Environment Effects Referrals
What is a referral?
When a proposed project could potentially have significant environmental effects, a written referral is sent to the Minister for Planning requesting a decision on whether an Environment Effects Statement (EES) is required.
A referral can be made by:
- A project proponent
- Any Minister or statutory body responsible for public works, e.g. VicRoads or a water authority
- Ministers, agencies (such as the Environment Protection Authority) or local government who make decisions under Victorian law.
Criteria for referralsThe criteria for deciding whether a project should be referred are listed on page 7 of the Ministerial Guidelines for Assessment of Environmental Effects under the Environment Effects Act 1978:
Ministerial Guidelines for Assessing Environmental Effects (PDF - 582 KB)
+ Amendments to Ministerial Guidelines (Word 20.9 KB)
How to make a referralReferrals should contain the information outlined on pages 8-9 of the above Ministerial Guidelines, using the following proforma:
Referral Form Template (Word - 253.5 KB)
A signed hard copy, together with a cover letter and all supporting documents, should be submitted to:
Minister for Planning
GPO Box 2392
Melbourne Vic 3001
The electronic copy should be in Microsoft Word where possible. Supporting documents such as plans and maps may be provided as PDFs.
If supporting documents are greater than 2 MB in size they should be sent on a CD or DVD accompanying the hard copy original.
Pre-referral consultationAnyone intending to lodge a referral is strongly encouraged to consult the department first. Consultation assists the decision of whether to refer the project and helps to clarify what information should be provided. It may also guide proponents in conducting feasibility studies and developing a proposal.
For pre-referral advice please contact the Referrals Coordinator on (03) 9223 5312.
When will a decision be made?Once a referral has been formally accepted, the Minister for Planning will normally make a decision within 20 business days.
The proponent and relevant decision-makers will be notified of the decision in writing. Public notice will then be given on this website.