BH and Issues of Concern

BHA is concerned with a number of issues including some identified in the Bellarine Peninsula Strategic Plan 2006 – 2016. The following list will help you find something you may be interested in.

  1. Infrastructure, Amenities, Tourism

  2. Town Planning and Town Character

  3. Parking, Traffic and Public Transport

  4. Conservation of Natural Environment

  5. Community Service

  6. Barwon Heads Heritage


    1. Infrastructure, Amenities, Tourism

        1.10.1 Community support for ‘Around Barwon Heads bike and walking track’ Formulate an Urban Character study for Barwon Heads and adhere to it Upgrade the Post Office service to provide parcel post after office hours
        1.1.71 Support people to age within the community according to their chosen lifestyle: · Undertake a study to help recognise the current and future social, recreational, health, transport and amenity needs
        1.1.72 Provide sufficient services for people to age in place: Initiate and encourage mentoring, training, community enterprises and volunteering
        1.1.73 Older people involved in township planning
        1.1.74 Develop programs to allow older people to contribute to the community and be recognised Ensure amenities keep pace with the increase of population; · access to child care (currently none in town) . primary school continues to expand · access to infant health (currently none in town) Ensure adequate public transport (for youth) to connect to secondary schools, tertiary institutions, employment and recreational activities Increase range of activities and entertainment (for youth of all ages) Access to specialist youth services (inc child care centre) Encourage and include young people in community planning process
    2. Town Planning and Town Character Implement recommendations in the Coastal Spaces Project A rating system which does not unfairly penalise farm businesses which have the majority of their capital tied up in land That increased land values do not reflect the land’s agricultural capacity Reinforce policy documentation under-pinning the Barwon Heads Local Area Policy, the MSS& the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme to ensure the best possible opportunity that Council decisions will be upheld by VCAT Lobby the State for pre-eminence of particular local area provisions in the scheme, particularly those relating to protection of small coastal communities bounded by fragile environments: Stop Inappropriate development Protect the environment and integrity of the township: Preserve the town character Institute the following practices to reflect the nature of a low key coastal community: · Limit hard surfaces · Reinforce and retain informal streets · Protect and enhance walking tracks · Protect and preserve views to water · Protect coastal vegetation, parkland, river and beach CoGG Strategic Planners, in consultation with community, undertake a strategic planning exercise to revise height limits, heritage, environment and other overlays and embed these in the Greater Geelong Planning Scheme Community together with CoGG Social and Strategic Planners, think carefully about the potential impacts on the Barwon Heads community (of the Armstrong Creek development) and together with the community plan to mitigate any potential impacts CoGG Children’s Services planners to coordinate school, Bellarine Community Health Centre and other community and private providers potential to fund and redevelop the school / kindergarten sites to a multi-purpose learning and care hub Retain kindergarten site and investigate best possible opportunities for current kindergarten site to facilitate amenity in the township including improvements to parking amenity in the main street
    3. Parking, Traffic and Public Transport CoGG not allow inappropriate development in the shopping precinct which puts greater pressure on available parking Stop parking waivers by Council and review the existing parking study to ensure safe and appropriate traffic and pedestrian conditions in the township, and easy access to shopping and other tourist opportunities provided within the town: Strategically enforce current parking regulations. Design and develop a parking / walking / safe pedestrian design study for the township which creates the greatest amenity for shoppers and township centre users while at the same time providing for safe pedestrian and cycling access around the township and promotes community well being Include in the study an investigation of potential for Council to purchase land for parking particularly near shops and restaurants Limit the traffic through the township; improve walking and bike trails; link these to opportunities to improve pedestrian and cycling access through the town centre: Design and develop a walking and cycling strategy for Barwon Head residents and surrounding countryside
    4. Conservation of Natural Environment …… ensure the following are achieved a) Maintain ‘green zones’ b) Limit population expansion c) Clearly define township boundaries d) Define areas designated for subdivision and medium density housing consistently with the UDF direction Investigate other mechanisms including overlays and height limits to manage impact of growth and change on the Barwon Heads built environment Protect and manage human footprint impacts on the bluff, estuary, river and foreshore systems: Study impact of population growth on these fragile environments Examine strategies for moderating impacts and recognising the need for remedial work: Hold annual public meetings / information nights / community awareness campaigns / school education programs / specialised internet sites Ensure environmental leaders liaise with all local community groups: By 2006 establish a local environment advisory group Involve the school, foreshore committee and volunteer groups in decision making on coastal and river environments, treatments, impacts and environmental work: Develop a management plan by 2006 and re-evaluate and monitor annually
    5. Community Service

Rec 2 Investigate capacity for using existing facilities in Barwon Heads for increased delivery of community / family services, eg. Bellarine Community Health Centre family support and allied paediatric services

  1. Barwon Heads Heritage

Long Term Vision for Barwon Heads


Provide direction for BHA, context for planning


Develop an approach to constructing a vision including:

* Structure Plan as starting point
* Identifying future issues including: Armstrong Creek development, town boundary,
climate change, resource use/sustainability inc peak oil
* Locating other relevant future views; e.g., Bellarine Peninsula Strategic Plan, G21

Outline of possible approach to constructing vision prepared for Committee consideration

Audit of Bellarine Peninsula Strategic Plan completed. Many outstanding actions, provide a base for direction of BHA.  In particular:

* CoGG to meet with “each community through their Ward Councillor on an annual basis to report back on progress of visions,  both by communities and by the City of Greater Geelong”

Letter sent to Cr Richards linking BHA issues to his proposed October forum consideration – October forum did not occur

Pres talked to Vic Planning Minister Matthew Guy who expressed view town boundary would stay; stated building height will be limited to 7.5m – Response to Minister’s review of Victorian planning system submitted
- confirm in writing

Bellarine Strategic Plan Audit

BHA was invited by the Geelong Council to participate in its Bellarine Strategic Plan Audit. We had limited time to respond, however were pleased with our input. A group of us met and we also followed up with some other entities on matters that they had more knowledge than us. We particularly thank the Friends of the Bluff, Save Barwon Heads Alliance and Senior Citizens Club for contributions.
We are concerned that the population pf Barwon Heads has significantly changed, grown and turned over since 2006 when the Strategic Plan was put together. The document is now 6 years old and most of the Managers and Councillors have changed over this time.
We urge all Barwon Heads resident to look at this document.We are aware that many of the objectives are ongoing and there is still considerable resources required by the Council to implement strategies to achieve the stated goals. In particular:
·        maintaining the character of the town as a coastal village
·        providing older persons in the town facilities to meet their physical and emotional well being and encourage their continued involvement and feeling of worth within the community
·        providing the youth of all ages facilities to meet their physical and emotional well being and encourage and promote a strong community awareness and belonging
·        Preserving the low key, coastal village character; limit population of town
·        Ensuring that town boundaries are clearly designated in the Barwon Heads local area planning provisions, the principles of the Coastal Spaces Project are embedded in the MSS and reflected in the Coastal Area provisions of the Geelong Planning Scheme
·        Investigating the potential impact of the Armstrongs Creek development on accessibility of Barwon Heads and impact on Barwon heads and plan and provide infrastructure to support Armstrongs Creek development and other existing developments within the Barwon Heads township
·        Stopping parking waivers by Council and review the existing parking study to ensure safe and appropriate traffic and pedestrian conditions in the township, and easy access to shopping and other tourist opportunities provided within the town
·        Limiting the traffic through the township; improving walking and bike trails; linking these to opportunities to improve pedestrian and cycling access through the town centre
·        Implementing 50kph speed limits on Bridge Road and Golf Links Road;. enforce load limits on existing bridge
·        Protecting and managing the  human footprint impacts on the bluff, estuary, river and foreshore systems
·        Communicating the results of the  Bellarine Peninsula Strategic Plan 2006 – 2016 as effectively and widely as possible

BH in Bellarine Strategic Plan 2006-2016

A vision for the township of Barwon Heads was developed during the preparation of the Bellarine Peninsula Strategic Plan 2006-2016 (BPSP) (, as follows:

“In the year 2016 Barwon Heads will be a unique, sustainable, residential and environmental hub; a landlocked community surrounded by pristine river, coast and wetlands. An intimate community which supports all age groups and provides a place of belonging for residents and visitors alike; where human impact is managed to support the fragile natural surroundings by:

  • Clearly defined limitations on urban development
  • Protecting and nurturing natural surroundings by managing human footprint
  • Supporting walking, cycling, fishing, sailing, surfing, swimming and generally enjoying what our coastal village has to offer in an environmentally sensitive way”.

The Barwon Heads Urban Design Framework 2003 (UDF) ( also included a vision for the township, which summarised the community’s aspirations for the future of the township and helped to canvass exactly what the urban design framework should achieve:

“A place that is defined by the natural landscape features that surround it – the Bellarine Peninsula’s ‘island’ community.
A town of diverse character where development is largely nestled into the coastal vegetation, or if development is not tucked away, it is honestly expressed and well designed.
A place where the informal qualities are retained, because it is these elements that give the town its special character, and where the interface of the town with the ocean, wetlands, river and rural land demonstrates an environmental sensitivity.
A township where people can walk safely, and experience a strong sense of nearness to the water through buildings and vegetation that highlight the coastal environment and unique landforms.
A place where a diverse and environmentally aware community want to live and visit”.
For Barwon Heads to achieve the visions established in the UDF and BPSP a shift to progressive, environmentally aware behaviour and actions is required from the community and its visitors. The topography and layout of the town provides tremendous opportunities for Barwon Heads to become a town which operates as a ‘sustainable village’, where protection of the sensitive environmental features and walking and cycling are parts of everyday life. People are attracted to the town for its sensitive landscape, its river and coastal setting and scenic pedestrian environment, which are important features that need to be protected, to ensure that the very essence of the town’s attractiveness is not lost.

Role of the Township

Barwon Heads has many different roles, however its two main roles are as a commuter residential area for Geelong and the other as a holiday destination. The town is not identified as a growth location within Council’s Urban Growth or Rural Residential strategies, for conventional or rural residential development, nor as a location for extensive commercial or industrial activity.

The sensitive coastal, environmental and rural setting of the township, and associated State and Local Planning Policies, preclude extensive township growth, while local services and facilities are generally limited to those which provide for daily needs and requirements, with a limited range of tourist and visitor related amenities.

(from Barwon Heads Structure Plan, 2007, City of Greater Geelong)