90 Mile Beach Plan

The 90 Mile Beach subdivision is a 25-kilometre strip of land located between Bass Strait and Lake Reeve, which extends north of the Honeysuckles to Paradise Beach. The land was subdivided into about 11,800 small lots from 1955 to 1969 before the introduction of planning controls. The land was sold by developers using misleading methods to thousands of people and in many cases to new migrants in Australia.

Image along a trail from developed Paradise Beach to an undevelopable subdivision Much of the area is inappropriate for development due to flooding, erosion, bushfire risk, lack of services and inaccessibility. Environmental studies have also confirmed that the land should never have been sold for residential development due to its high conservation values.

The coastal dues and flood prone areas cannot be developed. However, other land largely located in the Honeysuckles and Golden Beach/Paradise Beach settlements can be developed with planning permit approval.

Since June 2011 Wellington Shire Council has made significant progress to resolve the long-term solution to the 90 Mile Beach inappropriate subdivisions with the operation of voluntary assistance/transfer schemes and compulsory acquisition of land where the landowners cannot be identified after thorough searches.

Council’s progress and background information can be found in the 90 Mile Beach Plan.

Victorian Ombudsman Report

Image of cleared vehicle access under coastal Teatree canopies at Glomar Beach

Due to the complex history of the 90 Mile Beach subdivisions and landowner concerns, the Victorian Ombudsman investigated the Wellington Shire Council’s handling of the 90 Mile Beach subdivisions.

We are obliged to deliver Recommendation 4 of the Ombudsman’s report, that “DELWP work with Wellington Shire Council to facilitate a program of compulsory acquisition of privately-owned, undevelopable land in the Ninety Mile Beach subdivisions once the council’s Voluntary Assistance Scheme and Voluntary Transfer Scheme concludes in 2021.”

The Government’s response was to support Recommendation 4 stating “The department (DELWP) remains committed to working with and supporting council to achieve sustainable future ownership and management of the land, consistent with the adjacent Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park.”

DELWP land acquisition program

With the closure of Council’s land acquisition scheme we will advance a compulsory acquisition program, consistent with the Ombudsman’s findings that all undevelopable privately-owned land be ultimately transferred into public ownership.

We will continue to work with Council to transfer undevelopable land into the public land estate and progress the compulsory acquisition of remaining undevelopable land (approximately 1900 lots).

We look forward to continuing to work with Council for the next phase of the acquisition program to ensure the future management of the land is consistent with the adjacent Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park.

We are committed to achieve a long-term solution for the inappropriate subdivisions land, to provide certainty for affected landowners and resolve this long-standing issue, in the public interest for the benefit of all.

Image along a trail from developed Paradise Beach to an undevelopable subdivisionImage from the Lake Reeve Islands overlooking the wetlands of Lake Reeve

Page last updated: 21/07/21