The Victorian Government has made agreements with three city councils to deliver a package of community upgrades as part of its North East Link Project (NELP). 

The agreement with Manningham, Whitehorse and Boroondara city councils sought to address issues that arose during the Environment Effects Statement process and has been designed to allow for councils to have more opportunities to provide input on the final design of the project.

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said, “We’ve worked with local councils every step of the way and we look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with Manningham, Whitehorse and Boroondara City Council as we deliver North East Link.”

In addition to the consultation processes already required under the Minister for Planning’s Assessment of North East Link, Manningham, Whitehorse and Boroondara will have an opportunity to provide further input ahead of designs being finalised once a preferred bidder has been selected.

Manningham City Council has also secured funding towards a new cycling and pedestrian bridge over the Yarra River at Banksia Park, a commitment for new public open space and planning and development work for the future upgrade of Templestowe Road.

Manningham Mayor, Cr Paul McLeish, said, “We’re pleased to have negotiated improved consultation commitments and secured our large sporting and recreation precinct in the Bulleen project area, amongst many other outcomes. 

“Council will continue to represent our communities interests during the design consultations which lie ahead. “

Works in the City of Whitehorse will include major upgrades to the Elgar Park sporting precinct, open space enhancements and upgrades to cycling facilities.

Whitehorse Mayor, Cr Sharon Ellis, said, “We’re pleased at securing these additional opportunities for consultation, so our community’s concerns can be heard. 

“The commitment from the State Government to a range of local Whitehorse projects, from playgrounds to cycling trails and sports fields, is a significant step in the right direction.”

The City of Boroondara has secured an agreement that the Freeway Golf Course will be maintained as an 18-hole course, with NELP shelving plans to relocate the Boroondara Tennis Centre to that site.

Boroondara Mayor, Cynthia Watson, said, “Council and the Victorian Government have worked together to ensure our community continues to enjoy treasured open space in Boroondara. 

“The agreement with the Government provides the Boroondara community and Council with the opportunity to provide input into the final design of the North East Link.”

The Victorian Government said it will work with Tennis Victoria and Tennis Australia to identify a new location for a regional tennis facility. 

Upgrades to pedestrian safety at Bellevue and Greythorn Shopping Centres have also been planned for Boroondara.

The mediation has resulted in Manningham, Whitehorse and Boroondara withdrawing from the Supreme Court challenge to the project’s planning approvals.

The Victorian Government aims for the North East Link to take 15,000 trucks off local roads in the north east, reducing more than an hour off a return trip to the airport from the eastern suburbs and adding more than 25km of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths.

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