Status

Ministers assessment published
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Background

APA VTS (Operations) Pty Ltd proposes to construct a high pressure gas transmission pipeline approximately 51 km in length (including end of line and mid-line aboveground pipeline facilities); and installation of a new gas compressor and associated process control equipment and pipework within APA’s existing gas compressor station site at Wollert. The pipeline would connect the eastern and western sections of the Victorian Transmission System between Plumpton and Wollert, allowing for an increased gas storage at the Iona Underground Gas Storage facility to meet winter peak gas demands.

Minister's assessment

On 26 January 2022, the Minister for Planning completed his assessment under the Environment Effects Act 1978. This concluded the environment effects statement process for this project.

The proponent and statutory decision-makers received the assessment to inform approval decisions, including decisions for the pipeline licence application.

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

The Minister’s assessment concludes that the project can proceed with acceptable environmental effects, subject to the implementation of project modifications recommended in the assessment and environmental management measures consistent with those endorsed by the inquiry and refined as per the findings and recommendations of the assessment.

Please note in Appendix A on page 53 the Minister’s assessment states the project will remove or fragment 4.46 hectares of Grassy Eucalypt Woodland of the Victorian Volcanic Plain. This text should state 2.29 hectares, consistent with Table 3.

Public review and Inquiry

Inquiry and panel

The Minister appointed an inquiry under the Environment Effects Act 1978 to review public submissions, the EES and consider the environmental effects of the project.

The inquiry was 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.

Exhibition

The environment effects statement for APA’s proposed Western Outer Ring Main project, together with the pipeline licence application, were released for public comment for a period of 30 business days, from 7 July to 11:59pm on Tuesday 17 August 2021.

EES preparation

Consultation plan

APA VTS (Operations) Pty Ltd has prepared a consultation plan for the EES, outlining the opportunities and approaches for its community engagement during the preparation of the EES.

The Addendum below provides further details of specific consultation activities planned.

The plan and addendum may be updated as required during the preparation of the EES. If updates are made, the updated versions will be posted on this page.

Technical reference group

The Department has convened an inter-agency technical reference group 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
  • DELWP - Pipelines
  • Aboriginal Victoria
  • Heritage Victoria
  • Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation
  • Melbourne Water
  • Department of Transport
  • Victrack
  • Energy Safe Victoria
  • Environment Protection Authority
  • Melton City Council
  • Hume City Council
  • Mitchell Shire Council
  • City of Whittlesea Council

Technical reference group representatives are supported by internal experts on specific aspects of the EES studies.

Scoping requirements

Draft scoping requirements for this EES were placed on exhibition in July-August 2020. After considering public submissions on the draft scoping requirements, the Minister for Planning issued final scoping requirements in August 2020.

Project contact

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

Proposed Western Outer Ring Main Gas Pipeline Project queries:
APA VTS (Operations) Pty Ltd
☎ Phone: 1800 951 444
✉ Email: worm@apa.com.au

Pipeline Licence queries:
Pipeline Regulator Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
☎ Phone: 136 186
✉ Email: pipeline.regulation@delwp.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 13/02/24