What is an EES?

What is an Environment Effects Statement?

An Environment Effects Statement (EES) usually contains:

  • A description of the proposed development
  • An outline of public and stakeholder consultation undertaken during investigations and the issues raised
  • A description of the existing environment that may be affected
  • Predictions of significant environmental effects of the proposal and relevant alternatives
  • Proposed measures to avoid, minimise, or manage adverse environmental effects
  • A proposed program for monitoring and managing environmental effects during project implementation.

In Victoria, environment assessment of the potential environmental impacts or effects of a proposed development may be required under the Environment Effects Act 1978.

The process under this Act is not an approval process itself, rather it enables statutory decision-makers (Ministers, local government and statutory authorities) to make decisions about whether a project with potentially significant environmental effects should proceed.

If the Minister for Planning decides that an EES is required, the project proponent is responsible for preparing the EES and undertaking the necessary investigations.

Once the EES is completed and released for public comment, the Minister provides an Assessment to the relevant decision-makers. There are also opportunities for community involvement at certain stages of the process.

If a project requires assessment under both the Environment Effects Act and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the relevant process can be accredited under the new Assessment Bilateral Agreement between the Commonwealth and Victoria. This means that proponents will not have to undertake two separate assessment processes, minimising duplication and saving them time and resources.