Growing Places Strategy - A Plan for Growth to 2051

Victoria is growing, especially Melbourne and our regional cities like our neighbours Geelong and Ballarat. We’re developing a long-term plan to leverage the benefits of population growth for our Shire, while at the same time protecting our environment and country feel for the future.
Growing Places

Our Draft Future Plan for Growth

Council is currently preparing a plan to set the overall direction for how our Shire should grow up to 2050, called the Growing Places Strategy (GPS). We’re getting on the front foot to carefully plan for increasing growth pressure (learn more in the ‘background’ below).

Over the past two years we’ve commissioned a range of independent studies and research to help inform the GPS. We’ve used this background research, strongly guided by the key objectives of the Community Vision 2040, to develop a draft ‘future growth scenario’ that shows where housing and population growth could occur over time: at 2030, 2040 and 2050.

Watch this short video for an overview of the draft plan, or alternatively you can read more in the fact sheet: Our Draft Future Plan for Growth.

The proposed draft future growth scenario has two key objectives:

  1. Extending growth that is already happening along our borders, supported by existing services and infrastructure (Cambrian Hill and areas around Stonehaven)
  2. Focussing growth where it can attract much-needed investment in services and infrastructure to benefit a township and the communities around it (Meredith, Teesdale, Lethbridge) 

Together these two approaches seek to balance the benefits of population growth with the importance of preserving the uniqueness of Golden Plains.

Potential Growth Locations GPS


Background: Population growth and why we need to plan  

Melbourne’s population is now larger, and growing faster, than Sydney’s. By 2033 it’s predicted that Melbourne will have an estimated 6.1 million people.

The Victorian Government has said that Melbourne’s suburbs and Victoria’s regional cities will provide most of the new homes people need to live in because they have existing services and infrastructure to support it. But every Council must plan for growth . 

We commissioned an independent report into how much housing we may need to provide in Golden Plains.

It showed that due to our location between Geelong and Ballarat, and because we are within the 100km of metropolitan Melbourne, we have a unique opportunity to secure more benefits for our community by accommodating some flow on growth into our Shire. These benefits align with many aspirations of our Community Vision 2040, like more investment in services and infrastructure, a stronger local workforce, and new businesses and entertainment options.

It also showed that we could experience stronger growth pressure than what the State Government predicts. This means we should have plans in place to make sure it goes in the right locations, to avoid less favourable outcomes. Find out more in our fact sheet: Growth in Our Region

How you can be involved

We know there may be questions about this draft future growth scenario so we want to talk with our community to explain our thinking and answer any questions. We also want to know if, in addition to the comprehensive research and evidence base we have already established, there are any other important factors we should consider or investigate.

It is too early to talk about and take feedback on details like exact numbers of new houses in a town and specifically where they might go, how the housing might look, or what infrastructure is needed. But there will be opportunities for the community to provide input into all of these considerations after the GPS is developed and more detailed planning work is undertaken.

To learn about the draft future growth scenario, you can:

To find out more and ask questions you can:

To provide formal feedback about other important factors we should consider or investigate you can:

  • Email [email protected]
  • Write to: Strategic Planning, Golden Plains Shire Council, PO Box 111, Bannockburn 3111  

Consultation update - October 2023

We completed the first stage of community consultation on the Growing Places Strategy on Friday 28 July 2023.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback, attended an online or in-person information session or got in touch with us about the development of the Growing Places Strategy.

Feedback on the Future Growth Scenario demonstrates a strong understanding of the high-level plan and what would be required to support growth. The differing viewpoints reflect the challenges and opportunities that are presented by the potential for substantial growth beyond the conservative 15-year housing supply.

For a snapshot of community feedback, click on the Infographic link below.

Consultation Findings Infographic

What’s Next?

Developing the Growing Places Strategy will take time and involves many different steps, and then implementing the GPS is a long-term process and will not happen for some years. 

Now we have tested the draft growth scenario with the community, we will develop a full draft of the Growing Places Strategy with an action plan.

You will then have another opportunity to review the full Draft GPS and provide feedback, before Council considers the plan for endorsement.

Once endorsed, the GPS will need to be integrated into our Planning Scheme (or ‘rulebook’ about how land can be used) through a Planning Scheme Amendment. You can find out more about all the steps in our fact sheet: Growth in Our Region and stay informed via this page.


  • 2021/22: Background research
  • Mid-2023: Developing and testing a future growth scenario
  • 2023: Preparing and consulting on a draft GPS and action plan
  • 2024: Adopting a final GPS
  • 2024: Preparing and consulting on a Planning Scheme Amendment to incorporate the GPS into the Golden Plains Planning Scheme (the ‘rule book’)
  • 2024: Submitting the Planning Scheme Amendment to the Minister for Planning for final approval.

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