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Disruptions

Frankston Factsheet: Planning and environmental approvals process

06 Oct 2016

The Level Crossing Removal Authority is responsible for all aspects of the project including planning and development, stakeholder engagement, procurement, through to construction and delivery.

How does the planning and environmental approvals process work?

There are requirements and guidelines that identify which planning and environmental approvals are required and how to obtain relevant planning and environment approvals for the level crossing removal sites.

Over recent months we have been working on understanding the local area and assessing which preliminary design options will be considered. To date, we have conducted a range of site investigations and assessments and still have more work to do on the design options that are under consideration to identify all approvals requirements.

Approvals

Approvals for the Frankston line level crossing removal sites will be based on the findings of our investigations.  The table below outlines which approvals may be required.

Commonwealth

Legislation

Assessment

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

The Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act is the  Australian Government's key piece of environmental legislation. Key objectives of the EPBC Act are to:

  • provide for the protection of the environment, especially matters of national environmental significance
  • conserve Australian biodiversity
  • provide a streamlined national environmental assessment and approvals process
  • enhance the protection and management of important natural and cultural places
  • control the international movement of plants and animals (wildlife), wildlife specimens  and products made or derived from wildlife
  • promote ecologically sustainable development through the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of natural resources
  • recognise the role of Indigenous people in the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of Australia's biodiversity
  • promote the use of Indigenous peoples' knowledge of biodiversity with the involvement of, and in cooperation with, the owners of the knowledge.

The EPBC Act provides that certain matters – in particular actions that are likely to have a significant impact on a Matter of National Environmental Significance (MNES) – are subject  to a rigorous assessment and approval process.

A preliminary assessment of the project investigation area has not identified any species, or habitat for species, protected under the EBPC Act.

State

Legislation Assessment

Planning and Environment Act 1987

The Planning and Environment Act establishes a framework for planning the use, development and protection of land in Victoria in the present and long-term interest of all Victorians. The Planning and Environment Act sets out the legislative basis to ensure  that standard planning provisions are prepared and approved throughout Victoria.

The Act sets out procedures for preparing and amending the Victoria Planning Provisions and planning schemes, obtaining permits under schemes, settling disputes, enforcing compliance with planning schemes, and other administrative procedures.

A planning scheme sets out objectives, policies and provisions relating to the use, development, protection and conservation of land in the area to which it applies. A planning scheme is established under the Planning and Environment Act and regulates the use and development of land through planning provisions. The projects on the Frankston line are affected by four planning schemes: Glen Eira, Bayside, Kingston and Frankston.

LXRA generally requests that the Minister for Planning amends the relevant planning schemes to include specific controls and conditions for level crossing removal works.

Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986

The process under which private land can be compulsorily acquired is set out in the  Land Acquisition and Compensation Act. Under the Land Acquisition and Compensation  Act, land required for a public purpose can be acquired by State Government departments  and agencies. Acquisition can be done either compulsorily or by negotiation.

The Land Acquisition and Compensation Act provides the procedures for the  compulsory or negotiated acquisition of land, as well as the the procedures for  the determination of compensation. This Act will be used to manage the process  of land acquisition, where required, in Cheltenham.

Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006

The Aboriginal Heritage Act forms the framework within which Aboriginal heritage assessment and management is undertaken in Victoria. It provides for:

  • The ownership and custody of Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • The protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • The preparation of mandatory and voluntary Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) for Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • The making of Cultural Heritage Agreements
  • Provision of Cultural Heritage Audits, Stop Orders and Protection Declarations
  • Resolution of disputes regarding Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • Administration of the Act, including the appointment of an Aboriginal Heritage Council  and Registered Aboriginal Parties
  • Enforcement provisions.

Under sections 27-28 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act, harming Aboriginal cultural heritage or doing an act likely to harm Aboriginal cultural heritage is unlawful. Penalties may apply for a breach of sections 27 or 28.

An Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management Plan will be prepared by the LXRA to meet the  requirements of this Act.

Heritage Act 1995

The purpose of the Heritage Act is to provide for the protection and conservation of places and objects of cultural heritage significance and the registration of such places and objects on the Victorian Heritage Register.

For example, Mentone Station and the gardens at Balcombe Road is a place of state heritage significance. Accordingly, we need to consider the impact the project may have on the heritage sites of state significance and will require a permit under the Heritage Act 1995 for building, works and demolition.

Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act is the key part of Victorian legislation for the conservation of threatened species and communities. The Act provides for the protection of species, the management of threats, the promotion of community conservation initiatives and a regulatory structure for flora and fauna conservation in Victoria.

A permit is required to impact plants listed under the FFG Act.

Environment Effects Act 1978

The Environmental Effects Act provides for assessment of proposed projects or works that are capable of having a significant effect on the environment. The Act enables the Minister for Planning to decide whether an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) should be prepared.

The guidelines for assessment of environmental effects identifies a range of criteria to assist  in identifying whether a project has the potential to have a significant effect on the environment.

Determining whether there is a requirement to refer the project under the Environmental Effects Act 1978  is informed by a range of assessments and technical studies such as the visual assessment, flora and fauna assessment and groundwater assessment.

The Minister for Planning will then decide whether an EES is required.

LXRA has determined that an EES referral needs to be submitted for the sites at Edithvale, Bonbeach and Seaford.

Design option benefits and impacts

Design option benefits and impacts need to be considered in relation to the existing surrounding environment at each site. The level crossings along the Frankston line are some of the most challenging to remove due to the proximity to the bay, and other natural features such as the Patterson River and Kananook Creek.

Victorian Government and decision making processes

We are assessing the eight level crossing sites to determine the best design for each crossing. We are also developing a timetable and plans for removing the crossings that takes into account the different opportunities and challenges of the options at each site.

After completing our investigations and assessments, we will provide recommendations to the government for consideration.

For more information on the project, please contact the Frankston Project Team on 1800 105 105 or email contact@levelcrossings.vic.gov.au.

For a high-res version of this publication, please download the Planning and environment process fact sheet PDF, 506.5 KB

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