Engineers Australia

The implementation of the AGS Guidelines in the Colac Otway Shire – History and challenges

P. Marsden, A.S. Miner and P.G. Dahlhaus


A paper by Dahlhaus and Miner (2002) describing the proposed implementation of the Australian Geomechanics Society (AGS) landslide risk guidelines (AGS 2000) in the Colac Otway Shire was included with the proceedings of the national AGS roadshow in 2002. The paper described the development of a process through the Shire’s planning scheme for determining when a Landslide Stability Assessment was required and what steps were to be undertaken by both the regulator and the consultant. The original paper highlighted issues and challenges faced in applying the AGS (2000) guidelines by the regulator, the consultants and the development applicant.

This paper reviews progress in the intervening period and difficulties encountered by the Colac Otway Shire in implementing the landslide risk management (LRM) planning process since it was first proposed in 2000. The paper describes planning amendments and various iterations to the scheme and discusses inherent difficulties encountered along the way.

The paper also examines some of the challenges and difficulties faced in implementing the schemes under the Victorian Planning Provisions as well as those faced in the administration of LRM within the planning scheme. The final conclusion from the implementation process of LRM in Colac Otway Shire is to adapt landslide zonation to the specifics of the local situation in terms of available data and information, to use the AGS guidelines where possible but to be prepared to review and fine tune as is inevitably required in the implementation of any local government planning scheme.