A mountain bike rider rides through a densely packed forest

Warburton Mountain Bike Destination Update – August 2022

Since our last update, the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination team has been hard at work obtaining secondary approvals and fine-tuning the detailed design of the master plan and construction plan – following the submission of the project’s EES and hearing of submissions.

If you have been following the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination project, you will be aware the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) is Victoria’s most rigorous impact assessment process and gives decision makers like the Minister for Planning the information they need to determine whether project approvals should be granted and what conditions should apply.

After submitting our 3,500-page report in October 2021, the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination project continued its journey with public hearings in front of an independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC).

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

The IAC held the directions hearing online on Friday 11 February 2022 and the four-week public hearing started Monday 15 March 2022. These hearings as part of the EES process followed the public exhibition period where stakeholders and community members had the opportunity to dissect the EES document and have their say via submissions to Planning Panels Victoria and DELWP (Department of Environment Land Water and Planning).

There were 2,707 submissions received. Of those submissions 2,400 supported the project which is unheard of in the realm of projects undergoing an EES process. Seventy people and groups presented to the committee. Community members, lawyers, barristers, expert witnesses and agencies like Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water also presented to the IAC.

Where is the EES process at now?

Once the hearings were concluded the IAC prepared and submitted their report based on their findings of the EES. The IAC report is now with the office for Planning.

An assessment of the project will be made by the Minister for Planning and will be announced once complete and ready for release

We are all eagerly waiting for the Planning Ministers assessment and have received great support from so many of you in the community who are also eagerly waiting for the minister’s assessment.

We sincerely appreciate your ongoing interest in the project, so stay tuned for more updates in the coming months!