivering the Local Government Buffer Support Program over five years (2014-18) in collaboration with local government, and key Victorian Government agencies.

What are the buffer project objectives?

The objectives of the Local Government Buffer Support Program are to:

  • support and empower metropolitan local government to respond to the land use planning challenges and opportunities set out in Plan Melbourne, the Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan and the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan

  • develop a suite of land use planning tools , including guidelines and controls, that can be used by local planning authorities to define protect and maintain buffers to waste and resource recovery facilities; and help protect communities from potential impacts of waste and resource recovery facilities

  • deploy tools for an initial tranche of sites within metropolitan Melbourne to test and refine the tools for broader implementation support and establish an action group of state and local government senior metropolitan planners and waste managers to work with MWRRG and the waste portfolio on implementing buffer controls. 


What will the project funding deliver?

  • Funding of $1,464,000 will allow the development the buffer tools and support their implementation for key sites across Melbourne and regional Victoria.

  • The tools developed by this program will be made available for use by others. This includes other metropolitan councils whose sites are not included in the study, regional councils and, regional waste management groups and industries and waste and resource recovery operators wanting to provide their businesses with land use planning certainty.


What will the buffer support program provide?

MWRRG is developing and delivering the buffer support program in collaboration with local government, and key state government agencies. This approach will ensure the tools can be successfully used by local planning authorities through:

  • a clear and consistent set of land use planning tools, including guidelines and controls informed by state policies and local knowledge and needs

  • fostering a shared understanding – for state, local government and industry planning professionals – of the significance of waste and resource recovery facilities

  • developing ownership and broad uptake of the policies and tools by planning professionals

  • strengthening waste and resource recovery expertise and capacity in local government planners

  • MWRRG will draw on its partnering approach and practices that are currently being used to successfully deliver collective procurement for organic facilities.


Why are buffers important?

  • Establishing and protecting buffer distances over the life of the facility is critical for minimising potential adverse impacts on adjoining communities, and for preventing encroachment of incompatible adjacent uses (which can lead to the early closure of facilities).

  • The early closure of facilities could in turn have a negative impact on business confidence, investment in new waste disposal and resource recovery infrastructure and local government waste and recovery costs and contracts.


 Why are buffers and encroachment the key challenge?

  • The planning system has a critical role to ensure waste management and recovery facilities are protected from encroachment by incompatible land uses.

  • Planning can ensure there is adequate infrastructure for new urban development while protecting the public health and amenity of residents and businesses in the vicinity.

  • Waste and resource recovery facilities should operate to best practice standards and in line with all regulatory requirements. Even when waste and resource recovery facilities operate to best practice standards, there will be occasions when impacts may be felt in neighboring sites for example, odour impacting on neighbours during extremely windy conditions. Buffers are important to minimising the level of impact.


Last updated: 20/05/2020