Thinking Regional and Rural is designed to assist you to identify, monitor and assess the potential impacts of policy and legislative proposals upon regional and rural Victoria. It comprises five high-level considerations: Economy, Accessibility, Social and Community, Environment and Equity.

Information to assist you assess your proposal against each consideration is available by following the tabs above.

What does this mean?

Under this consideration, environment refers to the natural surroundings, ecosystems, heritage value and social, economic and cultural aspects of a specific geographical area.

Why is this important?

Regional and rural Victoria is home to some of Victoria's greatest natural and cultural assets, including national parks, wildlife habitats and sites of Aboriginal and post-settlement heritage significance. Natural and cultural assets may be located on all land types, including public and private land. In some cases, such as the Twelve Apostles, they are also widely recognised tourist attractions and are a key part of the local economy. In other cases, assets such as lakes and wetlands are of local environmental significance or contribute to local liveability. Most of the state's environmentally and culturally significant land lies in regional and rural Victoria.

Natural and cultural assets can be impacted by policy decisions related to land use planning, heritage, waste management, urban water, clean air and healthy soil, business regulations, and trade. In some cases, policy and legislative impacts on natural and cultural heritage can be assessed in an Environmental Effects Statement and/or Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan.

Considering environmental impacts along with other regional-level considerations can be particularly complex where an area is also regarded as an economic or tourism asset.

Questions to consider

  • Will the new policy or legislative proposal have environmental impacts? If so, have the potential impacts in specific regional locations been adequately assessed?
  • Will the policy or legislative proposal have Aboriginal cultural heritage impacts? Have you assessed the impacts?
  • Have the environmental impacts of the proposal been considered through regional-level consultation and an understanding of the region's own priorities?
  • Does the proposal provide opportunities for regional communities to strengthen their natural asset base and benefit their local amenities?