Australia’s rural and regional built environment is diverse. The Great South Coast regional centres such as Warrnambool and Hamilton have many assets and are concerned with ensuring that population spread does not compromise amenity, while often smaller centres may have fewer assets that are aging and no longer fit-for-purpose. Traffic congestion may also be a problem with outdated streetscapes that offer limited parking. Coastal towns may struggle with an eroding coastline and rising sea levels.
The built environment puts pressure on the natural environment, primarily by using land, water, and energy resources, as well as through the waste and emissions produced by these consumptive activities. The structure, form, and function of the built environment, as well as the quality of its environmental assets, determine its suitability for living in1. This element must be viewed through all lenses, especially sustainability and accessibility.
1Coleman S (2016). Built environment: Key findings. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/theme/built-environment/key-findings?year=96, DOI 10.4226/94/58b65a5037ed8
Climate change (resulting in heat waves, etc.); urbanisation; natural disasters such as storms, fires, flooding; land use; and culture have significant influence on the build environment. Also, government policy has a direct impact on the amenities that a local government provides and its ability to maintain the built environment that it is responsible for as rates are often capped and essential services can be mandated.
Land use planning is overseen by the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure which administers the Planning & Environment Act 1987, however local governments set the overall direction for development of communities within their respective municipalities through the application of planning controls such as council plans and visions, financial plans, municipal strategic statements, and other strategic plans. Setting the vision, and then ensuring that it is achieved through the application of planning schemes, is one of the most important roles of local government. Local Government administers the town planning legislation and is the first point of contact for any person, company or authority that seeks to develop or change the use of land.
National Water Grid Authority – administers region-specific water storage and distribution solutions to secure predictable supplies of water now and into the future (10-year investment plan)
DELWP and Barwon Water have developed a Renewable Energy Roadmap for BSW Region
Rural Equity in Service Access and Funding
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