Detailed studies included flora, fauna, cultural heritage, hydrology, landscaping, design and visual impact analysis, geotechnical and marine based investigations and social impact research.

The EES indicated that there are many social and economic benefits for local areas and that potential environmental impacts are generally short-term and limited to the period of construction.

These are mitigated through the performance requirements the government placed in the contract with AquaSure and the environmental management plan developed by AquaSure.

The EES contains:

The EES and Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Works Approval Application (PDF, 7.5 MB) were publicly exhibited in August 2008. Community members were invited to review the EES and provide comments.

Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure facilitated the EES assessment through an Independent Panel Inquiry, public submissions and hearings and a report to the Minister for Planning.

The Independent Expert Group report to the panel found that the EES scope and approach made it unlikely that significant and unexpected marine impacts would occur.

In January 2009, the Minister for Planning accepted the EES, stating that environmental impacts could be minimised or offset to acceptable levels through the application of strict requirements.

In March 2009 the EPA issued a works approval. The EPA was satisfied that the proposed works met the requirements of the Environment Protection Act 1970 and were consistent with the relevant state environment protection policies.

Free copies of the EES, including technical appendices, can be obtained by emailing desalination.project@delwp.vic.gov.au