A fresh look at siting and design on the Victorian Coast

Ms Liz Patterson1

1 Vic Dept Environment, Land, Water & Planning , East Melbourne, Australia


Victorians have a strong connection with the coast, it is a special place to visit, holiday and live. The siting and design of buildings and infrastructure on the coast plays a critical role in the ongoing health and positive experience of the coast.

The Victorian Coastal Strategy 2014 (VCS) is the State Government’s policy commitment to marine and coastal planning. An important action in the VCS, is the revision of the Siting and Design Guidelines for Structures on the Victorian Coast.

The Guideline has provided direction for decision makers on the location, scale and use of development along the coast for the last 17 years. The Guideline assists state and local governments to protect coastal landscapes, enhance townships character, and promote excellence in design on the coast.

With the ongoing pressure of aging infrastructure, population growth and climate change there is a need to update the guidelines so they remain relevant and useful for the next 20 years. The revised Guideline will also assist in creating places that are; accessible, safe, diverse, enjoyable, engaging and accommodate people of different abilities, ages and cultures.

The project will be developed using a ‘working partnership approach’ with the design consultant and the Department’s project team coming together. This team will work with council officers, developers, land managers and the community to ensure the Guidelines are easy to use and that siting and design is addressed properly on Victoria’s coastline.

The Guideline is expected to be completed in 2018.


Liz is the Manager of the Policy & Strategy Unit, at the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Liz has worked in the field of coastal management and planning in both the public and private sector for the last 20 years. Her roles have included a range of policy development, coastal planning and stakeholder engagement. Liz’s love and interest of the coast comes from growing up in the small seaside town of Ocean Grove, Victoria. When not at work Liz gets to share her love of the beach with her energetic toddler Banjo.