Environmental assessment process

About the Environmental Assessment Process

We are assessing the potential impacts (effects) and benefits of floodplain restoration work at the nine VMFRP sites, and how we propose to manage these effects during construction and operation.

We are currently preparing Environment Effects Statements (EES) and Environment Reports (ERs) covering the nine sites to document the impact assessment process:

  • Western sites (Lindsay and Wallpolla Islands): Joint EES
  • Central sites (Hattah Lakes North and Belsar-Yungera): Joint EES
  • Central sites (Nyah and Vinifera Forests and Burra Creek): Joint ER
  • Eastern sites (Guttrum and Benwell State Forests and Gunbower National Park): Joint ER

We expect to take a staged approach to exhibiting our findings from mid-2022. During the exhibition  stakeholders and the community will have an opportunity to have their say on the proposals.

The EES/ER also includes an assessment of potential impacts to threatened species identified under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and amendments to the Campaspe, Gannawarra, Swan Hill and Mildura planning schemes under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Get involved

As we prepare the assessments we are engaging with stakeholders and community members in a number of ways including:

  • One on one meetings
  • Presentations
  • Shopfronts and market stalls.

If you want to get involved email us at info@vmfrp.vic.gov.au or keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram account to find out where we’ll be next.

What is being investigated?

Sixteen specialist fields are being investigated across the nine project sites.

These investigations cover surface water, groundwater, and geology; biodiversity; cultural heritage; and land use, community, and business. These studies build on research carried out over the past several years.

The specialist investigations for each field respond to the scoping requirements published by the Minister for Planning:

Field in Focus series

Watch our Field in Focus technical presentation series (released December 2021) to see some early insights into our study program:

#1: Effects on Surface Water, Groundwater and Geology

#2: Effects on Biodiversity

#3: Effects on Land Use, Community and Business

To understand more about the methods being used to assess the different impacts, download our Field in Focus fact sheets:

Environment assessment timeline


Environment assessment referrals –VMFRP refers projects to the Victorian Government under the EE Act

Dec 2020

Minister decides assessment pathway

Apr 2021

Public exhibition of draft scoping requirements (EES sites only)

Jul 2021

Final scoping requirements released setting out matters to be investigated

Mid 2021 to mid 2022

Prepare EESs and ERs

Q2–Q3 2022

Public exhibition of EES and ER

Q2–Q3 2022

Independent inquiry considers EES submissions / Submitters forum considers ER submissions

Late 2022

Minister for Planning’s assessment

Late 2022

Planning and environmental decision-makers consider the Minister for Planning’s assessment to inform final decision

What is an EES/ER?

The EES/ER describes the key features of the VMFRP proposal and assesses the potential environmental and social impacts during construction and operation.

The EES/ER document also makes recommendations on measures to manage and minimise potential impacts from the proposal.

The EES/ER covers topics such as noise, vibration, traffic, air quality, flooding, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage, and socio-economic, agricultural property and biodiversity impacts.

The EES/ER display is an opportunity for the community to comment on the environmental impacts and mitigations for the proposed floodplain restoration work.

Have your say

If you have any thoughts or questions on the technical studies, email the project team at info@vmfrp.vic.gov.au and we’ll put you in touch with the right person.

The community and stakeholders will also be invited to make submissions during the public exhibition period in Q2 and Q3 of 2022. The EES/ERs will be exhibited on the Engage Victoria website. For up to date information on display dates, sign up for the Floodplain Babbler via info@vmfrp.vic.gov.au or keep an eye on our Facebook and/or Instagram accounts.