Overview

APA VTS Australia (Operations) Pty Limited (APA) is proposing to construct and operate a buried, 600 millimetre nominal diameter high pressure gas transmission pipeline between APA’s existing Plumpton Regulating Station and Wollert Compressor Station.

The pipeline provides a high-pressure connection between the eastern and western pipeline networks of the Victorian Transmission System. The proposed pipeline will provide the ‘missing link’ in Victoria’s high-pressure gas transmission network. To ensure Victoria’s gas transmission network can service current peak demand, the project proposes to connect the South West Pipeline to the Victorian Northern Interconnect, allowing gas to be circulated across Victoria with greater efficiency by increasing transfer capacity from one side of the State to the other.

On 22 December 2019, the Victorian Minister for Planning determined that an EES is required for the Project under the Environment Effects Act 1978. A pipeline licence is required under the Pipelines Act 2005 for the construction and operation of the pipeline.

Inquiry

The Minister for Planning appointed the inquiry under the Environment Effects Act 1978 on 28 July 2021 to review public submissions, the EES and consider the environmental effects of the project in accordance with Terms of Reference issued by the Minister for Planning on 6 June 2021. The Terms of Reference can be viewed in the document library. The Inquiry will conduct a public hearing to hear from submitters and consider and advise the Minister for Planning on the environmental effects of the Project.

Inquiry Members are Michael Kirsch (Chair), Elissa Bell (Deputy Chair) and Sandra Brizga. The Inquiry Member biographies can be viewed in the document library.

The Inquiry is also appointed by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change as a panel under the Pipelines Act 2005 to consider the pipeline licence application.

Inquiry process

The Inquiry process comprises a Directions Hearing and a Hearing.

Directions Hearing

The Directions Hearing was held on Monday, 6 September 2021.

Public Hearing

The public hearing process commenced on Monday 4 October and concluded on Thursday 14 October 2021.


Submissions

Submissions were collected between 7 July and 17 August 2021 by Planning Panels Victoria. View the submissions below.

Please note that your submission will be treated as a public document in accordance with the Privacy Collection Statement (which can be accessed through Document Library) which may include provisions to other parties and display in the Hearing. You should not include any other personal information in the body of your submission, such as physical addresses, email address and phone details, unless that information can 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.

Western Outer Ring Main Gas Pipeline Project Inquiry

This Privacy Collection Statement relates to all submissions collected in relation to the Western Outer Ring Main Gas Pipeline Project Inquiry (the ‘Inquiry’). Planning Panels Victoria (PPV) is providing administrative services to the Inquiry.

PPV is part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and submissions will be managed in accordance with the Department’s Information Privacy Policy. The Department’s Information Privacy Policy is online at https://www2.delwp.vic.gov.au/doing-business-with-us/information-privacy.

Use of your submission

Your submission has been collected by the Inquiry for the purpose of helping to develop its advice to the Minister for Planning in accordance with the Terms of Reference. In addition, your submission has also been collected to assist any appointed Panel to develop its advice to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change in accordance with the requirements of the Pipelines Act 2005 and any specification in its instrument of appointment.

Natural justice to participants and transparency are important parts of the Inquiry process. In meeting its legislative requirements and complying with the Terms of Reference, the Inquiry may do the following with your submission:

  • Publish a copy of your submission, in its entirety, on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website, Engage Victoria website or other Victorian Government website as required
  • The name of the submitter
  • The submitter’s name and address as required.
  • Provide a copy of your submission to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Local Councils, APA VTS (Operations) Pty Ltd (the Proponent) any relevant Registered Aboriginal Party, Government Agencies and other parties (submitters) to the process
  • Provide a copy of your personal contact details to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and EPA Victoria if needed for notification of Ministerial decisions
  • Display a copy of your submission in the Planning Panels Victoria Office
  • Display a copy of your submission at relevant Local Council, Local Library or Government Offices as appropriate
  • If a face to face submitter conference is to be held, display a copy of your submission in the submitter conference room.

Publication of your personal information on the Internet

The Inquiry Report will be published on the internet and may include:

  • Direct quotes from some of the submission

Planning Panels Victoria will remove your submission from the web pages that it controls within six months after the Inquiry has reported. Planning Panels Victoria cannot guarantee that your submission will be removed from external web pages outside its control.

Hearing of submissions

If a Hearing is required it may be held face to face, via telephone conference or via video link or a combination of these. You should be aware the Inquiry may:

  • broadcast submissions and proceedings live on the internet
  • record submissions and proceedings
  • make the recording available on request to submitters and parties to the hearing of submissions and third parties
  • publish the recording on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website, Engage Victoria website or other Victorian Government website
  • use your phone contact details to contact you during a telephone/video hearing of submissions as is necessary.

The Inquiry will direct that parties do not record online hearing of submissions or use them for any other purpose. However, the Inquiry is unable to guarantee that third parties will not be recording online hearing of submissions, and the use of any such recordings outside the hearing of submissions context cannot be regulated by the Inquiry.

All participants are reminded that during the Inquiry process, the privacy of others should be respected and to refrain from the defamation of others.

After the Inquiry has reported

After the Inquiry has reported to the Minister for Planning (and the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change if applicable) your submission will be removed from all public display within six months.

Your original submission and any additional material provided to the Inquiry will be held at Planning Panels Victoria for two years and then sent to the Public Records Office of Victoria. All additional copies of the submission and other material held by Planning Panels Victoria will be securely destroyed.

If you have any concerns in respect to the way your personal information or submission will be used please contact Planning Panels Victoria on Planning.Panels@delwp.vic.gov.au.