Ministers assessment

On 28 October 2022, the Minister for Planning completed assessment of this project’s effects under the Environment Effects Act 1978. This concluded the EES process.

The proponent and statutory decision-makers received the Minister’s assessment to inform decisions on the project and its approvals, including the proposed planning scheme amendment.

The Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Water received the assessment to inform her decision about the project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Minister’s assessment concludes that the majority of the project has acceptable environmental effects, subject to some specific project modifications and an amended environmental management regime.

Background

Yarra Ranges Council (the Proponent) proposes a mountain bike destination in Warburton, located around 70 kilometres east of Melbourne. The proposed Warburton Mountain Bike Destination project (the Project) includes up to 177 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 assessed through the EES process were:

  • 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

Inquiry and advisory committee

Exhibition of EES

The environment effects statement and draft planning scheme amendment were publicly exhibited from Friday 26 November 2021 to 11.59pm on Tuesday 25 January 2022. Submissions can be viewed at Engage Victoria.

You can view the EES, draft planning scheme amendment and documents at Yarra Ranges Council Ride Yarra Ranges.

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.

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

Page last updated: 31/10/22