Environment Effects Statement (EES)

Download transcript: Video-Transcript-How-to-navigate-the-EES.docx How to Navigate the Environment Effects Statement

An Environment Effects Statement (EES) is Victoria’s most robust and transparent impact assessment process.

The EES for North East Link includes information on how the project could affect the environment during construction and when the project opens and how any adverse impacts would be managed.

More than 2,000 pieces of community feedback helped prepare the EES for North East Link and the documents were exhibited for 40 days, 10 more than the minimum required, from 10 April – 7 June 2019 to give people time to read the reports and make submissions to an independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee.

The committee held public hearings from 25 July – 16 September 2019 and submitted a report of recommendations to the Minister for Planning.

The Minister for Planning released his assessment of the EES on 5 December 2019 to inform planning and approval decisions. A copy of the Minister’s assessment, together with the report of recommendations from the independent committee, are available on the Department of Planning website here. North East Link reviewed the assessment in detail and submitted a revised Planning Scheme Amendment to the Minister for Planning.

The revised Planning Scheme Amendment (GC98) was approved by the Minister for Planning on 23 December 2019 and gazetted on 3 January 2020. A copy is available on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website here. The Environmental Performance Requirements the project will need to meet during planning, construction and operation will be reviewed and approved by the Minister for Planning in the coming months as part of an Environmental Management Framework. EPA Victoria is expected to make a decision on the Works Approval Application for the construction and the operation of the tunnel ventilation structures soon.

In addition to receiving planning approval in Victoria through the EES process, the project received approval from the Commonwealth Government in December 2019 under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. More information about the Commonwealth approval process is available here.

Separate to the EES process, The Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) is expected to be approved by the Wurundjeri and Aboriginal Victoria in the next few weeks.

If you have any questions about the EES and ongoing planning process, get in touch with our team on 1800 105 105 or email community@northeastlink.vic.gov.au

What’s in the EES?

The EES includes:

  • A summary report: A short outline of key information in the EES
  • Main report chapters: Comprehensive summaries of the findings from each study area
  • Technical reports: Detailed information about the study methods and the findings
  • Map book and attachments: These include a map book with drawings of the design assessed for the EES and the Urban Design Strategy, which will help ensure the project is designed and built to high standards.

The EES has been prepared to respond to scoping requirements issued by the Minister for Planning.

The EES also includes a Draft Planning Scheme Amendment and a Works Approval Application for the construction of the tunnel ventilation system.

As the tunnel ventilation system for North East Link is scheduled (per the Environment Protection (Scheduled Premises) Regulations 2017), a works approval is required under the Environment Protection Act 1970. The application for works approval has been made to the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and is being considered concurrently with this EES.

Read the EES

We recommend you read these documents first:

Click on the tiles below to access the EES by key topics of interest or access the whole EES here.


This study assesses potential impacts of North East Link’s construction and operation on traffic, freight, public transport, cyclists and pedestrians along the project corridor and across the wider region. It uses transport modelling to predict changes across the network and provides specific information on key routes and areas of local interest.

Read the Traffic and transport fact sheet

Read the Traffic and Transport chapter (110 pages)

Read the Traffic and Transport technical report (1,119 pages)

Vibration, ground movement and contamination

Tunnel Vibration

This study assesses vibration and regenerated noise impacts from tunnel construction and operation that could impact amenity, buildings, utility assets, or operation of sensitive equipment. It includes where the tunnels would begin and end, and where they travel underground.

Read the tunnel vibration chapter (43 pages)

Read the tunnel vibration technical report (327 pages)

Ground movement

This study assesses potential impacts of ground movement from tunnelling and sub-surface activities on land stability, nearby environmental features such as river banks, hills and swamps, buildings and structures including gas lines, sewers and other utilities.

Read the Ground movement chapter (27 pages)

Read the Ground movement technical report (153 pages)

Contamination and soil

This study assesses potential human health, environment and amenity impacts associated with disturbance of contaminated soil and groundwater encountered during construction and operation. Outlines the proposed approach to management of spoil from tunnel construction.

Read the Contamination and soil chapter (28 pages)

Read the Contamination and soil technical report (555 pages)



This study assesses potential impacts to trees and outlines an approach to replanting and restoring tree canopy.

Read the Tree planting program fact sheet

Read the Arboriculture chapter (19 pages)

Read the Arboriculture technical report (372 pages)


Assesses potential impacts on groundwater levels and quality including potential ecological impacts.

Read the Groundwater chapter (39 pages)

Read the full Groundwater technical report (323 pages)

Surface Water

This study assesses potential impacts on surface water quality and floodplain function.

Read the Surface water chapter (53 pages)

Read the Surface water technical report (377 pages)


This study assesses potential impacts on native flora, fauna, habitat and ecological communities.

Read the Ecology chapter (55 pages)

Read the full Ecology technical report (661 pages)

Greenhouse gas

This study assesses CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions during construction and operation that could contribute to the greenhouse effect and climate change.

Read the Greenhouse gas chapter (13 pages)

Read the Greenhouse gas technical report (97 pages)

Air quality and noise

Air quality

This study assesses potential air quality impacts resulting from dust, odour and emissions during construction and evaluates changes in air quality associated with emissions from the ventilation structures and surface roads in relation to EPA Victoria standards.

Read the Air quality chapter (49 pages)

Read the Air quality technical report (709 pages)

Surface noise and vibration

Assesses potential effects of surface noise and vibration during construction and operation, including impacts on residences, kindergartens, schools and aged care facilities, and identifies example mitigation measures that have informed development of EPRs. This section also applies relevant noise standards to guide the selection and design of noise treatments (such as noise walls). Proposed locations of noise walls are shown in the EES Map Book.

Read the Surface noise and vibration chapter (59 pages)

Read the Surface noise and vibration technical report (543 pages)

Read the EES Map Book

Human Health

This study assesses potential effects on the health and wellbeing of the local community. It considers changes in air quality, noise and social aspects and looks at how these could impact human health.

Read the Human health chapter (28 pages)

Read the Human health technical report (321 pages)


Land use planning

This study assesses changes to current and ongoing land uses and consistency with strategic planning policy.

Read the Land use planning chapter (41 pages)

Read the Land use planning technical report (279 pages)


This study assesses potential direct and indirect impacts on businesses, including from permanent land acquisition, temporary occupation and other changes during construction and operation.

Read the Business chapter (33 pages)

Read the Business technical report  (139 pages)

Landscape and visual

This study assesses potential effects on the landscape and visual environment, including temporary or permanent changes to visual amenity in landscape character areas.

Read the Landscape and visual impact chapter (77 pages)

Read the Landscape and visual impact technical report (451 pages)


Assesses potential positive and negative social impacts during construction and operation, including changes to amenity and character, community cohesion and access to places such as schools, community and sporting facilities and open space.

Read the Social assessment chapter (53 pages)

Read the Social assessment technical report (721 pages)


Aboriginal cultural heritage

Assesses potential impacts of construction activities on Aboriginal cultural heritage places and values, considering Aboriginal heritage sensitivity.

Read the Aboriginal cultural heritage chapter (23 pages)

Read the Aboriginal cultural heritage technical report (153 pages)

Historical heritage

This study assesses potential physical and visual impacts on the fabric, setting or character of heritage places, objects and values.

Read the Historical heritage chapter (47 pages)

Read the Historical heritage technical report (355 pages)

Map Book and Urban Design Strategy

Map Book

The Map Book shows the reference design used for the EES.

Read the Navigating the EES Map Book fact sheet

Read the EES Map Book

Urban Design Strategy

The Urban Design Strategy sets the urban design vision and quality expectations for all elements of the project. It establishes the expectations of the Victorian Government for what contractors must achieve with their design.

Read the Urban Design Strategy (116 pages)