Overview

The Minister for Planning will appoint a joint Inquiry and Advisory Committee (the IAC) to advise on the Environment Effects Statement (EES), the draft Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA) and public submissions received on the proposed Warburton Mountain Bike Destination project.

The work and scope of the IAC is guided by the Terms of Reference that have been approved by the Minister for Planning. The Terms of Reference can be found in the Document Folder on the right hand side of this page.

The appointment of the IAC members is in progress. The names of the IAC Members will be published here following their appointment.

The Proposal

Yarra Ranges Council (the Proponent) is planning a mountain bike destination in Warburton, located around 70 kilometres east of Melbourne. The Warburton Mountain Bike Destination project (the Project) proposes more than 170 kilometres of trails across three main zones: Mount Donna Buang, Mount Little Joe and Mount Tugwell. The trails would connect with the popular Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail and the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail.

The main project components are:

  • The mountain bike trail network, consisting of:
    • Upgrade of existing mountain bike trails – approximately 12 kilometres (seven per cent of project length)
    • New mountain bike trails – up to 155 kilometres (87 per cent of project length)
    • Existing vehicle roads and tracks to be incorporated into the mountain bike trail network - approximately 10 kilometres (six per cent of project length)
  • Two new bridges:
    • Yarra River Bridge (shared use), crossing over the Yarra River, Warburton Highway and Dammans Road
    • Old Warburton Road Bridge (mountain bike use only), crossing over Old Warburton Road
  • Trail Heads:
    • New Visitor’s Hub and main trail head at the Warburton Golf Course
    • Secondary trail head at Wesburn Park (which includes an additional 120 car parking spaces)
    • Enhancement of facilities at Mt Donna Buang summit
    • New trail head at Mount Tugwell
    • Dee Road, which is an established access point for the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Trail

The project is being delivered in partnership with Parks Victoria, The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people, Melbourne Water, and the Upper Yarra Community Enterprise.

View the Proposal

You may view and download the EES, draft PSA and any related documents at the Yarra Ranges Council's Ride Yarra Ranges webpage.

The public notice provides further details on the locations of where hard copies of the EES and draft PSA are available to view, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

Inquiry and Advisory Committee Process

Public Exhibition

The Project will be on public exhibition for 40 business days between Friday 26 November 2021 and 11.59pm on Tuesday 25 January 2022.

You are invited to make a submission to the IAC during this time. To make a submission please lodge it using the online submission form below.

When making your submission you can ask to be heard at the IAC’s public hearing. Anyone seeking to be heard at the public hearing must submit a written submission and indicate on the submission form that they would like to be heard at the hearing.

If you make a submission, you will be notified about the timing and location of the Hearing after the exhibition period has closed.

Directions Hearing

The IAC will hold a Directions Hearing on Friday 11 February 2022.

The purpose of the Directions Hearing is to:

  • make arrangements for the Hearing, including finalising the dates and format of the Hearing
  • give directions about the conduct of the Hearing and the exchange of information in the leadup to the Hearing, including any expert witness reports
  • consider any procedural issues; and
  • answer any questions people may have about the IAC process including the Hearing.

Further information about the Directions Hearing (including whether it will be held in person or conducted online) will be published here once arrangements have been finalised. The IAC will follow the health advice from the Victorian Government and the Chief Health Officer.

Public Hearing

The Public Hearing will start in the week beginning Tuesday 15 March 2022 and is anticipated to run for three to four weeks (if required).

The purpose of the Public Hearing is to give people an opportunity to speak in support of their written submission. The Public Hearing is open for anyone to watch.

The IAC will consider all submissions, irrespective of whether a submitter requests to be heard.

A timetable for the Public Hearing will be published after the Directions Hearing.

Report

The Terms of Reference require the IAC to submit its report to the Minister for Planning within 40 business days from the last day of its proceedings.

Have your say - make a submission

Submissions are invited between Friday 26 November 2021 and 11.59pm on Tuesday 25 January 2022 and can be made by completing the form below.

Each submission will be treated as a response to all the exhibited documents. You don’t need to make separate submissions about the EES and the draft PSA. You should include all your views about the Project and its effects in one single submission.

If you wish to be heard at the Hearing, you must make a submission during the exhibition period and select the option that you wish to be heard. The IAC will consider all written submissions, regardless of whether you request to be heard at the Hearing.

Please contact Planning Panels Victoria at 136 186 (select option 6) if you cannot fill in the online form and need to make a hard-copy written submission or have issues lodging your submission on the form below. Please note that electronic submissions are preferred.

Privacy and Intellectual Property

Your submission will be a public document. To make a submission, you must read the Privacy Collection Statement and click ‘agree’ where indicated.

The Privacy Collection Statement explains how we will use your submission, which may include putting it on public display and providing it to other parties in the Hearing.

You should not include any personal information in the body of your submission, such as your email address and phone details or photos of people (particularly children) unless you are happy for that information to be made publicly available.

You can request access to your personal information held by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning by contacting the Freedom of Information Unit on (03) 9637 8186 or FOI.unit@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Inquiry and Advisory Committee

Your personal information will be collected during the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Inquiry and Advisory Committee (the IAC) process for the purpose of documenting your views about the proposal, advising the Minister for Planning about the proposal and the Environment Effects Statement (EES) and draft Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA), and communicating with you throughout the IAC process.

Planning Panels Victoria (PPV) is providing administrative support to the IAC.

Under the IAC’s Terms of Reference, the IAC is required to publish submissions online (your contact details will be redacted first), conduct any Hearings it holds in public, and to keep a record of the material provided to the IAC. PPV will publish a copy of your submission and other material you may provide on a website. PPV may also:

  • provide a copy of your submission or any other material you provide to other parties including the Proponent (Yarra Ranges Council)
  • provide a copy of your material to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, Parks Victoria or third parties
  • publicly display a copy of your material in the PPV Office or Hearing room if the Hearing is held in person
  • provide a copy of your contact details to the DELWP if needed for notification of Ministerial decisions.

After the IAC has reported to the Minister, your material will be removed from public display. PPV cannot guarantee that your submission will be removed from external web pages outside its control.

The IAC may conduct a Hearing in person, online using video conferencing, or both. Hearings by video conference have special privacy requirements. You should be aware:

  • a link to the Hearing will be published on the internet, and third parties will be able to join the Hearing and observe
  • the IAC may broadcast the Hearing live on the internet.

The IAC may make a recording of the Hearing and may provide a copy of any recording to parties to the Hearing and third parties who request it or may publish the recordings on the internet. Where Hearings are recorded, generally audio only is recorded (not video). No person may record the Hearing or any part of it without the express permission of the IAC.

The IAC is able to hear submissions or accept material on a confidential basis, provided this would be fair to the other parties to the Hearing. If you want to make your submissions or provide material to the IAC confidentially, you will need to ask permission from the IAC Chair in writing through PPV and provide reasons why the IAC should treat your submissions or material confidentially.

The Minister may release the IAC’s report publicly. The report will include a list of the names of submitters, and a list of the names of the parties to the Hearing and may include direct quotes from submissions. If released, the report will be published on the internet.

If you would like a copy of any material that you provide to the IAC, or a copy of any recording the IAC makes of the Hearing, you can request a copy from PPV by email at planning.panels@delwp.vic.gov.au.

If you have any concerns in respect to the way your personal information or submission will be used please contact PPV on (03) 8624 3127.