Suburban Rail Loop is a city and state-shaping project that will transform Victoria’s public transport system, revitalise Melbourne’s middle suburbs and create a long pipeline of jobs.

Suburban Rail Loop East from Cheltenham to Box Hill (SRL East) will connect our growing health, education, retail and employment precincts in Melbourne’s east and south east.

SRL East will be built as a standalone 26km underground rail line that will be fully integrated with the existing public transport network.

A high-tech fleet of energy efficient trains will run on the line, stopping at the 6 new underground stations at Cheltenham, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill.

Due to its scale and complexity, SRL East is being subject to Victoria's most robust planning approvals pathway.

An Environment Effects Statement (EES), including a draft Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA) has been released for SRL East.

The SRL East EES identifies the project’s benefits and potential environmental effects and impacts on people and places during construction and operation and proposes ways to manage any effects.

For the first time in Victoria, a fully digital EES has been prepared to provide better access to information for everyone. The full SRL East EES and all supplementary materials, including fact sheets and videos, can be viewed at the EES page.

Step 1 – Understand how the EES is structured

1. Summary report

The summary report provides a broad overview of the SRL East EES, presenting key information, rationale, potential effects and how any adverse impacts would be managed.

Tip: We recommend you read the summary report first.

2. Digital EES

The digital EES is an intuitive, easy to use platform that provides a sustainable alternative to printed copies. The first of its kind in Victoria, it displays summary chapters based on the findings of each technical study and features interactive maps and visuals to explain the information presented.

3. Technical study reports

Nineteen EES technical study reports prepared by independent specialists provide an in-depth evaluation of potential environmental effects. These reports are between 100 and 13,000 pages long. They can be downloaded from the Documents section of the digital EES.

4. Map book and attachments

The map book shows the design of SRL East used to assess the impacts in the EES. It includes plans showing the proposed layout of construction sites and laydown areas, vertical alignments of the rail tunnels and drawings that show the height and depth of rail infrastructure.

Attachments to the EES, including the draft Environmental Management Framework (EMF) and Environmental Performance Requirements (EPRs), the Urban Design Strategy and a copy of the draft Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA) can be downloaded from the Documents section of the digital EES.

Step 2 – Choose your topics of interest

Transport and traffic

Read the Transport and traffic fact sheet for more information.

Transport and traffic

Assesses the impacts on the transport network, including for vehicle traffic, public transport, cyclists and pedestrians, during construction and operation of SRL East.

This report identifies the significant increase in the capacity of the metropolitan rail network and considers improvements to transport connectivity and multimodal connections.

Environment and amenity

Read the Environment and amenity fact sheet for more information.

Ecology

Assesses potential impacts to the natural environment, including remnant native vegetation, planted vegetation and wildlife.

This report proposes approaches for minimising impacts.

Arboriculture

Assesses potential impacts to planted trees and outlines an approach to replanting and restoring/enhancing tree canopy.

Air quality

Assesses potential changes in air quality resulting from dust, odours and emissions during construction. This report also evaluates potential impacts associated with the operation of SRL East tunnels and ventilation structures in relation to Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria standards.

Greenhouse gas

Assesses CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions during construction and operation of SRL East and identifies opportunities to reduce waste and use resources efficiently.

Land use and planning

Considers the role of SRL East in changing land uses and identifies opportunities for integration and development with strategic land use plans.

Soil and groundwater

Read our Soil and groundwater fact sheet for more information.

Ground movement

Assesses potential impacts of ground movement from tunnelling on land stability, natural features such as riverbanks and hills, and buildings and structures including gas lines, sewers and other utilities.

Contaminated land

Assesses potential impacts associated with disturbance of contaminated or acid-forming material encountered during tunnel construction and considers approaches to the management of spoil in accordance with best practice principles.

Groundwater

Assesses potential impacts of tunnelling and excavation on groundwater levels and quality, including potential ecological impacts, and proposes approaches for minimising impacts.

Surface water

Assesses potential impacts on the interconnected surface water quality and floodplain environments.

Noise, vibration and electromagnetic interference

Read our Noise, vibration and electromagnetic interference fact sheet for more information.

Airborne noise

Predicts likely airborne noise emissions and impacts for residents and businesses during construction and operation of SRL East. This report considers approaches to manage and reduce impacts in accordance with EPA Victoria standards.

Vibration and ground-borne noise

Identifies likely vibration and ground-borne noise levels on homes, businesses and other buildings during earthworks, tunnel construction and the operation of SRL East. This report considers approaches for minimising and managing impacts.

Electromagnetic interference (EMI)

Assesses the potential effects electromagnetic interference sources may have during construction and operation of SRL East. This report identifies businesses and institutions which use EMI-sensitive equipment and approaches to managing impacts.

Culture and community

Read our Culture and community fact sheet for more information.

Landscape and visual

Assesses potential effects on the landscape, visual amenity, open space, recreational and public realm values. This report considers how above-ground buildings and infrastructure can positively enhance the existing and future character of SRL East areas.

Human health

Assesses potential effects on the health and wellbeing of the local community. This report considers changes in temporary access, air quality, noise and a range of other social aspects that could impact human health.

Social and community

Identifies and assesses potential positive and negative social impacts during construction and operation, with consideration of community cohesion, access to places such as schools, community and sporting facilities and open space.

Business and retail

Assesses potential direct and indirect impacts of SRL East on businesses and on the retail economic environment. This report considers permanent land acquisition, access to services and facilities, temporary occupation and other changes during construction and operation.

Historical heritage

Assesses potential physical and visual impact on State and local heritage places, objects and values that may be affected during construction and operation of SRL East.

Aboriginal heritage

Assesses potential impacts of construction and operational activities on Aboriginal cultural heritage places and values, considering Aboriginal heritage sensitivity.

Next steps

The SRL East EES and draft PSA will be on public exhibition for 30 business days from Friday 5 November until 11:59pm on Thursday 16 December 2021.

After reviewing the EES, you can make a written submission to Planning Panels Victoria about matters of interest. Submissions must be made in writing and only one submission is needed to address all of your views about the project, its effects and the relevant documents. Online submissions are preferred and can be made via the Engage Victoria website.

Commenting on the EES is an opportunity to have your views considered by the independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) appointed by the Minister for Planning to provide them with advice and recommendations to inform their planning and environmental approvals for SRL East. Read more in our How to make a submission fact sheet.

Once the exhibition period closes, the independent IAC will review the EES, draft PSA and all submissions and will consider the environmental effects of the Project in accordance with Terms of Reference issued by the Minister for Planning.

The IAC will hold a Directions Hearing on Friday 28 January 2022, where the necessary arrangements and timetable for the public hearing will be confirmed.

The public hearing process will commence in the week beginning Monday 28 February 2022 and continue through to the end of April 2022.

Information about the IAC hearing process will be published on the Engage Victoria website when determined.

After the public hearings, the IAC will prepare a report with recommendations for the Minister for Planning.

The Minister will then make an assessment of the environmental effects. The assessment may conclude that the project:

  • Will have acceptable environmental effects
  • Will have unacceptable environmental effects

Needs modifications to, or additional Environmental Performance Requirements, to achieve acceptable outcomes.

The Minister’s assessment will inform other government decision makers on the approvals required for SRL East to proceed.

Read our translated fact sheets