Planning Law & Statutory Planning

Subject ABPL90130 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1x2 hour lecture per week, 1x1 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

170 Hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Alan March



The Eastern Precinct (building 138)
(between Doug McDonell building and Eastern Resource Centre)

Current Student:

Subject Overview:

This subject covers the legal framework within which urban planning takes place, and the ways in which local provisions (e.g. ‘Planning Schemes' in Victoria) can be used to implement plans by regulating development. It focuses on the legal frameworks and measures used in Australia, with particular emphasis on Victoria, but critically compares these with alternative approaches used in other jurisdictions. The intention is to teach students not just how to ‘operate' the current legal and statutory systems, but also how to change them to produce better outcomes. We begin by considering the role of regulation and laws in the process of urban planning, and the objectives that statutory planning seeks to achieve. We consider the possible tensions and conflicts between these objectives, and the different basic approaches that might be adopted in dealing with these tensions. The course then introduces the framework of planning law and governance in Victoria, comparing it with practice elsewhere in Australia and in selected overseas jurisdictions. The Victorian statutory planning process is covered in detail, addressing the making and amending of planning schemes, scheme administration and appeals. Finally, we consider the relationship between these state systems and other regulatory systems, such as Commonwealth environmental legislation, before turning to the question of possible reform of the Victorian and Australian systems.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject aims to equip students with:

  • understandings of the main processes and actors in Australian planning, with international comparisons;
  • understandings of the primary legislative basis and related processes of Australian and Victorian planning and environmental systems;
  • the ability to understand and work with Victorian legal and statutory planning and environment systems;
  • an understanding of the limitations of current approaches and of possible alternatives.

  • Two assignments equivalent to 3000 words in total (30% each) one due in week 5 and one in week 11.
  • A two hour open book examination at end of semester (40%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Critical evaluation of policies and practices.
  • The ability to efficiently locate available information.
  • Understanding professional roles and responsibilities.
Related Course(s): Master of Property
Master of Property
Master of Urban Design
Master of Urban Planning
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 point Master of Property
300 point Master of Property
Melbourne School of Design multidisciplinary elective subjects
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

Download PDF version.