The Current ESD Policy 

In 2009, several Victorian councils commenced coordinating their efforts to develop and introduce a consistent ESD local planning policy (ESD Policy) into their respective Planning Scheme. 

In November 2015, six councils including, Port Phillip, were successful in having their ESD Policy gazetted as a part of their Planning Scheme. 

ESD Policy Review  

In 2019, the Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) with Moreland City Council, coordinated work for planning experts to undertake a review of Councils’ common ESD Policy. 

The ESD Policy shortfalls that were identified, as well as the impetus for State and Local Government Authorities, including industry, to address relevant climate change objectives, motivated several Councils to pursue a Planning Scheme Amendment that elevates the ESD requirements and targets.  The amendment is sought to introduce elevated ESD requirements and, for councils with an existing ESD Policy, update the requirements within their respective Planning Scheme. The elevated ESD requirements will enable zero carbon development and foster a zero-carbon economy. 

Elevating ESD Targets and Achieving Zero Carbon within the Planning Scheme 

In 2020, several councils, as part of the Working Group, participated in discussions, workshops and consultations with members of the CASBE Network Group and Steering Committee to expedite outcomes. The outcomes assist with a future Planning Scheme amendment to ensure the delivery of zero carbon development, as well as incorporate aspects of Climate Resilience, Social Sustainability and Innovation as a regenerative set of principles that aim to redefine and affirm the meaning of ‘Best Practice’ articulated within the existing ESD Policy framework – hence, collectively termed, Elevating ESD Targets. 

As at July 2022, 24 local councils are seeking authorisation for a joint amendment to elevate ESD targets to lead the implementation of resilient, zero-carbon buildings and urban places.