What is an Environment Effects Statement (EES) and why is it necessary?
An EES is an assessment of the potential environmental impacts or effects of a project, under the Victorian Environment Effects Act. It is requested by the Minister for Planning and allows a government to make decisions about whether a project should proceed.
This EES is a detailed study into the potential impacts of the Edithvale and Bonbeach level crossings projects. At both sites, we will lower the rail line into a trench, so there’s the potential to affect groundwater and the internationally-protected Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands.
The purpose of the EES is to describe potential effects of the Edithvale and Bonbeach level crossing removal projects on the environment and recommend ways to avoid, minimise or manage these impacts. It also includes key findings from multiple studies including, ecology, heritage, business, air quality, noise and traffic.
What areas are covered in the EES?
The EES focuses on three key issues:
- Groundwater levels
- The Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands and other ecosystems
- Groundwater quality
What are the key findings from the EES?
The EES found that trenches are feasible at both Edithvale and Bonbeach, and that the level crossing works would not impact the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands.
This is because groundwater changes resulting from the project are highly unlikely to occur closer than one kilometre from the Edithvale wetlands. Any other potential impacts were considered to be minor and could be managed effectively through environmental processes.
The EES was developed throughout 2017 with the help of regulators including Environment Protection Authority and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, as well as many technical experts.
It is on public exhibition from 19 March to 2 May 2018 and open for public submissions. The Minister will the appoint an Inquiry to consider any submissions made on the EES. Towards the end of 2018, the Minister for Planning will give his assessment of the environmental effects of the project.
The project also requires approval under the Commonwealth Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
How to make a submission
Submissions on the Edithvale and Bonbeach EES must be made in writing and received by 5:00pm on Wednesday 2 May 2018. Online submissions are preferred
Submissions can be lodged via the Victorian Government’s engagement website. For hard copy submissions to be considered, they must be accompanied by a cover sheet available only by calling the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DEWLP) on 136 186.
Each written submission must have a separate cover sheet and they cannot be copied.
Where to see the documentation
The EES and draft planning scheme amendments are online at levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/EES and will be on exhibition during normal opening hours at the following locations:
- State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne
- City of Kingston Municipal Office, 1230 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham
- Chelsea Library, 1 Chelsea Road, Chelsea
The documents are also on display during public sessions where LXRA staff and technical experts will be available to answer questions. Sessions will be held in Edithvale and Bonbeach, at:
- 6 Lochiel Ave, Edithvale
- Bonbeach Surf Life Saving Club, Beach Reserve, Lord Weaver Grove, Bonbeach
View this in a PDF format PDF, 446.3 KB