The Andrews Labor Government has appointed a CEO for the new specialist North East Link Authority (NELA).
Duncan Elliott will join NELA from the RACV, where he is currently General Manager of Membership and Rewards.
A qualified engineer with decades of experience in Victorian roads, Mr Elliott will lead an expert team of engineers, designs and specialists through planning in 2017, procurement in 2018, and construction from 2019 of the North East Link.
Mr Elliott comes to the project with a long history in the roads and infrastructure sector, including a number of years as VicRoads Regional Director of the South Western Victoria region, and VicRoads Regional Director of South West Metro.
The North East Link will connect the Metropolitan Ring Road at Greensborough to the Eastern Freeway and EastLink.
Extensive technical, environmental and social investigations will determine the best route for the project, with a key focus on protecting existing urban areas and minimising environmental impacts.
The project will take trucks off local streets and reduce congestion in Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs. It will provide an essential north-south connection, catering for Melbourne’s future growth, while linking the eastern suburbs to the northern and western suburbs and the airport.
The North East Link is Victoria’s next priority road project identified in Infrastructure Victoria’s historic 30 year plan.
Extensive community engagement, planning and business case development has now begun, and procurement will commence in 2018.
Minister for Roads, Luke Donnellan, said, “The Andrews Labor Government will build the North East Link – the only project that can actually slash congestion in Melbourne’s north, south, and east, while the Western Distributor fixes traffic in the west.
“Duncan is a road expert – he has a passion for working with the community, and will bring local knowledge as a resident of Melbourne’s North Eastern suburbs.”
The Labor Government has kick-started the project with $35 million to develop the North East Link business case, consultation and route selection which will be complete by the end of the year.