Victoria’s biggest ever road infrastructure project, the North East Link, has received 850 submissions to the Environment Effects Statement (EES).
The Andrews Labor Government encouraged the community to make submissions to the EES during the 40-day exhibition period, to have their views considered as part of planning approvals for the project.
The EES was on exhibition for 10 days longer than the standard exhibition period to ensure the community had enough time to view the detailed documents. Over 700 people attended community information sessions throughout Melbourne’s north-east during the exhibition period.
Significant community feedback and more than a year of technical studies shaped the 10,000-page EES, which includes specialist reports on 18 key topics. The detailed documents include information on how North East Link could affect the environment during construction and when the project opens, and how they will be managed.
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.
The North East Link Project team is working closely with potentially impacted residents, businesses, local government, sports clubs and community groups in delivering the long-awaited project.
A community hub is open in Watsonia and an office has recently opened in the Bulleen Industrial Estate to provide ongoing advice and support to local businesses in the area.
A Directions Hearing will be held on Friday 21 June where the Inquiry and Advisory Committee will establish a timetable for the public hearings. Those who have an EES submission will have their chance to present to the independent panel during the Public Hearings, commencing on Thursday 25 July.
The panel will review the EES and public submissions received and make recommendations to the Minister for Planning in late 2019. Planning approvals are expected to be in place by the end of the year, with construction set to start in early 2020.
As noted by Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“It’s great to see so many people and community groups have their say as part of the planning approvals for North East Link.”
“These submissions will help shape this historic project and make a long-awaited project even better for Victorians.”
As noted by North East Link Project CEO Duncan Elliott
“We’ve been out there talking with people about North East Link since the very beginning – more than 6,000 people have attended a community information session since the project was announced in 2017.”
“Our consultation with the community does not stop with the EES closing. We encourage anyone who has questions to get in touch or pop into one of the community information hubs to speak with our project specialists.”