EES / ER process

In December 2020, the Minister for Planning determined that the floodplain restoration work proposed at Lindsay and Wallpolla Islands and at Hattah Lakes North and Belsar-Yungera would each be assessed under a joint environment effects statement (EES).

The remaining five sites are being assessed under two environment reports (ER); one for the work proposed at Nyah and Vinifera Forests and Burra Creek and one for Guttrum and Benwell State Forests and the Gunbower National Park.

Preparing for exhibition

The VMFRP is preparing to publicly exhibit our EES and ER findings starting from Q4 of 2022:

  1. EES Central – Hattah Lakes North and Belsar Yungera (Q4 2022)
  2. ER East – Guttrum-Benwell State Forests and Gunbower National Park (Q4 2022)
  3. ER Central – Nyah, Vinifera and Burra Creek (Q4 2022)
  4. EES West – Lindsay and Wallpolla Islands (Q1 2023)

Exhibition dates and an information kit will be released soon. To be kept informed about the exhibition, join our mailing list.

Visit our EES portal

Visit our EES portal to see interactive maps, site documents, videos and environmental assessments. EES and ER documents will be housed on the portal during the exhibition period.

What is an EES/ER?

The EES process is Victoria’s most rigorous, transparent and comprehensive process for assessing the potential environmental impacts of large-scale projects, and how those effects will be managed during construction and operation.

An environment report (ER) is a targeted assessment that can be used if an EES is not deemed necessary and where the elements that require further assessment are well defined. The need and scope for the ER is set out in the conditions of the Minister’s decision of a referral. This process allows for specific investigations and/or consultations be carried out but is not as complex as an EES.

The EES process is most commonly used for big infrastructure and transport projects like the North East Link and the West Gate Tunnel project. These projects offer many societal benefits but can have big environmental impacts which need to be thoroughly assessed before going ahead.

While our floodplain restoration work will have some short-term environmental impacts, it is expected to substantially improve the health of our floodplain ecosystems, protecting these valuable landscapes for generations to come. This work will also benefit river communities who can continue to enjoy their local spaces.

What is being investigated?

Fifteen specialist investigations are assessing potential impacts to the following areas:

Agriculture (EES only) Ecology – Terrestrial flora Noise and vibration
Air quality Geology, soils and contamination Social and business
Bushfire Groundwater Surface water
Cultural heritage Historic heritage Landscape and visual
Ecology – Aquatic Land use planning (EES only) Traffic and transport

Watch our Field in Focus series to learn more about these studies.

The matters to be investigated and documented in an EES or ER are set out in the scoping requirements developed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and released in July 2021.

The scoping requirements also address impacts related to Commonwealth approvals under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) due to the potential for impacts on matters of national environmental significance.

Download the scoping requirements:

The EES scoping requirements went through a public exhibition on the Engage Victoria website earlier this year.

The scoping requirements for ERs are not released for public comment.

More information

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

Learn more about the EES process in Victoria or download a fact sheet explaining the different steps in the EES process.

Watch our Field in Focus series

Watch our Field in Focus technical presentation series for some early insights into the work and observations of specialists assessing the potential environmental impacts (effects) of building and operating environmental works at the nine VMFRP sites. Submit any questions or input to these studies to info@vmfrp.vic.gov.au.

Have your say

If you have any thoughts or questions on the technical studies, email the project team at info@vmfrp.vic.gov.au and we’ll put you in touch with the right person.