The draft Commonwealth Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) and Victorian Environment Effects Statement (EES) is now on public exhibition. Click here to view the EIS/EES.

Environmental assessment

Marinus Link is a complex project, crossing national, state and local jurisdictions. The project needs to be assessed and approved under the planning and environment laws relevant to each of the jurisdictions. Where possible, Marinus Link and the relevant regulatory authorities have aligned the assessment process across the jurisdictions. 

This page provides information about the primary environment and planning assessment processes for Marinus Link. 

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Commonwealth approvals

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is Australia’s national environmental law. It ensures internationally and nationally important plants, animals, habitats and places are protected and managed as ‘matters of national environmental significance’. As the project is located within an Australian marine area and has the potential to have an impact on matters of national environmental significance, the project was referred to the Australian Environment Minister to determine whether assessment and approval is required under the EPBC Act.

A delegate of the former Commonwealth Minister for Environment determined in November 2021 that the project (EPBC 2021/9053) required assessment under the EPBC Act through an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) due to the potential for significant impacts to:

  • Listed threatened species and communities (section 18 & section18A);
  • Listed migratory species (section 20 & section 20A);
  • The environment of the Commonwealth marine area, or the environment as the proposal would take place in a Commonwealth marine area (section 23 & section 24A).

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) is responsible for administering the EIS process on behalf of the Minister. DCCEEW developed EIS Guidelines for the preparation of a draft EIS which included guidance on the extent of studies and investigations required to adequately assess the impacts of the project. The EIS has been prepared in accordance with the EIS Guidelines.

A combined draft Commonwealth EIS under the EPBC Act and Victorian Environmental Effects Statement under the Environment Effects Act 1978 has been prepared through a coordinated process, resulting in the combined EIS/EES now on exhibition

Following receipt of public submissions Marinus Link will finalise the EIS and provide the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Water with the EIS, submissions received on the draft EIS, and Marinus Link’s response to those comments. The Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Water will decide whether the project is approved, approved with conditions, or refused under the EPBC Act.

Public notices under the EPBC Act will be available on the EPBC Portal (project reference 2021/9053).

Victorian approvals

The Environment Effects Act 1978 (EE Act) is for the assessment of proposed projects deemed capable of having a significant effect on the environment. Desktop studies indicated that the project is capable of having a significant effect on the environment and as such was referred to the Planning Minister to determine whether assessment is required under the EE Act.

On 12 December 2021, a delegate of the Minister determined that the project is required to prepare and be assessed through an Environmental Effects Statement (EES). The Minister’s assessment will be used to inform approval decisions by regulators in Victoria, such as the Planning Minister’s decision on the draft Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA) under the Planning & Environment Act 1987.

The Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) is responsible for administering the EES process on behalf of the Minister. The EES describes potential environmental effects of the proposed project and outline how to manage environmental effects. The matters to be investigated and documented in the EES are set out in Scoping Requirements issued by DTP. The EES has been prepared in accordance with the scoping requirements.

A combined draft Commonwealth EIS under the EPBC Act and Victorian EES under the EE Act has been undertaken through a coordinated process, resulting in the combined EIS/EES now on exhibition.

Following public exhibition of the EIS/EES and a subsequent inquiry, the Victorian Minister for Planning will provide an assessment of the environmental effects of the project in Victoria. The Victorian Minister’s assessment will then inform Victorian statutory decision-makers for the project approvals required under Victorian legislation.

The key approvals required under Victorian legislation include the PSA to amend the Latrobe and South Gippsland Planning Schemes to apply a Specific Controls Overlay to areas where the project is proposed within Victoria (on land), consent under the Marine and Coastal Act 2018 for use of marine and coastal Crown land in Victoria and approved cultural heritage management plans under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

As the project includes action within both Commonwealth and Victorian jurisdictions, the EES process cannot be applied to assess matters of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act.

Tasmanian approvals

Separate approvals are required under Tasmanian planning and environment legislation for the project components located in Tasmania. A development application under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 (LUPA Act) and an EIS under the Tasmanian Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPC Act) are being prepared for the Heybridge Converter Station. An EIS is also being prepared under the EMPC Act for the Heybridge Shore crossing. 

Public comment will be sought on the assessment of these components through the statutory process in Tasmania.

Environmental assessments timeline

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If you have questions or need help understanding the different assessment processes, we encourage you to contact us by phoning Marinus Link on 1300 765 275 or emailing