On 14 December 2007 the Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Gavin Jennings, approved the project under the Coastal Management Act 1995, subject to three main conditions:
The Port of Melbourne Corporation must strictly adhere to the project’s comprehensive Environmental Management Plan.
An Independent Environmental Monitor must be appointed to ensure the project is given the scrutiny it requires.
The Port of Melbourne Corporation will provide an environmental performance bond of $100 million to ensure the project has a dedicated funding stream to undertaken any remedial action or post dredging recovery if required.
In his approval the Minister considered the Minister for Planning’s assessment under the Environment Effects Act 1987. This assessment, announced on 31 October 2007, followed public submissions and a public inquiry into the Port’s Supplementary Environment Effects Statement. The Minister for Planning concluded that the project could go ahead provided that a number of environmental management measures are implemented and that concerns over the long-term effects of dredging are addressed.
While the principal Victorian approval has been granted, the Project still requires approval from the Federal Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.