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The detailed matters to be investigated and documented in an SRL EES will be set out in ‘scoping requirements’ issued by the Minister.

3.1 Study program

To assist scoping, the SRL proponent should provide a preliminary list of issues to be investigated and a draft study program.

The draft study program should be predicated on knowledge of the existing environment in the project area, the project’s general design, the likely interaction of the works with the environment and the level of uncertainty associated with potential impacts or application of controls.

3.2 Stakeholder consultation

As part of the preparation of an EES, the SRL proponent has responsibility for informing the public and consulting with stakeholders. Stakeholders include potentially affected and interested parties.

The proponent is required to prepare and implement a consultation plan. A draft plan, together with a preliminary listing of stakeholder issues, should be provided to us for consideration. We will advise the proponent on the refinement of the plan so that it provides for effective consultation.

Once the plan is finalised, it will be published on the planning website.

There may be a need for the SRL proponent to provide access to information (in a summary form) in languages other than English, depending on the cultural backgrounds of social groups potentially affected by SRL works.

Where SRL works may affect Aboriginal cultural heritage or other interests, the proponent should make early contact with the registered Aboriginal party and Aboriginal Victoria to identify matters of interest and discuss opportunities for their involvement.

3.3 Technical reference group

We will establish a technical reference group (TRG) to assist in EES preparation. The TRG’s membership will be drawn from government agencies, regional authorities, registered Aboriginal parties or municipal councils that have a statutory or policy interest in the SRL project.

The proponent will participate in TRG meetings, by providing information and discussing relevant issues.

The primary role of a TRG is to:

  • advise us on matters that should be included in the scoping requirements for an EES
  • advise the proponent on the need for and adequacy of technical EES studies in terms of their consistency with good practice standards of method and analysis
  • advise us on the technical adequacy of the proposed EES and its response to the scoping requirements.

The TRG will provide advice and assistance to the proponent on:

  • require Scoping requirements statutory approvals and coordination of procedures
  • applicable policy provisions and related information requirements
  • study briefs and methods for key studies
  • availability of data and research findings
  • conformity of the SRL works and EES studies with policy and statutory requirements
  • design and implementation of the proponent

Agencies and authorities participating in a TRG are expected to provide accurate and timely advice regarding matters for which their organisations have specific responsibility.

3.4 Scoping requirements

The Minister will consider the draft study program and consultation plan in preparing draft scoping requirements. Comments and advice will then be sought from the government agencies and authorities represented by the TRG.

The scoping requirements will require the EES to be consistent with the principles of a systems and risk-based approach.

The draft scoping requirements will be prepared within 20 business days of receiving the required information from the proponent or the establishment of the TRG whichever is later. The draft scoping requirements will then be exhibited for comment by interested parties for 15 business days.

The SRL proponent will give notice in the daily metro newspapers. Scoping requirements will be finalised within 15 business days of the close of the public comment period and made publicly available on the planning website.

3.5 Coordinating delivery

To enable coordinated and timely management of the EES preparation, the proponent and us should seek to coordinate their roles through (at least) an agreed schedule noting:

  • dates for delivery of the proponent’s proposed consultation plan, draft EES study reports and draft EES, for review by us and the TRG
  • timeframes for TRG feedback on draft documents as well as for quality review of the proposed final EES
  • timeframes for the proponent to respond to feedback
  • protocols for giving advance notice of any delays and for revising the agreed schedule.

Agencies and authorities represented on the TRG will be asked to confirm their commitment to provide feedback within agreed timeframes.

Page last updated: 09/06/23