Overview

Background

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.

Process

Exhibition of the Environment Effects Statement

The environment effects statement (EES) and draft Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA) was released for public comment for a period of 40 business days, from Friday 26 November 2021 to 11.59pm on Tuesday 25 January 2022 .

A copy of the notice announcing exhibition can be viewed here.

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

You can view the submissions received on Engage  Victoria.

Information about the process that follows the conclusion of the public exhibition period can be found on the Panel or Committee tab.

Scoping Requirements

Draft Scoping Requirements for this EES were placed on exhibition in September 2020. After considering public submissions on the draft scoping requirements, the Minister for Planning issued final scoping requirements in November 2020.

Scoping Requirements Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Consultation Plan

Yarra Ranges Council has prepared a consultation plan for the EES, outlining the opportunities and approaches for its community engagement during the preparation of the EES.

The Plan may be updated as required during the preparation of the EES. If the plan changes, the updated version will be posted on this page.

Technical Reference Group

The Department has convened an inter-agency Technical Reference Group (TRG) to advise the proponent and the department, as appropriate, on scoping and adequacy of the EES studies during the preparation of the EES, as well as coordination with statutory approval processes.

The government organisations represented on the Technical Reference Group are:

  • DELWP - Impact Assessment
  • DELWP - Port Phillip Region (biodiversity)
  • DELWP - Planning
  • Aboriginal Victoria
  • Heritage Victoria
  • Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation
  • Parks Victoria
  • Melbourne Water
  • Department of Transport
  • Environment Protection Authority

Technical Reference Group representatives are supported by internal experts on specific aspects of the EES studies.

Minister's Decision EES required

On 21 May 2020 the Minister for Planning required Yarra Ranges Council to prepare an environment effects statement under the Environment Effects Act 1978 to assess the potential environmental effects of the project.

Minister's Reasons for Decision (PDF, 78.8 KB) or (DOCX, 9.0 KB)

EES Procedures and Requirements (PDF, 93.4 KB)

More information

If you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch via the contact details below.

Proposed Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Project queries:
Yarra Ranges Council
Phone: 1300 368 333
Email: mail@yarraranges.vic.gov.au

EES process queries:
Impact Assessment Unit
Phone: (03) 9392 5503
Email: environment.assessment@delwp.vic.gov.au

Panel or Committee

Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Inquiry and Advisory Committee

The Minister for Planning has appointed 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.

Terms of Reference

The Minister for Planning issued Terms of Reference for the IAC on 21 November 2021.

Members

The IAC comprises of the following Members:

  • Sarah Carlisle (Chair)
  • Elissa Bell (Deputy Chair)
  • Colin McIntosh
  • Deanne Smith

Learn more about the members by reading their biographies (PDF, 106.8 KB) or (DOC, 58.5 KB)

Progress

Exhibition period and submissions

The EES for the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination project and draft PSA to the Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme was publicly exhibited for a period of 40 business days, from Friday 26 November 2021 to 11.59pm on Tuesday 25 January 2022.

You can view the submissions received on Engage Victoria.

Directions Hearing

The Directions Hearing was conducted by video conference using Zoom at 10.00am on Friday 11 February 2022.

The purpose of the Directions Hearing was to:

  • discuss 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 expert witness reports
  • discuss site inspections
  • consider any procedural issues
  • answer questions people have about the IAC process including the Hearing.

Public Hearing

The Public Hearing commenced on Tuesday 15 March 2022 and ran for four weeks to Thursday 7 April 2022.

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

The Hearing was mainly held by video conference using Zoom, with two in person submitter days being held in Lilydale.

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

Report

The IAC has submitted its report in accordance with the Terms of Reference. 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. This timeframe may be extended if the IAC requests and receives further information following the close of the Hearing.

More information

If you have any questions or need further information, get in touch via the contact details below.

  • Inquiry and Advisory Committee Process and making a submission:
    Planning Panels Victoria
    ☎ Phone: 136 186 (select option 6)
    ✉ Email: planning.panels@delwp.vic.gov.au
  • Proposed Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Project:
    Yarra Ranges Council
    ☎ Phone: 1300 368 333
    ✉ Email: mail@yarraranges.vic.gov.au

Have your say

Find out how to get involved and have your say on the proposed Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Project

Status: Closed

Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Inquiry and Advisory Committee

Submissions have closed to the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Inquiry and Advisory Committee.

Submissions opens on

12.00am - Friday 26 November 2021

Submissions close on

11.59pm - Tuesday 25 January 2022

You can  view the submissions received on Engage Victoria.

Documents

Project documents

Terms of Reference:

Member Biographies:

Public Notice:

Scoping Requirements:

Minister's Reason for Decision: