Empower The East

Your Voice Matters.

Empower The East has been designed to give the “invisible people” and
“the little guy” a voice in how our local government behaves.

Rural Land Use Strategy



The proposed amendments to the Rural Land Use Strategy (RLUS) by the East Gippsland Shire Council pose severe threats to landholders with properties of 40 hectares or less.

The Council plans to push through these changes at the upcoming meeting on Tuesday, July 25th, leaving little time for intervention.


Consequences for Landowners

Under the proposed changes, it will become extremely difficult and costly for owners of 40-hectare or smaller properties to obtain permits for building homes.

The minimum lot size for dwelling permits in Farming Zone 1 would be doubled to 80 hectares, with a discouragement of non-farming purposes.

“The economic disadvantage of the introduction of 80-hectare planning permits and the removal of the “as of right” entitlement for 40-hectare lots will have severe economic implications for landholders. This sudden change will devalue their properties, jeopardize their financial security, and may undermine their ability to fulfill financial commitments made when purchasing the land. This has been my position on the matter from the first introduction of the strategy and it has not changed.” – Councilor Sonia Buckley, Media Release July 7, 2023


Negative Impacts and Unfairness

“The strategy imposes unnecessary impediments for justifying farm dwellings, which directly affects farmers and landowners who require on-site residences for operational purposes. Balancing the need for agricultural viability with appropriate land use regulations is crucial for the sustainability of our rural economies.”

Current landowners who purchased or have owned smaller properties in good faith will face extensive and expensive processes to obtain permission for construction.

The requirement for a farm plan will incur significant costs without any guarantee of approval.

In effect, this would force landowners to acquire an additional 40 hectares of adjacent land, if available and affordable, to build on their existing property.


Transparency and Community Consultation Needed

We urge all Councilors to reconsider their positions and support the preservation of the 40-hectare rule for current owners.

“Lack of clear definitions and undefined terms in the strategy contribute to confusion and uncertainty which must be addressed. Clarity and transparency in the use of language are paramount to ensure effective implementation and understanding by all stakeholders.” – Councilor Sonia Buckley, Media Release July 7, 2023

Furthermore, we request the Council to postpone the RLUS vote until February 2024, allowing sufficient time for transparent community consultation and effective decision-making.


Protecting Our Future Prosperity

The proposed RLUS, along with the East Gippsland Housing and Land Strategy, will have detrimental effects on investment, economic growth, and land values in the region.

These drafts, in their current formats, will deter outside investors and hamper our regional prosperity.“By limiting growth opportunities in these areas, the strategy neglects the economic potential and vitality of these communities, leading to potential population decline, limited job prospects, and diminished quality of life.” – Councillor Sonia Buckley, Media Release July 7, 2023


Inadequate Consultation and Ambiguous Survey

“Only 2 submissions were received from 40-hectare owners which perhaps indicates that there has not been enough community understanding or engagement of what the outcomes of the strategy could mean.” – Councillor Sonia Buckley, Media Release July 7, 2023

Affected stakeholders have not been adequately consulted, and the survey questionnaire lacked the necessary information for informed replies.

The current proposals fail to recognize the need for population growth and limit rural living options, ultimately increasing the cost of housing for all East Gippsland residents.


Stand Together, Make a Difference

Join us in taking action to protect the rights of landowners and secure a prosperous future for East Gippsland.

Your voice matters, and by signing our petition.


Act now before it’s too late

Do you want the hard copy of the petition?

Click HERE to download a PDF file that you can simply download, print out, and use for multiple signatures.


The hard copy must be handed in or arrive at the East Gippsland Shire Council Office no later than 5.00pm Monday 24th July 2023 to enable it to be
accepted at the Tuesday July 25
th 2023 Council Meeting.

People’s Insights about the Rural Land Use Strategy

Where to from here – July 25th

Where to from here – July 25th

Short 8 minute video by Carl after the EG Shire vote to enact the RLUS. Calls for volunteers to step up and assist with various tasks in the mission to ensure our East Gippsland Shire Council operates for the people, and not for themselves.

read more

Results of July 25th Meeting and Where To From Here

A heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you for your support. The July 25th Council Meeting for the Rural Land Use Strategy has come to an end and though the outcome may not be exactly what we had hoped for, I want to emphasize that our journey is far from over. The meeting...

read more

“It is a strategy for broken dreams”

The reason being that, if implemented, many families will not be able to build on their dream blocks (and may see their dreams become nightmares as they continue to pay mortgages on land whose value falls below the purchase price), many farmers will not be able to...

read more

“How do I build in my own property?”

If my understanding is correct, no permit will be issued to build a house in rural areas if the block size is less than 80ha. So, what happens if someone has bought a block of 40 ha in the past anticipating to build in the future? What happens to property prices if...

read more

“There are MANY of you also in this situation”

I live on 7-hectares in East Gippsland, my property is too small to use for agriculture and I have 11 neighbours who abut my paddocks (they are in the Town Zone) who would be impacted by any noise from agricultural activities. I am directly across the road from some...

read more
Rural Land Use Strategy

click here for more information

Housing & Settlement

Coming Soon

Draft Annual Budget

Coming Soon

10-Year Budget Policy

Coming Soon


click here for more information


Coming Soon

Your Support & Volunteers

Coming Soon

Your Voice Counts

Coming Soon