Strategic projects

1.Colac 2050 Growth Plan

Council in Partnership with Regional Development Victoria is preparing the Colac 2050 Growth Plan. The Plan aims to guide the way Colac grows over the coming years so that it achieves the ‘Botanic Garden City’ theme identified for the city, and provides guidance in relation to land use and economic development in line with the town’s role as a growth node in the G21 Regional Growth Plan. The Plan will be prepared by Council with input and assistance from the community, business groups and individuals, government and agencies, and technical experts.  The Colac 2050 Growth Plan will be implemented through a Planning Scheme Amendment to the Colac Otway Planning Scheme during the course of 2017.

2.Amendment C86 - Colac Township: Economic Development, Commercial and Industrial Land Use Strategy

To view Amendment C86 - Colac Township: Economic Development, Commercial and Industrial Land Use Strategy information click here

Anyone with questions about the strategy can contact the Strategic Planning Unit on 5232 9400 or

3.Apollo Bay Harbour - Expression of Interest Process

What is happening at the Apollo Bay Harbour?
Council recently rezoned the Apollo Bay Harbour precinct to a Special Use Zone with Schedule 2 (SUZ2) that supports use and development of the precinct in accordance with the requirements of the SUZ2.  Schedule 2 requires that a Development Plan be prepared to guide future development of the precinct prior to commencing developments. Council has resolved to support a market based approach for preparation of the Development Plan, which will seek Expressions of Interest (EOI) from the private sector for plans which meet the expectations of the community, based on the planning controls in place, including an indoor heated swimming pool. The process will enable the market to respond to the options for development provided for in the SUZ2 via response to the EOI with a possible development plan concept or, alternatively, a response detailing why such developments are not feasible.

What is a Development Plan?
A Development Plan is a planning tool that ensures that the development of a large parcel of land or an area is well-coordinated to ensure orderly development outcome and the strategic goals of the area.

It shows how a place should look and operate into the future and sets down a list of steps and requirements on how to get there.  It can consider such diverse matters as traffic and pedestrian movement, building design, commercial needs, environmental hazards, sustainability issues and landscaping to produce a plan that meets the current and future needs of the community.  A Development Plan ensures that all issues, concerns and opportunities are considered together before any redevelopment occurs, so that both the big picture and detail is established early on in the process and new development will work to achieve this vision. 
Why is a Development Plan required?
The Apollo Bay Harbour Development Plan is required in order to allow for the redevelopment of the Apollo Bay Harbour precinct. Without an approved Development Plan, Council cannot consider any significant development proposals within the precinct.
How will the Apollo Bay Harbour Development Plan be used?

The Apollo Bay Harbour Development Plan will be used as a decision making tool by Council to ensure that future development in the precinct occurs in a form that is agreed upon and consistent with the Colac Otway Planning Scheme.  The Planning Scheme states what land is covered by the Plan, what is important in the area, what are the key issues, what uses are allowed or prohibited and what outcomes the Development Plan is seeking – in other words how will the place look and feel and what and where activities will happen into the future.
What will the Apollo Bay Harbour Development Plan look like?
The Apollo Bay Harbour Development Plan will include maps to show what will occur at the precinct and plans to show how new buildings (height, setbacks, materials etc.) and landscaping will look and how pedestrians and vehicles will move around the site.  It will reveal how the commercial and recreational  areas within the precinct, where public facilities such as toilets, landscaping, picnic areas and car parks will be located and how the precinct will connect to and compliment surrounding streets, parks, beaches as well as the Apollo Bay town  center. 
The Development Plan will consider the needs of all parties, including the local community, business interests and the environment, as well as State and Local policies.  It will ensure the precinct is sustainably developed and managed so that it caters for the future needs of the Apollo Bay community and visitors.
What is the process for Creating the New Development Plan?
Broadly, there are two stages to the process of bringing about the new development plan.

Expression of Interest Process

Stage 1 - Development Plan Preparation (Based on inclusion of a publicly accessible aquatic and well-being centre, no accommodation and consistent with the provisions of the Special Use Zone)

The purpose of this process would be to invite the private sector to prepare Development Plan(s) consistent with the provisions of the Schedule 2 to the Special Use Zone which also includes a pool.
This process would establish whether there is a likelihood of a development proceeding and whether there is any genuine and viable opportunity to achieve the Council and community’s aspirations for development of the precinct (as expressed in the Special Use Zone Schedule 2). 
To do this the following steps would need to be undertaken:  

  • Develop and release an Expression of Interest (EoI) document calling for the preparation of a Development Plan based on the requirements of the Special Use Zone – Schedule 2. The development of the EoI would occur in partnership with the community to help ensure the right context and questions are asked and ensure the process is designed to achieve the effective input from the market.
  • In addition there would need to be on-going involvement from State Government representatives to ensure their support for the process. 
  • Responses from the market would be formally reviewed by a Project Control Group and then Council.

Stage 2 – Review of Options
The responses received in the EoI process would inform the development and analysis of the options for the harbour redevelopment relevant to market feedback. 

Council has established a Project Control Group to assist with the process. 

What is the Purpose of the Apollo Bay Harbour - Expression of Interest Process - Project Control Group?

The purpose of the Project Control Group (PCG) is to:

  • Design the Expression of Interest (EOI) content and process for preparation of a development plan for the precinct.
  • Develop the process for targeted consultation with the community and stakeholders.
  • Assess market responses to the Expression of Interest (EOI) process, and develop options and recommendations to Council.

How will the Project Control Group be governed?
The Project Control Group will be governed by a Terms of Reference (TOR).
The TOR for the Project Control group can be downloaded here(PDF, 246KB)

When will the Project Control Group meet?
The PCG will meet monthly, or at a frequency required to support the effective management of the project, and will alternate between Colac Otway Shire offices in Colac and Apollo Bay.

Summary of meeting outcomes can be viewed here

Who is on the Project Control Goup?

Council was appreciative of the quality of applications and level of interest from the community.

At the Ordinary Council meeting on 27 April 2016, all nominations were considered and it was determined to appoint six people. Council resolved to appoint the following community representatives to the PCG:

  • Andrew Buchanan
  • Tim Cobb
  • Peter Fillmore
  • Jane Gross
  • John Riches
  • John Verey

They will be joined by the following cross-government representatives:

  • Mayor – Colac Otway Shire Council
  • General Manager Development and Community Services – Colac Otway Shire Council
  • Manager Planning Building and Health – Colac Otway Shire Council
  • Manager Economic Development – Colac Otway Shire Council
  • Tourism Victoria
  • Department Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
  • Regional Development Victoria (RDV).

How can I participate in the Project?

There will be opportunities for the general community to participate in the Project during the development of the Development Plan. The PCG will develop a process for targeted consultation with the community and stakeholders.

Information about future events will be posted here.

Who do I contact for more information?
The Strategic Planning Department at Colac Otway Shire will be happy to assist you with any enquiries.

You may contact the Strategic Planning Unit on 03 5235 9400 or     

To view the Terms of Reference click here(PDF, 246KB)
To view the summary of PCG meeting outcomes click here

4.Completed plans & studies

The following documents are a range of strategic planning projects completed by Council over recent years.  Some of these are referenced in the Planning Scheme and support decision making on planning permit applications and applicatins to rezone land.

Apollo Bay & Marengo Neighbourhood Character Study(PDF, 606KB)
Colac & Apollo Bay Carparking Study(PDF, 7MB)
Rural Living Strategy(PDF, 10MB)
Apollo Bay Settlement Boundary & Urban Design Review(PDF, 3MB)
Rural Land Strategy(PDF, 7MB)

Apollo Bay Structure Plan Vol 1(PDF, 3MB)
Apollo Bay Structure Plan Vol 2(PDF, 1MB)

Colac Structure Plan Part 1(PDF, 6MB)
Colac Structure Plan Part 2(PDF, 7MB)
Colac Structure Plan Part 3(PDF, 3MB)
Colac Structure Plan Part 4(PDF, 3MB)

Kennett River, Wye River & Separation Creek Structure Plan - February 2008(PDF, 5MB)
Birregurra Structure Plan(PDF, 9MB)
Birregurra Neighbourhood Character Study(PDF, 7MB)
Forrest Structure Plan(PDF, 2MB)
Colac Otway Shire Heritage Strategy - November 2013(PDF, 1MB)

Planning Scheme Review 2015(PDF, 899KB)

Colac Development Plans Project

The Colac Development Plans Project commenced in August 2013 following the engagement of Mesh Planning consultants who were asked to produce development plans for three priority residential precincts in Colac affected by an existing Development Plan Overlay 2 (DPO2).  Following extensive consultation with landholders over the 12 month project and changes to exhibited plans, Council resolved at the October 2014 meeting to abandon area 3 and approve development plans for area 4 and 5

Click here(PDF, 340KB) for plans.

Related documents: