4 December 2023

The Minister for Planning has approved new, refreshed Ministerial guidelines for the assessment of environmental effects under the Environment Effects Act 1978 (8th edition) (referred to as the Ministerial guidelines). These new Ministerial guidelines replace the 7th edition issued in 2006. The Act and EES process itself has not changed - the refresh was policy neutral.  The Ministerial guidelines describe the EES and environmental assessment processes and procedures to be followed by proponents, the Department (DTP) and the Minister.

Legislation, policy, and Impact assessment practices in Victoria have evolved since the 7th edition was issued in 2006, and as such, the 7th edition includes a variety of out-of-date content.

The new, 8th edition of the Ministerial guidelines better reflects current practices and processes already administered, changes in legislation and other statutory requirements since 2006, as well as clarifies some aspects of the process to better support all stakeholders, including modernising the language.

The new Ministerial guidelines includes information on an existing alternative tier of assessment that has been in place for some time, namely an ‘environment report’ process.  This flexible and risk-based approach to assessment has been utilised many times instead of EESs.

Whilst EES referral criteria have been refreshed to bring them in-line with current legislation and policy, the aspects that are refreshed are ‘policy neutral’, to maintain the scope of what needs to be referred for a decision on whether an EES is required.

This refresh does not include any change to the core process and its steps, or any changes to the objectives and principles that underpin the EES process.

Read more about the Ministerial guidelines for assessment of environmental effects

Page last updated: 04/12/23