EES process

In December 2020, the Minister for Planning determined that a joint Environment Effects Statement (EES) is required for the Lindsay Island and Wallpolla Island Floodplain Restoration Projects and a separate EES is required to jointly assess the Hattah Lakes North and Belsar Yungera Floodplain Restoration Projects.

EES scoping requirements

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) released the draft Scoping Requirements for these two EESs for public consultation on the Engage Victoria website from Friday 23 April to 14 May 2021:

The EES Scoping Requirements set out the matters to be investigated and documented in the EES. Public exhibition of these documents gives stakeholders and the community an opportunity to raise key issues related to potential impacts and benefits that they would like to see covered in the EES.

The draft Scoping Requirements also address impacts related to Commonwealth approvals under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 due to the potential for impacts on matters of national environmental significance.

To read more about the draft Scoping Requirements process, download our scoping FAQs:

For more information on the EES process, visit or contact DELWP’s Impact Assessment Unit on (03) 8392 5503 (Monday to Friday).

ER scoping requirements

The remaining five VMFRP sites are being assessed under two Environment Reports (ER) instead of an EES:

The scoping requirements for Environment Reports are not released for public comment. DELWP will release the scoping requirements online for these sites once finalised.

Assessment pathways across the nine sites

The following environment assessment pathways apply to the nine VMFRP sites:

Zone Environment assessment process
East (ER) Environment Report for Gunbower and Guttrum–Benwell
Central (ER) Environment Report for Vinifera, Nyah and Burra Creek
Central (EES) Environment Effects Statement for Hattah Lakes North and Belsar–Yungera
West (EES) Environment Effects Statement for Wallpolla and Lindsay Island

Read the VMFRP environment assessment referrals and reasons for the chosen assessment pathways.

What’s next?

Any comments received will be considered by DELWP during the finalisation of the scoping requirements and will be treated as public documents. Comments will also be considered by the VMFRP in the preparation of the EES. Once the final scoping requirements have been issued in July 2021, the VMFRP will start with the necessary information-gathering and investigations to inform the EES. This is expected to take at least several months.

EES timeline

  • 2020

    Environment assessment referrals

    VMFRP refers projects to the Victorian Government under the EE Act

  • Dec 2020

    Assessment pathway

    Minister determines environmental assessment pathways for the nine VMFRP sites and starts preparing Scoping Requirements setting out the matters to be investigated in the EESs and ERs

    Dec 2020

  • April 2021

    Draft scoping requirements

    Minister for Planning sets draft scoping requirements and exhibits for public comment for 15 business days (EES only)

  • Jul 2021

    Final scoping requirements

    Minister releases final scoping requirements

    Jul 2021

  • Mid to end 2021

    Prepare EES

    VMFRP prepares EES including detailed assessments in response to the minister’s scoping requirements

  • Early to mid-2022

    Public exhibition

    VMFRP exhibits EES (along with Planning Scheme Amendment). Minister invites public comments

    Early to mid-2022

  • Early to mid-2022

    Independent inquiry

    Independent ‘Inquiry’ considers EES and public submissions

  • Mid-2022

    Minister for Planning’s assessment

    Minister for Planning makes a formal assessment based on EES process


  • Mid to late 2022

    Approval decision

    Planning and environmental approval decision-makers consider the Minister for Planning’s assessment to inform approval decisions