What we are asking

Help us protect our Green Wedge and better support our rural businesses and populations by recognising the Mornington Peninsula Shire as a Peri-Regional area.

What makes this unique

The Mornington Peninsula is like no other area of Victoria with its urban/rural mix, its high-value agricultural and conservation land, and its iconic tourism destinations.

Despite 70% of the Peninsula being non-urban and regional in character, we are classified as metropolitan and miss out on much-needed funding streams designed to support regional areas.

Simply re-classifying the Peninsula from metropolitan to regional is not the answer – it will threaten protection of our Green Wedge and result in significant planning issues.

We need a new category – Peri-Regional – that recognises our unique challenges and opportunities and unlocks the significant economic potential of our region.

It will help unlock the Peninsula’s economic potential:

  • Our key economic development priorities for both tourism and agriculture closely align to government funding priorities for regional Victoria, but we are unable to access this support.
  • Metropolitan funding streams we do have access to overlook the needs and priorities of our non-urban areas.
  • A Peri-Regional classification will allow us to better service and support our rural areas.

This is a hot topic for our community:

  • Being classified as metropolitan during Covid-19 lockdowns created significant community anger and awareness of this issue.
  • This has sparked growing calls for the Peninsula to be classified as regional.
  • Community awareness of the potentially disastrous consequences for our Green Wedge of a regional classification is low.
  • A Peri-Regional classification will address the community’s desire to be considered nonmetropolitan while maintaining protections for our much-prized Green Wedge. There is precedent for this change:
  • In 2020 the Victorian Government re-classified six regional councils (Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Macedon Ranges, Moorabool, Golden Plains and Surf Coast Shire) as Peri-Urban, allowing them access to metropolitan funding streams.
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has now partnered with Yarra Ranges Shire Council to advocate for recognition as Peri-Regional.

Our membership of the Interface Councils – which were established nearly two decades ago – no longer serves the Mornington Peninsula.

Interface Councils vary significantly in population growth and density. Councils such as Casey and Wyndham have highly urbanised populations, significantly higher than the Mornington Peninsula, which has the lowest projected population growth and represents less than 10 percent of the total Interface Council population.

Half the Interface Councils (Casey, Hume, Melton, Whittlesea and Wyndham), are also classified as Metropolitan Melbourne Growth Areas, designated for urban use and due to be extended, to house and serve new communities of the future.

In the case of the Infrastructure Victoria’s draft 30 Year Infrastructure Strategy, the aggregation of the Mornington Peninsula with the Southern Metropolitan profile resulted in just one mention of the Mornington Peninsula in the plan.

While we have accessed the Growing Suburbs Fund, the objectives of the fund do not always meet our wider regional priorities.

Regional Development Victoria programs offer more appropriate funding priorities and recognise the complexities of our specific regional challenges and opportunities, yet we do not have consistent access to these programs.

Peri-Regional status would support all themes of our Council Plan through the provision of additional funding to support our tourism, agricultural and cultural sectors, whilst retaining our Green Wedge Zone status.

Theme 1: A healthy natural environment and well planned townships

Theme 2: A robust, innovative and diverse economy

Theme 3: A flourishing, healthy and connected community