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Brunswick Terminal Station in Brunswick East receives electricity from high voltage power stations, converting it to lower voltages for distribution to power lines feeding homes and businesses. It is one of 41 facilities throughout Victoria.

AusNet Services, the owner of the site, has advised that in order to meet the demands of Melbourne’s growing inner suburbs, and prevent blackouts to the CBD network, the facility must be upgraded.

Work at the Brunswick Terminal Station must follow the Construction and Environmental Management Plan (PDF 8Mb).

Planning Scheme Amendment C140 and overlays

Amendment C140 was approved by the Minister for Planning and gazetted on 3 February 2012 for the Brunswick Terminal site. The Minister’s Amendment formally recognises the use of the site as a utility installation (the Brunswick Terminal Station) by rezoning the land from a Residential 1 Zone (R1Z) to Special Use Zone 3 (SUZ3).

The Amendment has also introduced to the Merri-bek Planning Scheme the Brunswick Terminal Station Incorporated Document 2012 to inform the development of the site.

As a result of Amendment C140 a planning permit is no longer required for the proposed development of the Brunswick Terminal Station.

The Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO1), Special Building Overlay (SBO) and Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) still apply to the site. However ESO1 includes an exemption from a planning permit for buildings and works that accord with Brunswick Terminal Station Incorporated Document 2012. Neither the SBO or LSIO affect that part of the land to be developed and therefore do not trigger a planning permit application.

3D layout of the Brunswick Terminal Station

Planning Permit Application MPS/2014/87 and VCAT Appeal

Following the detailed design phase of the project, it has became apparent that some building works required for the development are not exempt from the need for a planning permit under the Special Building Overlay (SBO), Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO1) and Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO).

In addition the detailed design phase resulted in some changes to the project not included in the Brunswick Terminal Station Incorporated Document 2012.

Following this, AusNet Services submitted a planning permit application (Council Ref: MPS/2014/87).

The application was determined at a Council meeting on 11 June 2014. At the meeting, the Councillors resolved to issue a Notice of Decision to Grant a Permit (NOD) in accordance with the officer’s recommendation.

View a copy of the minutes from the Urban Planning meeting on 23 July 2014 (DOC 116Kb).

The Notice of Decision to Grant a Planning Permit was issued on 17 June 2014.

An appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) was lodged by concerned residents for a review of the decision.

The VCAT heard the merits of the application on 22 August 2014 and has issued a planning permit (PDF 3Mb).

You can view a copy by downloading the Merri Creek Residents Group Inc vs Merri-bek CC and AusNet Services (PDF 158Kb) or Merri Creek Residents Group Inc vs Merri-bek CC and AusNet Services (DOC 92Kb).

Council has also endorsed the plans for the development. You can view a copy of each plan:

Community Reference Group (CRG) for the Brunswick Terminal Station

A Community Reference Group (CRG) has been established to help manage and minimise community impacts during the upgrade of the Brunswick Terminal Station, and to encourage positive discussion between the project team, the local community, other stakeholders and Merri-bek City Council about the project.

Chaired by an independent facilitator, the purpose of the CRG is to:

  • Discuss and exchange information relating to existing or planned construction activities for the BTS project.
  • Identify local issues and concerns to assist in developing strategies to minimise impacts on the community.
  • Act as a communication link between the community and the project team, and
  • Provide an opportunity for advice on community initiative.

You can view minutes from the meetings:

 Brunswick Terminal Station 2016

As of April 2016, the Brunswick Terminal Station upgrade project is 75 per cent complete. The main buildings have been constructed, the retaining wall along Sumner Park has been put in place, buildings have been painting and panels put up and some of the landscaping along King Street has also been established:

Brunswick Terminal Station Brunswick Terminal Station
Brunswick Terminal Station Brunswick Terminal Station
Brunswick Terminal Station  

It is anticipated that the upgrade project will be completed in early to mid 2017 which will include substantial landscaping along all the boundaries of the site in accordance with the approved landscape plan.

Advisory Committee Findings 2016

In 2015 the State Government appointed an Advisory Committee to review the planning approvals process, including community consultation, for the upgrade of the Brunswick Terminal Station.

An Advisory Committee hearing took place in mid 2015 with submissions made by Merri-bek City Council, Yarra City Council, AusNet Services, CitiPower, the Australian Energy market Operator, Merri Creek Residents Group,  and the Department of Environment Land, Water and Planning.

The findings of the Advisory Committee were released in a report in early 2016. The ‘Summary’ of the findings  concludes ‘that there were no apparent fundamental flaws in the planning permit application process and consideration of the permit applications by Merri-bek City Council'.

Further information about the Brunswick terminal station

AusNet Services
Mailing address:
The Consultation Manager
Brunswick Terminal Station Upgrade
Locked Bag 14051
Melbourne City Mail Centre, Victoria, 8001
Phone: 1800 4636 287 (1800 INFO BTS)
Email Brunswick Terminal Station
AusNet Services website

Mailing address:
Locked Bag 14090, Melbourne 8001
Phone: 1300 301 101
Citipower website

Council information

Department of Planning and Community Development