Local Buffer Support Program

Waste and resource recovery facilities operate to best practice standards, however there are occasions when negative impacts may be experienced by the local community — for example, odour impacting neighbours in extreme or unpredictably windy conditions.

Adequate buffers around facilities are important to minimising impacts, and for preventing encroachment of incompatible adjacent uses which can lead to the early closure of essential facilities. Early closure can in turn have negative impacts on business confidence, investment in new waste disposal and resource recovery infrastructure and therefore capacity across the state. Local government waste and recovery costs are also impacted through contractual arrangements with facilities that take municipal waste.

MWRRG delivered the Local Buffer Support Program between 2014 and 2019 in collaboration with regional Waste and Resource Recovery Groups, local government, and other state government agencies. The program received $1.46 million funding from the Sustainability Fund. 

The program empowered metropolitan councils 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.

The program achieved a shared understanding of buffer issues and their complexity by bringing stakeholders together.

What did the program deliver?

  • 250 waste and resource recovery facilities across regional Victoria were risk assessed and prioritised.
  • Buffers for crucial facilities in metropolitan Melbourne have been protected and the process has commenced for facilities in regional Victoria.
  • Long term buffer and community protection plans have been established for waste hubs of state importance at North Melbourne and Dandenong.
  • In partnership with the Planning Institute of Australia, training was delivered to more than 150 land use planners and waste management professionals across Victoria, to help them better plan for waste and resource recovery facilities.
  • A suite of land use planning tools that protect buffers and adjacent communities were developed and shared with land use planning agencies.

An independent evaluation of the program found the training and tools developed to be critical in providing state and local government planners with the knowledge, capacity and motivation needed to protect and enhance waste and resource recovery facilities across Victoria. 

Last updated: 08/04/2021