Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act referral
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act is environmental legislation administered by the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
It provides a framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora and fauna, ecological communities and heritage places – typically referred to as Matters of National Environmental Significance.
Two referrals were submitted under the EPBC Act for project works associated with the Gippsland Line Upgrade.
The referral documents outline Matters of National Environmental Significance within the project area and the approach that would be adopted to mitigate potential impacts of the project on these matters.
The referral for Traralgon to Longwarry East was determined as Not a Controlled Action under the EPBC Act and was published on the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment website on 13 August 2020.
The referral for Pakenham to Longwarry East was Approved with Conditions under the EPBC Act and was published on 25 June 2021. As part of the approval process, the Preliminary Documentation for this referral was available for public comment. Submissions closed on 7 May 2021.
This compliance report addresses the current status of the Gippsland Line Upgrade against the conditions for approval of the EPBC Act Referral 2019/8563 for the activities carried out between 15 November 2021 and 15 November 2022.
Works conducted during the reporting period are compliant with applicable conditions of EPBC approval 2019/8563.
Protecting the Southern Brown Bandicoot
A population of the Southern Brown Bandicoot has been identified within the Gippsland rail corridor between Pakenham and Longwarry, where works for the Gippsland Line Upgrade will occur. The Southern Brown Bandicoot is a native marsupial, which is listed as a threatened species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
To contribute to minimising the impact of these works, a pest control program is being implemented to protect the bandicoots by monitoring and reducing the number of pests, particularly foxes and feral cats, that threaten it.
Pest control will include baiting which is designed to attract targeted pests and there will be measures in place to protect local wildlife. The bait being used is Para Amino Propiophenone (PAPP). PAPP is approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to manage pests in Victoria.
By controlling these pest species, we protect our native wildlife. We will also provide nest boxes to provide additional habitat for bandicoots within the project area. The program will run until the end of 2024, with pest control happening at regular intervals over the next four years.
For more information view our Southern Brown Bandicoot Offset Management Plan (PDF, 7.6 MB).
Planning Scheme Amendment GC124 – Gippsland Line Upgrade
Amendment GC124 to the Latrobe, Baw Baw and Cardinia planning schemes was approved by the Minister for Planning on Tuesday 24 December 2019.
The planning scheme amendment will allow the use and development of land in those local government areas to enable project works between Pakenham and Traralgon.
These works will enable much needed extra off-peak services and better reliability, with track duplication, a crossing loop extension and second platforms at stations providing more opportunities for trains to pass each other.
The draft planning scheme amendment was available for public comment from Thursday 20 May to Thursday 20 June 2019.
Wellington Shire Planning Scheme Amendment C105 - Avon River Bridge
Amendment C105 to the Wellington Shire Planning Scheme was approved by the Minister for Planning on Friday 17 May 2019.
The planning scheme amendment allows the use and development of land for the new Avon River rail bridge.
The new bridge will improve reliability on the Bairnsdale line and allow trains to travel faster in this section.
The draft planning scheme amendment was available for public comment from Monday 24 September to Wednesday 24 October 2018.
Project area designation
On 6 June 2019 the Minister for Planning designated the project area under section 95 of the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act 2009.
The designation of the project area enables the project proponent (Secretary to Department of Transport and Planning) to use the project delivery powers (including land acquisition) under the Act.