The statutory environmental and planning approvals process for the Ballarat Line Upgrade will include:

  • a referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), to be submitted to the (Federal) Minister for the Environment and Energy
  • a referral under the Environment Effects Act 1978 (EEA) which determined if an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) is required, to be submitted to the (State) Minister for Planning, and
  • a Planning Scheme Amendment to the Melton and Moorabool Shire Planning Schemes, to be submitted to the (State) Minister for Planning.

EES referral

A written referral was sent to the Minister for Planning requesting a decision on whether an Environment Effects Statement (EES) is required for the Ballarat Line Upgrade. The EES referral can be viewed on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.

About the Planning Scheme Amendment

The Ballarat Line Upgrade Planning Scheme Amendment (GC69) was approved by the Minister for Planning and Gazetted on 21 September 2017. The Planning Scheme Amendment applies to land within the road and rail corridors affected by the project as well as any land temporarily required for access and to support construction. The amendment will provide site specific controls via an incorporated document permitting development of the project without the need for further planning permits.

Formal feedback from property owners and occupiers, local councils, government departments and agencies and other interested parties who may be affected by the Ballarat Line Upgrade was sought in June 2017. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback. Information gathered has informed the Planning Scheme Amendment.

About the EPBC Act referral

An EPBC Act referral is required to assess whether the Ballarat Line Upgrade is likely to have a significant impact on matters of National Environmental significance. The referral document outlines matters of National Environmental Significance within the project area, potential impacts of the project on these matters and the control measures to be put in place.

The EPBC referral has been published on the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy's website (Reference number 2017/7980).

Project declaration

In August 2017, the Premier of Victoria declared the Ballarat Line Upgrade to be a project to which the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act 2009 (MTPFA) (other than Parts 3 and 8) applies. On 5 October 2017, the Minister for Planning designated the MTPFA Project Area for the Ballarat Line Upgrade.

The Premier of Victoria has appointed the Minister for Public Transport as Project Minister for the Ballarat Line Upgrade.

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