In addition to the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process in Victoria here, the North East Link Project prepared a draft Public Environment Report (PER) and was assessed under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The EPBC Act is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally significant flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places.
The PER for North East Link took around 12 months of detailed investigations to prepare. It included information about how the project could affect matters of national environmental significance, such as federally listed threatened species and communities, migratory species and the environment on Commonwealth land during construction and operation and how adverse impacts would be managed.
A draft PER was on display for public comment from 16 April to 30 May 2019 – 10 business days longer than the minimum required to give people time to read the draft report and make a submission.
More than 80 submissions were received from stakeholders, community groups, organisations, local businesses and residents and addressed in the final PER.
In December 2019, the Federal Minister for the Environment gave North East Link approval under the EPBC Act and set strict compliance and reporting conditions.
You can read more about the PER process for North East Link, and find links to the conditions set for the project by the Minister for the Environment here.