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On 11 August 2023 a new referral was accepted for Western Renewables Link from AusNet Transmission Group Pty Ltd. The new referral does not encompass the construction of a new terminal station north of the existing Sydenham Terminal Station – it is not needed for the project. The Sydenham Terminal Station no longer forms part of the referred project.
On 22 August 2023 the Minister for Planning required Ausnet Transmission Group Pty Ltd to prepare an Environment Effects Statement (EES) under the Environment Effects Act 1978 to assess the potential environmental effects of the project.
Minister’s decision on referral
New referral - 2023
Ausnet Transmission Group Pty Ltd, proposes to develop the Western Renewables Link Project (formerly known as the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project) between Bulgana, north of Ararat, and Sydenham, north-west of Melbourne.
The project comprises a new major transmission line between Bulgana and the site of the existing Sydenham Terminal Station
The project is intended to enhance connectivity for renewable energy generation in western Victoria.
Ausnet 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 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:
- DTP – Impact Assessment
- DEECA – Grampians Region
- DTP – Planning
- DEECA – Energy
- First Peoples-State Relations
- Regional Development Victoria
- Agriculture Victoria
- DTP - Transport
- Heritage Victoria
- Relevant Registered Aboriginal Parties
- Relevant Local Councils
- Relevant Catchment Management Authorities
- Parks Victoria
- Melbourne Water
- Southern Rural Water
- Victorian Planning Authority
- Energy Safe Victoria
- Environment Protection Authority
Technical reference group representatives are supported by internal experts on specific aspects of the EES studies.
Draft Scoping Requirements for this EES were placed on exhibition in November 2020.
After considering public submissions on the draft scoping requirements, the Minister for Planning issued final scoping requirements in December 2020. Following the new EES decision by the Minister for Planning, updated final EES scoping requirements have been approved.
Minister's decision on 2020 referral
On 4 August 2020 the Minister for Planning required Ausnet Transmission Group Pty Ltd to prepare an environment effects statement (EES) under the Environment Effects Act 1978 to assess the potential environmental effects of the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project.
The proponent referred the project to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), who determined the project is a ‘controlled action’ requiring assessment and approval under the EPBC Act. Therefore the EES is being undertaken as an accredited assessment process, as set out in the bilateral agreement between the Australian and Victorian governments under the EPBC Act. It will assess the relevant matters of national environmental significance identified in the Commonwealth decision that the project is a 'controlled action'.
Page last updated: 08/11/23