St Arnaud Township Framework Plan

We are nearing the completion stage of a township framework plan for St Arnaud. The community is invited to engage with the final draft and provide feedback regarding future directions and actions for the town.

Click here to access a copy of the Draft St Arnaud Township Framework Plan (PDF, 30MB)

What does a township framework plan do?

The St Arnaud Township Framework Plan aims to guide the future development and growth of the town. Comprehensive community engagement has informed the barriers and opportunities the town faces, and council has commissioned specialist reports to better inform key actions. The framework plan will ensure St Arnaud remains a vibrant township that continues to thrive well into the future.

Why do we need one?

In 2020, council worked with the community to prepare the St Arnaud Community Plan 2020-30. This plan outlines the many initiatives and projects envisioned for the township over the next ten years. In early 2021, council also consulted with the community, business owners and other stakeholders as part of the Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2021-31. Findings of both projects indicated that the Planning Scheme needs updating in order to provide clarity for the community and investors. The St Arnaud Township Framework Plan will guide land use and facilitate investment to ensure the delivery of these projects. 

The framework plan will highlight St Arnaud’s key strategic location in the Northern Grampians as the shire’s second largest township and promote its potential as a place to settle, visit, live, work and play.

Where are we at now?

Our team is now seeking feedback on the Draft St Arnaud Township Framework Plan and we would appreciate your opinion. Please take the time to answer our short survey here:

Draft St Arnaud Township Framework Plan Survey

The tabs below detail the project timeline as well as the outcomes of several of the earlier stages of the project.


Project Timeline

Step 1.Background review and investigation 

November 2021-January 2022 

Step 2.Engagement Round #1

March 2022-April 2022

Step 3.Technical Reports Commence 

July 2022

Step 4."What We Heard" Engagement Summary and progress update released

July 2022

Step 5.Exhibition of Draft 

December 2022

Step 6.Engagement Round #2- Gather community feedback and edits to draft as required

December 2022 - July 2023

Step 7.Final edits and review of Framework Plan 

August - September 2023 

Step 8.Council Meeting to endorse Framework Plan

October 2023 


Project Background and Emerging Themes

The project area covers the township of St Arnaud including farm and industrial land on the periphery. Currently St Arnaud does not have an updated long-term strategic plan to guide its future land use outcomes. A structure plan is needed to determine settlement patterns and rural township boundaries, as well as future growth and development directions for housing, commercial and industrial development.

This lack of planning and guidance limits the township's opportunity to function as a regional service centre in spite of its strategic location at the junction of the Wimmera and Sunraysia Highways and on the route of Melbourne-Mildura freight. The township also demonstrates extensive built and cultural heritage that is largely unprotected. The St Arnaud Structure Plan will address these issues and seek to enhance what is already great about St Arnaud including art, community, wine, local business and industry. 

Background research and early engagement has led to the following emerging themes being developed in March, 2022: 220221-NG-StArnaud-SP-Emerging-Themes-9.pdf(PDF, 9MB)


Technical Reports

Council commissioned a number of technical reports to help support actions and strategies within the framework plan. These have proven to be critical to understanding the constraints and opportunities of the land in St Arnaud.

Technical reports that were used in the draft framework plan include:

Click on the respective reports to download.  

Engagement Timeline

In order to understand the needs of the community, council will run two rounds of community engagement.

Round 1 - February to April 2022

Round 1 community engagement for the St Arnaud Township Framework Plan ran from February 2022 to April 2022. Council engaged widely and received feedback through surveys, workshops and face-to-face conversations. The feedback has been consolidated into a "What We Heard" report. The report summarises what we heard based on the Emerging Themes paper, and what the next steps are in response. 

To read the St Arnaud Structure Plan "What We Heard" report, click on the link below. 
St-Arnaud-Structure-Plan-Phase-1_Consultation-Outcomes-Report.pdf(PDF, 6MB)

Round 2 - November 2022 to March 2023

Round 2 engagement will focus on receiving feedback on the draft framework plan. Council will focus on re-engaging with those spoken to in the first round and test the content and actions. The broader community will also be engaged in a similar manner to Round 1.

Council has deliberately extended the period of engagement to account for the availability of community and stakeholders over the Christmas and New Year holiday season. If needed, more time will be allowed to make sure all have an opportunity to comment.

Have your say here: Draft St Arnaud Framework Plan Survey

A Community Open Day was held at the Perry Room in the St Arnaud Council office.
Council staff were present from 9AM to 6PM on Wednesday 8 February 2023.


Frequently Asked Questions

What happens next?

Following community feedback and any necessary changes, council officers will finalise the framework plan and seek formal adoption by council. Council officers will then begin implementing the plan as determined by priority and budget.

My land is being proposed to be rezoned, what does that mean for me?

Depending on the changes to the zoning, a number of different land uses could be added or removed from your land. Other changes could mean your zone type stays the same or the size of the smallest lot you could subdivide would change.

A rule of thumb is that council is eager to support development and redevelopment of residential land within the township boundary and provide the right amount of Industrial and Farming land to support businesses.

Rural Living Zone and Bushfire Risk

If you are interested in developing your land but fall outside the township boundary and are in a Rural Living Zone, there is a high chance that you will be limited by bushfire risk. The Bushfire Risk Assessment that was undertaken for the framework plan has identified several areas of extreme bushfire risk surround the St Arnaud township.

Health and safety of our community come first, and council will be limited in options to increase housing and density in such areas.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have any questions about the St Arnaud Township Framework Plan, please contact David Hwang, Coordinator Community Futures at