Ministers assessment published

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Proponent: Melbourne Metro Rail Authority

The Melbourne Metro Rail Project includes the following key components:

  • Twin 9 kilometre rail tunnels between South Kensington and South Yarra, following the alignment of Swanston Street through Melbourne's Central Business District (CBD) and linking the existing Sunbury and Cranbourne/ Pakenham railway lines.
  • New CBD North and CBD South stations providing direct interchange with Melbourne Central and Flinders Street stations respectively.
  • New stations at Arden, Parkville and Domain, with new train/tram interchanges at the latter two stations.

Public review and Inquiry

GC45 Planning Scheme Amendment

Following the release of the Minister for Planning's Assessment for this Project, the required amendment GC45 to the Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Port Phillip and Stonnington planning schemes has been approved.

Minister for Planning's Assessment

In December 2016, the Minister for Planning released the Assessment under the Environment Effects Act 1978, which concludes the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process for this project. The Assessment has been provided to statutory decision-makers to inform approval decisions on this project, including for planning scheme amendments under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.


A joint Inquiry / Advisory Committee was appointed to consider the EES, public submissions, and draft planning scheme amendment, and inquire into the environmental effects of the proposal in accordance with approved Terms of Reference. A Directions Hearing was held on 26 July 2016. The IAC held public hearings from 22 August 2016 to 7 October 2016 and provided its report to the Minister on 21 November 2016.

Exhibition of EES

The Environment Effects Statement (EES) for the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, together with the draft Planning Scheme Amendment, were released for public comment for a period of 30 business days, from 25 May to 6 July 2016. Details on the public exhibition process were provided in the EES exhibition public notice.

EES preparation

MMRA community and stakeholder engagement plan

This Engagement Plan by MMRA outlines the engagement that will take place during preparation of the Melbourne Metro EES. Its objective is to build upon the activities completed and information gathered to date as well as gather information to inform project design and specialist studies being completed as part of the EES.

The engagement and communications program will be integrated with the statutory public exhibition period and broader EES approach including the assessment and independent inquiry process. The information gathered through the engagement process will help inform project development.

Scoping requirements

The Scoping Requirements set out the matters to be investigated and documented in the EES. Draft Scoping Requirements for this EES were on public exhibition between 13 October to 4 November 2015. After considering public submissions on the Draft Scoping Requirements, the Minister for Planning issued final Scoping Requirements in November 2015.

Project history

'Public works' are defined as being works undertaken, or proposed to be undertaken, by or on behalf of the Crown or for public statutory bodies, but does not include works undertaken by or on behalf of municipal councils.

On 5 August 2015, Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA) provided the Minister for Planning with a Project Outline (PDF, 1.8 MB), and requested that the Minister declare the project described in the Project Outline to be 'public works' for the purposes of section 3(1) of the Environment Effects Act.

On 3 September 2015, the Minister for Planning declared the works proposed for the Melbourne Metro Rail Project in order to require a rigorous Environment Effects Statement (EES), which will include community consultation and an independent panel review to inform the Minister's Assessment and decision-making.

In making his Order, the Minister has specified the procedures and requirements that are to apply to the EES.

In accordance with normal EES practice, a statement of the Minister's Reasons for Order has been prepared.

As part of the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process for the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, the Minister has made an amendment to the EES Order.

It was noted in the Minister's 'Reasons for Order' that the treatment of proposed enabling works under the Environment Effects Act 1978 would be considered when there was sufficient information regarding the potential for these works to have or to be capable of having a significant effect on the environment.

'Enabling works' are works that might be initiated earlier than the main works, before the conclusion of the EES process, in order to minimise disruption arising from the main works package.

The Amending Order excludes specific 'enabling works' from the EES process because the Minister is satisfied that the works would not have a significant effect on the environment.

The Amending Order was gazetted on 24 November.

The amendment means that some of the Public Works - identified as 'enabling works' - have been excluded from the EES process because they are not going to have a significant effect on the environment. The amendment to exclude these works from the EES means they can be carried out while the EES is being completed.

Minister's decision on referral

Project contact

If you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch.

Melbourne Metro Rail Project
1800 551 927 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Page last updated: 13/02/24