The planning approvals process for Victoria’s biggest road project has started, with an Environment Effects Statement (EES) for North East Link now out for public comment.
The Andrews Labor Government is working to support potentially impacted residents, businesses, sports clubs and community groups when delivering the long-awaited project.
Building such a large project through a highly developed urban area presents a range of potential impacts and challenges, however strict requirements will be placed on project builders to minimise impacts.
More than 30,000 trees will be planted as part of the project and the Banyule Flats, Warringal Parklands and Yarra River will be protected by a six-kilometre tunnel.
Housing acquisition has been kept to a minimum, with the number of homes needed reduced to less than 50. Based on the current reference design in the EES, around 100 businesses in the Bulleen Industrial Zone still sit within the construction footprint of the project and are expected to be acquired.
Suitable sites for relocation are being explored with local councils in consultation with businesses, and a North East Link site office will soon open in the industrial estate to provide even more support to businesses.
A Bulleen Business Liaison Group has recently been set up by the North East Link Project team to work with businesses on their specific issues and help them through the planning and approvals process.
Better noise walls will be built as part of the project, with a new noise standard of 63 Db(A). The noise standard will provide better protection from noise for homes along the Eastern Freeway where a noise standard of 68 Db(A) currently applies – the same standard being built for the West Gate Tunnel project.
Significant community feedback and more than a year of technical studies has shaped the 10,000-page EES, with specialist reports on 18 key topics that the community will have 40 business days to review.
People can have their views considered as part of the planning approvals process by commenting on the EES. Submissions close on Friday 7 June and hearings are expected to start in late July.
The project will fix the missing link between the Eastern Freeway and the M80 Ring Road – slashing travel times and taking more than 15,000 trucks a day off local roads and provide a faster trip to the airport from the east.
The project will also upgrade the Eastern Freeway to streamline traffic flow and reduce congestion and build a new dedicated busway along the Eastern Freeway – slashing travel times on this busy corridor by more than 30 per cent.
For more information about North East Link, to view the full EES, and learn about upcoming EES community sessions starting on Saturday 27 April, visit northeastlink.vic.gov.au
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“We’re delivering Victoria’s biggest ever road project through built up urban areas. That presents challenges and the Environment Effects Statement will give people a chance to have their say.”
“The planning and approvals process goes hand-in-hand with our work with residents, businesses and community groups – understanding how we can work together while building the missing link in our road network.”