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Metro Tunnel

EES process overview

[Title: EES Process]

[Vision: Two people sitting on a park bench looking at a digital device]

Joseph Thom - EES and Approvals Manager:

We're going through an Environment Effects Statement. The process involves us preparing an Environment Effects Statement that details what the project's environmental impacts and its benefits will be.

[Vision: A group of people inspecting maps and documents in a room. One person writes: "social impacts, business impacts" on the board]

That document will be publicly exhibited and we'll have an inquiry process, where the public is able to participate and provide their views on the documentation as well.

Katie Watt – Manager, Land, Planning and Environment:

The EES document is submitted to the Minister for Planning, to make an assessment of whether the effects of the project can be managed to an acceptable level.

[Vision: Animation of Melbourne CBD showing the Metro Tunnel alignment. Animation of a Tunnel Boring Machine digging underneath the Yarra River and trains running underneath the city]

A planning process is important to make sure we think about how a project integrates into an existing environment, whether it's an urban environment or a more natural green environment, to make sure we do it in a way that minimises the impacts and gets the best possible outcome.

[Vision: Cars, trams and pedestrians crossing in the CBD. Shot of a large fountain and trees in a park. Shot of Metro Tunnel geotechnical investigations site with trams running in foreground]

Joseph Thom - EES and Approvals Manager:

The Environment Effects Act takes a very broad understanding of what the word "environment" means.

So it's everything from air, water impacts, to land, to also mean impacts to people, the social economic impacts, groundwater.

[Vision: Shots of trees moving gently in the breeze, a water fountain and an apartment building]

It's a very, very wide-ranging thing, including of course transport, which is what this project is about.

[Vision: Trams at Domain Interchange]

David Anderson – Development Director

So in terms of transport, for example, we developed a series of seven different requirements. The requirements cover things such as highway traffic, active transport, such a cycling.

[Vision: Traffic and trams on St Kilda Road, shot of a cyclist riding towards the camera]

They cover impacts on public transport, including the trams and the existing railway system.

[Vision: Shots of trams and Parliament station]

The impacts can take a number of different forms. There may be restrictions on access in certain places. There may be noise arising from construction work.

[Vision: Pedestrians walking around a construction site. Shot of a crane lifting down materials]

The EES does also apply to the operational phase as well, so when the project's up and running, there'll also be impacts.

[Vision: Artist's impressions of Parkville and Arden stations]

But if people are going to be impacted by the location of a new station, for example, permanently then that's also reported in the EES.

Joseph Thom - EES and Approvals Manager:

Well it's not just us at MMRA writing it. We've engaged a very large number of technical specialists from the private sector, who write this on our behalf.

[Vision: Two people on the street looking up and using an instrument to collect information. Shot of a worker driving a machine on grass. Cut to two people collecting sound information]

They've got a lot of experience in these matters and so we're drawing on their expertise and their knowledge to complete it.

And, I think, as counting today we've got about over seven thousand pages of documentation to support it.

[Vision: Close up of binders containing the EES. A finger runs down a Table of Contents]

Katie Watt – Manager, Land, Planning and Environment:

The EES will be put on public exhibition, and during that time there is an ability to put in submissions. So that will be from the public and from stakeholders, and anyone who wants to comment on the documentation.

Joseph Thom - EES and Approvals Manager:

After the public submission process we go into the inquiry panel.

[Vision: A group of people talking over maps and documents in a room]

Once that's concluded, the inquiry panel will prepare a report for the Minister for Planning. And that report will inform the Minister's final assessment of the impacts of our project.

Katie Watt – Manager, Land, Planning and Environment:

An EES process is a very transparent process that engages the community.

[Vision: Shot of woman in the office, browsing the planning section of the Metro Tunnel website]

It allows us to consider all of their concerns, all of the stakeholder concerns, and it allows us to have a really good set of requirements for contractors, so that when we're building the project we get the best possible outcome.

Joseph Thom - EES and Approvals Manager:

This process has been in Victoria for over 30 years. It's tried and tested and we're really confident that we'll be able to get it right.