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Metro Tunnel


Melbourne Metro is currently in the planning and development stage. The project will undergo a well-tested, robust and transparent planning assessment process.

Enabling works

On 24 November 2015 the Minister for Planning made an amendment to his original Order which declared the project to be public works. This amending Order excludes certain 'enabling works' from the EES process.

The Minister's 'Reasons for Order', which explained the basis of his original 'public works' declaration on 2 September 2015, indicated that the Minister would consider the treatment of proposed enabling works under the Environment Effects Act 1978 when there was more information about the potential for these works to have, or to be capable of having, a significant effect on the environment.

MMRA subsequently provided more information to the Minister for Planning about the nature of the enabling works and their potential effects, which informed his decision to amend the Order by excluding specific enabling works from the EES process.  The Minister made this amending Order because he was satisfied that the enabling works would not have a significant effect on the environment.

'Enabling works' are works that might be initiated earlier than the main project works, before the conclusion of the EES process, in order to minimise disruption arising from the main works package.

The Amending Order was gazetted on 24 November. You can view the Gazette S361 on the VIctorian Government Gazette website (external link).

Further documents relating to this topic can be found on the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning website (external link).

EPBC referral

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act is the Commonwealth Government's key piece of environmental legislation. It provides a framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora and fauna, ecological communities and heritage places – typically referred to as Matters of National Environmental Significance.

As part of the planning for Melbourne Metro, the MMRA submitted a referral under the EPBC Act (external link). This referral document outlines Matters of National Environmental Significance within the project area and the approach that would be adopted to mitigate potential impacts of the project on these matters.

The Commonwealth Government has determined that the project is not a controlled action if undertaken in a particular manner. The decision requires the project to measure and monitor vibration when tunnelling passes the Victoria Barracks precinct, which is included on the Commonwealth heritage list.

Learn more about the EPBC referral process (external link).

Project declaration

On 4 September 2015, the Premier of Victoria declared Melbourne Metro to be a project to which the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act 2009 (other than Parts 3 and 8) applies.

The project has been declared for the purpose of applying the project delivery, land assembly, and utilities powers under the Act. For the purpose of planning and environmental approvals, the project is being assessed through the EES process.

The Premier of Victoria has appointed the Minister for Public Transport as Project Minister for Melbourne Metro.

The Minister for Public Transport has appointed the Secretary to Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources as the Project Proponent.

Learn more about the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act (external link).

Project alignment

The alignment for Melbourne Metro is currently being refined as part of our planning and design process. Some property acquisition will be required. See the Project Alignment page for more details.

Site investigations

Site investigations are underway to gather further information about ground and environmental conditions to ensure that we have the best, most up-to-date information available as planning for the city's newest rail line continues.