Community feedback received through the Environment Effects Statement (EES) has driven key improvement recommendations for North East Link – Victoria’s biggest ever road project.
Following more than 2,000 pieces of community feedback in the EES – the state’s most rigorous planning approvals process – several improvements have been adopted that will benefit the local community, traffic and businesses.
Over 870 submissions were received over the 40 day exhibition period 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 aim to ensure businesses in the Bulleen Industrial Estate get 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.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said, “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.”
More trees and shrubs will be planted soon, 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, Richard Wynne, assessed extending the North East Link tunnels an extra two kms north and determined the potential impacts – which include an extra 18 months or more of construction disruptions and significant impacts for two local schools – didn’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.