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Metro Tunnel

Environment Effects Statement

The Metro Tunnel was assessed through an Environment Effects Statement (EES) process, a requirement of the Minister for Planning's original 'public works' declaration (published in an Order on 3 September 2015 and accompanied by a 'Statement of Reasons').

The EES was an integrated assessment of the potential environmental, social, economic and planning impacts of the project, and the approach to managing these impacts. The EES was supported by a range of technical studies that identify and assess the potential effects of the project and provide guidance on mitigation measures. They will also inform any subsequent approvals or conditions on the project.

We have also prepared a draft Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA). Changes to the Planning Scheme are being recommended to protect the tunnels, stations and associated infrastructure and guide future development in their vicinity.

On this page:
What is included in an EES | Stakeholder and community input | Technical studies

What is included in an EES?

An Environment Effects Statement (EES) typically contains:

  • A description of the proposed project and existing environment that may be affected
  • An outline of public and stakeholder consultation undertaken during the investigation period and the issues raised
  • An assessment of potential environmental, social and planning effects of the project and relevant alternatives (within the project's general alignment)
  • Possible measures to avoid, minimise or manage adverse environmental effects
  • A proposed framework for monitoring and managing environmental effects during project delivery.

View the Metro Tunnel EES documentation.  

Further documents relating to the environmental assessment of the project can be found on the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning websites's Melbourne Metro Rail Project page (external link).

Stakeholder and community input

We are committed to a robust and transparent impact assessment process. We have undertaken a comprehensive engagement program to seek input into the project from stakeholders and the community throughout the development of the EES.

Stakeholders and community members had the opportunity to make formal submissions on the EES and draft Planning Scheme Amendment during the public exhibition period from Wednesday 25 May 2016 to Wednesday 6 July 2016. Formal public submissions were invited during this time. 

The EES, draft PSA and public submissions were then presented to an Inquiry and Advisory Committee. This committee then considered the EES and prepared a report for the Minister for Planning. 

Technical studies

The Metro Tunnel EES is supported by a range of technical studies that identify and assess the potential effects of the project and provide guidance on mitigation measures. They will also inform any subsequent approvals or conditions on the project.

This information, along with inputs from community and stakeholder engagement, will help shape the detailed alignment, design and construction methodology of Melbourne's new underground rail line.

EES technical studies cover:

  • Aboriginal cultural heritage to identify any likely Aboriginal heritage values and assess potential impacts, which will inform a Cultural Heritage Management Plan for the project
  • Air quality to assess potential changes to local and regional air quality during construction and operation, and assess these against applicable EPA Victoria and other requirements
  • Aquatic flora and fauna to assess potential impacts on aquatic flora and fauna species, water quality and river health where the project intersects with waterways such as the Yarra River and Moonee Ponds Creek
  • Arboriculture to understand the condition of trees in streets and parks and assess the potential construction and operational impacts of the project on those trees
  • Business to examine the potential project impacts and benefits on individual businesses and the local economy during construction and operation of the project, including acquisition and disruption
  • Contaminated land to understand existing contamination conditions along the alignment and assess the potential impacts of disturbing contaminated soil, rock and groundwater against applicable EPA Victoria and other requirements. This study also covers the management of soil removed through excavation
  • Greenhouse gas to assess projected greenhouse gas emissions arising from construction of the project, including the project's contribution to improving Melbourne's future greenhouse gas inventory
  • Ground movement and land stability to assess potential impacts on buildings, utilities and other structures arising from ground movement as a result of construction and operational activities
  • Groundwater to understand existing groundwater conditions along the alignment, the interaction of groundwater with existing
    structures and assess the potential impacts against applicable EPA Victoria and other requirements
  • Historical cultural heritage to identify significant heritage places and precincts including buildings, values and landscapes, and assess potential impacts during construction and operation
  • Landscape and visual to identify key landscape values, sensitive land uses and sightlines, and assess the potential impact
    of surface elements of the project, including impacts during construction
  • Land use planning to assess potential impacts on land use and development and the project's fit with planning policies and strategies
  • Noise and vibration to assess impacts on people, buildings, structures and utilities from predicted levels of noise and vibration during construction and operation, considering existing noise and vibration levels
  • Social and community to assess the potential project impacts on access to social and community infrastructure during construction and operation, and the effects on the social fabric considering impacts on private property and social infrastructure
  • Surface water to assess the effects on flooding, surface water flows and overland drainage from the proposed structures, and assess these against applicable Melbourne Water and other requirements
  • Terrestrial flora and fauna to assess potential impacts on threatened flora and fauna, and remnant native vegetation during construction of the project
  • Traffic and transport to assess potential impacts and benefits on the transport network (including pedestrian, cyclist, public transport and road traffic) during project construction and operation

The technical studies are available to view or download.