Farm Land Classification

Mornington Peninsula Agricultural Land is land which is ‘farmland’ within the meaning of section 2(1) of the Valuation of Land Act 1960 but excluding any portion containing a residential, commercial or industrial building (or buildings) or an outbuilding or other similar form of improvement (including the curtilage to any principal residential or commercial building whether the curtilage is fenced off or not).

 For the purposes of this definition: 

(a) ‘curtilage’ means an area of land measuring 2,000 square metres around the principal residential building or commercial building or industrial building. If there is both a principal residential building and a principal commercial or industrial building on such land, the curtilage will be the area around the residential building alone:

(b) 'residential building' means a building used or designed or adapted for residential purposes
(c) 'commercial building' means a building used or designed or adapted for commercial purposes; and
(d) ‘industrial building’ means a building used or designed or adapted for industrial purposes.

Valuation of Land Act 1960 - Section 2(1)

"Farmland" means any rateable land:

(a) that is not less than 2 hectares in area; and
(b) is used primarily for grazing (including agistment), dairying, pig-farming, poultry-farming, fish-farming, tree farming, beekeeping, viticulture, horticulture, fruit-growing or the growing of crops of any kind or for any combination of those activities; and
(c) that is used by a business:

(i) that has a significant and substantial commercial purpose or character; and
(ii) that seeks to make a profit on a continuous or repetitive basis from its activities on the land, and
(iii) that is making a profit from its activities on the land, or that has a reasonable prospect of making a profit from its activities on the land if it continues to operate in the way that it is operating.


In determining whether a property is suitable for farm rate classification, the primary use or activity on the property must be identified. The farming use must be intensive enough and of a sufficient scale to outweigh any competing residential use. The use of the term “primary use” does not refer to area only.  All the evidence relating to the use to which the land is put will be assessed, including the nature and intensity of each use, the physical areas over which they extend, and the time, labour and expenses involved in conducting them.

Hobby farms and rural retreats are not considered to be a true farming business within the legal definition of farm land.  A business must be conducted on the land and that business must be the sole or primary use of the land.

The primary use of the property to be classified as farmland is required to meet one of the following uses:

  • Grazing (and agistment) of farm animals excludes recreational horses
  • Dairying & Pig farming – business must be registered under the Health Act
  • Poultry farming
  • Fish farming can include yabbies, fish for food or tropical fish for pet shops
  • Tree farming, viticulture and fruit growing – you must prove that trees or vines have been planted before submitting your application
  • Horticulture or crop growing – you must prove proof of expenditure or sound agricultural development of the land with your application
  • Beekeeping.

If you consider that your property is within the framework of the above definition, please download the form from the below How do I apply for Farmland Classification? section and return to the Rosebud Shire office or The application needs to provide sufficient evidence to confirm the existence of a ‘business’ and will therefore require proof of:

  • Evidence of systematic keeping of books and records;
  • Elements of continuity, repetition, and independent viability;
  • The activities are for the purpose of financial gain and not merely as hobby or recreation.

Council will determine each application based on the details provided in the application and will arrange for an inspection of your property. A letter will be sent notifying you of the outcome of your application.

If your Farmland rate application is refused, you may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, pursuant to Section 183 of the Local Government Act 1989, for a review of the decision. An application for review must be made within 30 days of receiving your letter of refusal from us. For more information about lodging an appeal visit the VCAT website at

It is the responsibility of the owner to make a Farmland rating application to Council.

It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure this application is received by Council.

If the application is successful, the Farm Land rating will only be applied from the date the application is received.

When a property receiving Farm Land rate changes ownership, this Farm Land rate is cancelled and an application for this rate must be made by the new owners.

Council reserves the right to review Farm Land rated properties at any time. We hope this information is of assistance in the processing of a Farm Land Classification, please do not hesitate to contact the Valuation Department on 03 5950 1090 or to ascertain the progress of an application.

How do I apply for Farmland Classification?

Complete and submit the Farmland Classification Application Form(PDF, 311KB) or contact our Valuation Team on (03) 5950 1090. Applications will be assessed in accordance with the provisions of the Valuation of Land Act 1960.