Victoria’s biggest ever road project – North East Link – is another step closer, with key recommendations from an independent planning panel endorsed by the Victorian Minister for Planning.
Following community feedback received through the Environment Effects Statement (EES) – the state’s most rigorous planning approvals process – several improvements have been adopted that will benefit the local community, traffic and businesses.
More than 2,000 pieces of community feedback helped prepare the EES and the final reports were exhibited for 40 days, 10 more than were required, to give communities time to make submissions.
Over 870 submissions were received and an independent committee sat for 36 days – making it one of the most extensive EES processes ever undertaken.
Recommendations outlined in the assessment will ensure businesses in the Bulleen Industrial Estate get even more support, with one-on-one case managers assigned to work closely with business owners and their employees to produce individual business plans and training opportunities.
More trees and shrubs will be planted even sooner, in one of the biggest tree planting programs for major infrastructure project in Victoria’s history.
The North East Link team will also continue to work with world-class builders to ensure that every effort is made to retain the historic River Red Gum in Bulleen.
The Minister for Planning assessed extending the North East Link tunnels an extra two kilometres north and determined the potential impacts – which include an extra 18 months or more of construction disruptions and significant impacts for two local schools – don’t outweigh the benefits.
The $15.8 billion North East Link will remove 15,000 trucks off local roads, slash travel times between Melbourne’s north and south-east by up to 35 minutes and create 10,000 jobs.
Construction on North East Link is due to start in 2020, following planning approvals.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“This is another important step in delivering the North East Link – which others have talked about for years and that we are delivering.”
“We’ll continue to work with the local community as we get on with this vital project, which will take trucks off local streets, cut travel times and create thousands of jobs.”