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) has been 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.

Information about how to make a submission can be found in the 'Have your say' tab.

Information about the process that will follow the conclusion of the public exhibition period can be found in 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 will be publicly exhibited for a period of 40 business days, from Friday 26 November 2021 to 11.59pm on Tuesday 25 January 2022.

You are invited to make a submission to the IAC during this time. Make a submission here

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 on the Engage Victoria website 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 will 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.

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: Open

Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Inquiry and Advisory Committee

Make a submission to the Inquiry and Advisory Committee via the link below.

Submissions opens on

12.00am - Friday 26 November 2021

Submissions close on

11.59pm - Tuesday 25 January 2022

When making your submission you can nominate 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.

Have your say

Documents

Project documents

Terms of Reference:

Member Biographies:

Public Notice:

Scoping Requirements:

Minister's Reason for Decision: