Key approval documents
Planning approvals for North East Link in Victoria were informed by an Environment Effects Statement (EES) – Victoria’s most robust and transparent impact assessment process.
The key approvals for North East Link under Victorian legislation are:
- Amendments to the Banyule, Boroondara, Manningham, Nillumbik, Whitehorse, Whittlesea and Yarra Planning Schemes under Victoria’s Planning and Environment Act 1987 ‘(Planning and Environment Act’).
- Works approval for the installation of the road tunnel ventilation system under Victoria’s Environment Protection Act 1970 (‘Environment Protection Act’).
The Minister for Planning’s assessment of the project’s Environment Effects Statement (EES) was released on 5 December 2019 and was the final stage in the EES process. It considered all relevant information including the EES documents, public submissions, NELP’s response and a report of recommendations from an independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee.
The Minister’s assessment includes findings on the environmental effects of the project and must be considered by decision makers in deciding whether to approve the project under Victorian law or to authorise public works. A copy of the Minister’s assessment is available here
All local councils have planning schemes in place. Planning schemes set out how land can be used, including what can be built on and under it.
The North East Link Project (NELP) passes through seven local government areas. To allow the project to happen we asked the Victorian Minister for Planning to make changes to the Banyule, Boroondara, Manningham, Nillumbik , Manningham, Whittlesea and Yarra Planning Schemes. This is known as a Planning Scheme Amendment GC98. A draft Planning Scheme Amendment was exhibited with the EES for public comment.
The Minister for Planning approved an amended planning scheme amendment on 23 December 2019. It was gazetted (published online) on 3 January 2020. A copy is available on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website here .
The Scheduled Premises Regulations under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (EP Act) specify that road tunnel ventilation systems are scheduled activities under Schedule 1, L03 of the regulations. This means a Works Approval is required prior to the construction of the North East Link tunnel ventilation system.
A Works Approval application was exhibited with the EES for public comment in 2019. The application considered greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, noise and vibration and climate change.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria approved the Works Approval on 28 February 2020. A copy is available on their website here .
North East Link has been declared a major transport project under Victoria’s Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act 2009 (‘MTPF Act’) for the purposes of project delivery.
The Project Area for North East Link was designated by the Minister for Planning under section 95(2)(a) of the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act 2009 (MTPFA) by an order published in the Victoria Government Gazette on 5 February 2020, which can be viewed here.
The LEGL plans (maps) that delineate the Project Area can be viewed here PDF, 5.4 MB.
The designation of the Project Area means that the Project Authority (the Secretary to the Department of Transport) can exercise (amongst other things) project delivery powers under the MTPFA.
The Environmental Management Framework includes Environmental Performance Requirements (EPRs) for the North East Link Project.
EPRs outline the environmental outcomes that must be achieved throughout the design, construction and operation of the project, including strict requirements to make sure construction and environmental impacts are managed well and North East Link delivers long-lasting community benefit.
There are more than 100 EPRs for North East Link Project and they cover a range of areas including noise and air quality, vibration, visual impacts, landscaping, and tree and vegetation management. View the framework here.
The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 recognises Aboriginal people as the primary guardians, keepers and knowledge holders of Aboriginal cultural heritage. Under section 49 of the Act, a Cultural Heritage Management Plan must be prepared for any project for which an EES has been required.
The CHMP for North East Link was prepared together with Aboriginal Victoria and Traditional Owners Groups, including the Registered Aboriginal Party, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.
The Cultural Heritage Management Plan for North East Link was approved by the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and Aboriginal Victoria on 17 February 2020.