• Assessment

    Environmental assessment

    On 8 October 2018 the Victorian Minister for Planning required AGL and APA to prepare an Environment Effects Statement (EES) under the Environment Effects Act 1978 (Vic) (EE Act) to assess the potential environmental effects of the Project.

    On 28 November 2018, the Commonwealth Minister for Environment determined that both the Gas Import Jetty Works and Pipeline Works require assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) due to the potential for the projects to have significant impacts on the internationally significant Western Port Ramsar site, listed migratory species, and listed threatened species and ecological communities.

    The EES will serve as the accredited assessment process for the purpose of the EPBC Act under a Bilateral Assessment Agreement between the Commonwealth and Victorian governments.

  • Scope

    What the EES investigates

    The EES investigates potential environmental, social, economic and planning impacts of the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project (the Project), the approach to mitigating these impacts and any subsequent approvals or conditions on the Project.

    The matters investigated and documented in the EES for the Project are set out in the scoping requirements issued by the Minister for Planning in February 2019.

    An EES process is a formal statutory process managed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

    Background information about the EES process for the Project including the scoping requirements is available on the DELWP website.

    Technical studies

    As part of the EES, 17 specialist studies have been conducted.

    • Marine biodiversity
    • Terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity
    • Surface water
    • Groundwater
    • Contamination and acid sulfate soils
    • Greenhouse gas
    • Air quality
    • Noise and vibration
    • Landscape and visual
    • Transport 
    • Safety, hazard and risk
    • Land use
    • Social 
    • Business
    • Agriculture 
    • Aboriginal cultural heritage
    • Historic heritage 
  • Next steps

    Viewing the EES

    The Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project documents including the EES, the draft planning scheme amendment, the works approval application and the pipeline licence application are now on public exhibition.

    The public has 40 business days to consider the documents and make a submission. Submissions close at 11.59pm on Wednesday 26 August 2020.

    In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Minister has issued amended procedures and requirements for the public exhibition and inquiry stages of the EES process. The amended procedures and requirements are available on the DELWP website.

    To learn more about the EES and other exhibited documents and how to navigate these documents, start here.

    The EES and other exhibited documents are available to read and download in the EES section of this website.

    As an alternative way to access the EES, you can register to receive EES documents on USB media, and for those who may have accessibility issues or, where electronic options are impractical, in hard copy.

    Requested information will be provided within a week of your request.

    Making a submission

    During the exhibition period are invited to submit comments on the EES, the draft planning scheme amendment, works approval application and pipeline licence application. Each submission will be treated as a submission on the EES and all of the related documents. Find out how to make a submission.

    Inquiry and Advisory Committee process

    The Minister for Planning will appoint an inquiry in the form of an Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC). The IAC will review the public submissions, the EES, the draft planning scheme amendment, the works approval application and the pipeline licence application.

    The IAC will review and consider the environmental effects of the Project in accordance with Terms of Reference issued by the Minister for Planning.

    After the exhibition period, the IAC will hold a Directions Hearing on Thursday 17 September 2020, where the necessary arrangements and timetable for the public hearing will be established. The Public Hearing will commence on Monday 12 October 2020 and run for six to eight weeks (if required).

    Information on the hearing process and timetable will be published as it becomes available at engage.vic.gov.au/crib-point-IAC

    Members of the public and any other parties seeking to be heard at the public hearing are required to make a written submission and indicate they would like to be heard at the hearing.

    Concluding the EES process

    As a result of the current pandemic, the Minister has provided AGL and APA with amended procedures and requirements for the exhibition and inquiry phase of the Project. These state that the formal hearing would be conducted in the most practicable manner available under the prevailing circumstances and may include use of video conferencing or other comparable technology. Interested parties would be advised of this process closer to the date of the inquiry.

    Following receipt of the inquiry report, the Minister for Planning will assess all relevant information including the EES documents, public submissions and the inquiry report. The Minister will then issue a written assessment of the Project’s environmental effects, commonly known as the ‘Minister’s Assessment’. This assessment will make recommendations about whether the Project’s environmental effects are acceptable and set out any modifications or further management measures the Minister considers appropriate.

    The Minister’s Assessment must be considered by relevant Victorian statutory decision-makers responsible for determining key approvals for the Project.

    The Commonwealth Minister for the Environment must also consider the Victorian Minister’s assessment before deciding whether to grant approvals under the EPBC Act, and if so under what conditions.

  • Approvals

    Key statutory approvals

    The Project requires a number of key approvals at both Commonwealth Government and Victorian Government levels.

    Each of the Gas Import Jetty Works and Pipeline Works requires approval under the EPBC Act.
    Under Victorian laws, the Gas Import Jetty Works require planning permission which is proposed to be provided by the draft Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme amendment (PSA) (C272morn) and a works approval from the EPA, and the Pipeline Works require a pipeline licence. The pipeline licence application, the works approval application and the draft PSA have been informed by the 17 EES technical studies and will be exhibited together with the EES.

    Approval under the EPBC Act

    On 28 November 2018, the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment determined that both the Gas Import Jetty and the Pipeline Works projects were ‘controlled actions’ requiring further assessment and approval under the EPBC Act.  The decisions acknowledged the potential for the projects to have significant impacts on the internationally significant Western Port Ramsar site, listed migratory species (for the Gas Import Jetty Works only), and listed threatened species and ecological communities.

    The Victorian EES process is accredited to assess impacts on the relevant Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) under the EPBC Act through the Bilateral Assessment Agreement that exists between the Commonwealth and Victorian governments. A separate MNES attachment has been prepared for the Gas Import Jetty Works and the Pipeline Works and will be exhibited with the EES.

    Further information about the Bilateral Assessment Agreement can be found on the Commonwealth Government’s Environment website.

    Draft planning scheme amendment

    A draft planning scheme amendment (PSA) to the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme (C272morn) has been prepared for the Gas Import Jetty Works in accordance with the Victorian Planning and Environment Act 1987.

    The Incorporated Document, which forms part of the draft PSA, facilitates the use and development of land at the Gas Import Jetty Works site for the purpose of an LNG Import Facility, and will set out the conditions upon which that use and development can be undertaken. 

    The draft PSA is included as Attachment VI to the EES.

    EPA works approval application

    The Project will require a works approval for the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) component of the Gas Import Jetty Works. Works approvals are issued by Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic).

    The works approval application is included as Attachment VIII to the EES.

    Pipeline licence application

    A pipeline licence is required under the Pipelines Act 2005 (Vic) for the construction and operation of the Crib Point to Pakenham Pipeline included in the project.

    An application was made to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change in September 2018. The application was amended in June 2020. The application, as amended, is included in the exhibited documents at Attachment IX to the EES.