Under the national environment law, the Peter Garrett is required to assess the possible impacts of the project on the Western Port Ramsar wetland and listed threatened species and ecological communities protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

This proposal has been thoroughly assessed through a rigorous and open process looking at both those matters which are the responsibility of the State Government and those that are my responsibility to protect under the national environment law.

This assessment and approval process has allowed input from interested groups, experts and members of the general public. I want to take this opportunity to thank those who have contributed throughout this process, said Peter Garrett.

I am fully satisfied that with the conditions I have imposed on this approval – including a requirement that the Victorian Government develop management strategies to minimise the impacts on species like the Growling Grass Frog, Dwarf Galaxias, Giant Gippsland Earthworm and Orange-bellied Parrot – this project will not have a significant impact on nationally protected matters, Garrett said.

I will need to approve these strategies before construction can commence on the project. My conditional approval strengthens the recommendations of the Victorian assessment.

As part of a forward approach for managing Australia’s urban water resources, the Australian Government is implementing a $1 billion National Urban Water and Desalination Plan to help secure the water supplies of Australia’s major cities.