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What we do
Melbourne is Australia's fastest growing city - our population is tipped to hit around 6 million by 2030. As new suburbs rise on the city’s fringe, our native animals, plants and fragile ecosystems are placed under increasing pressure. The Melbourne Strategic Assessment (MSA) Program ensures that development in these areas follows strict Victorian and Australian environmental laws, and our biodiversity is protected into the future. The program is underpinned by the MSA Act.
The program also streamlines the approvals process for developers. Developers must follow certain requirements, including paying the MSA levy. The levy goes towards funding the creation and management of our conservation reserves and programs, and running much-needed conservation management programs for vulnerable species. This long-term, strategic approach will achieve strong outcomes for our much-loved native ecosystems, plants and animals.
We aim to balance development, which is essential to our city’s growth, with protecting our environment for generations to come.
Our key actions
We're working alongside our government and community partners to secure more than 20,000 hectares of the best remaining habitat around the city's outskirts. We use money collected through a levy on development in our growth corridors. These funds go towards building a network of conservation reserves, areas and management programs:
- creating the 15,000 hectare Western Grassland Reserve
- creating the 1,200 hectare Grassy Eucalypt Woodland Protected Area
- securing 36 conservation areas across more than 4,000 hectares
- securing 145km of growling grass frog habitat and creating more than 80 wetlands
- protecting and managing the southern brown bandicoot
- protecting and managing habitat for the golden sun moth, matted flax-lily and spiny rice-flower.
Read more about the program's conservation outcomes in Delivering Melbourne's Newest Sustainable Communities Report (2009).
How it works
We work with developers and others in the industry to make sure development in our growth areas follows Victorian and Australian environmental laws.
This levy goes towards funding our conservation reserves and programs. We also work in partnership to restore, monitor and manage our irreplaceable species and ecosystems.
View a larger version of the how it works infographic.
Page last updated: 21/02/24