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Victoria's 5,400 kilometre network of 196 licensed pipelines transports and distributes gas, petroleum and other industrial products to Victorian communities and businesses.
The Pipelines Act 2005 and the Pipelines Regulations 2017 govern the management and regulation of pipelines in Victoria.
The Pipelines Act 2005
The Pipelines Act 2005 is the primary Act governing the construction and operation of pipelines carrying liquid and gaseous fuels and other industrial products at high pressure in Victoria.
High-pressure transmission pipelines
The Act covers ‘high-pressure transmission’ pipelines with a maximum design pressure exceeding 1050 kPa for gaseous hydrocarbons and 345 kPa for liquids.
DEECA and Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) are responsible for administrating the Act and the regulations.
Low-pressure distribution pipelines
For low-pressure distribution pipelines, the safety and technical aspects are regulated by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) under the Gas Safety Act 1997.
Licensing is administered by the Essential Services Commission under the Gas Industry Act 2001.
Pipelines that lie in Commonwealth waters are legislated by
- the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator and
- the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority.
Pipelines that lie in Victorian State waters, seaward of the coastline, are legislated by Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.
New high-pressure pipeline approvals
A licence to construct and operate a pipeline must be obtained by the proponent. This decision can only be made by the Minister. This includes:
- the approval of a consultation plan and land access, either by agreement or compulsory acquisition
- an application for a pipeline licence must be made in an approved form.
Before constructing and operating a pipeline, an environmental management plan (EMP) is required and the Minister administers this.
Before constructing and operating a pipeline, a safety management plan (SMP) is required. This is administered by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV).
An approved consultation plan is required before a proponent gives notice to each land owner and occupier of an intention to enter land or a pipeline corridor. The plan sets out the proponent's information to owners and occupiers affected by the proposed pipeline.
For further advice on when and how to make an application for approval of a consultation plan, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Land access and acquisition
The owner and the occupier of land are entitled to compensation from a proponent or licensee for the use of and impacts on their land. During negotiations, the proponent or licensee must present clear and accurate information outlining the impacts and management practices associated with pipeline development.
The Act requires the proponent to advise the landowner and occupier of the processes relating to compulsory acquisition, including the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.
Native Title Act 1993
The Native Title Act 1993 recognises indigenous people's rights and interests in the land. Applications for new pipelines and alterations to existing pipelines' routes must consider the application of the Act.
Page last updated: 04/01/23