EES Exhibition Summary 

Yarra Ranges Council is planning a world-class mountain bike destination in Warburton. Located around 70 kilometres east of Melbourne, The Warburton Mountain Bike Destination would feature more than 170 kilometres of trails across Mount Donna Buang, Mount Little Joe and Mount Tugwell.

Environment Effects Statement (EES)

An EES is Victoria’s most rigorous environmental assessment process and gives decision makers including the Minister for Planning the information they need to determine whether project approvals should be granted and what conditions should apply.

The Warburton Mountain Bike Destination EES was on display for 8 weeks from Friday 26 November until Tuesday 25 January.

Local residents and interested stakeholders were invited to make a formal submission on the project.

EES exhibition in numbers

  • 2,707 submissions made on the project
  • 15,046 webpage views of the Project site
  • 5 drop-in sessions
  • 2 information sessions
  • 14 emails to project team
  • 12 social media updates
  • 2500 project summary brochures mailed to local community
  • 2 print advertisements to National / local newspapers

What we heard

2,707 submissions were made on the project.  Our analysis has shown that around 295 of the submissions raised concerns about the project.

Key topics raised include

Traffic and Transport

  • Increase in traffic on local roads in Warburton
  • Some road infrastructure wouldn’t mange an increase in additional traffic
  • Lack of parking on weekends during high visitation periods

Economic benefit

  • Project may revitalise Warburton as a nature based visitor economy, providing jobs and economic outcomes to support local businesses
  • Trail network would encourage greater visitation to Warburton and other near-by towns in the Yarra Ranges

Biodiversity and Habitat

  • Impact to sensitive flora and fauna species found in the project area and the National Park
  • Project encroaches on Cool Temperate Rain Forest areas in national park
  • Mountain bike trails are not appropriate in a National Park

Impacts to neighbouring properties

  • Location of trails to properties in Old Warburton and other areas
  • Increased noise from trail users and impacts to liveability

Improvements to health and wellbeing

  • The value of the project in supporting positive physical and mental health and wellbeing 
  • Will support the growing demand for mountain bike trails

All submissions made on the EES will be made public and can be viewed by clicking the link below.

View the EES Submissions

What’s next?

An independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) has been appointed by the Minister for Planning to consider the EES and public submissions.

The IAC will hold a directions hearing to set the terms and arrangements of the EES public inquiry hearing.  This hearing will be held online on Friday 11 February 2022 and is open to anyone to attend. You can log into the meeting via the link here

The public inquiry hearing will begin on Tuesday 15 March and continue for around 5 weeks. Yarra Ranges Council and those who have made a submission on the project, and wish to be heard, will present to the IAC. During the directions hearing the IAC will determine the format of the inquiry hearing, which could be online, in-person or a hybrid of the two.  Further information will be available here

The inquiry will prepare a report based on their findings of the EES inquiry and an assessment of the project will be made by the Minister for Planning to determine how the project will proceed.