Our position

‘Council continues to work on behalf of its community to advocate for changes to the North East Link project that protect our natural environment, preserve our local neighbourhoods, avoid dividing our community, minimise health impacts and provide for real solutions to the transport issues in the north including improved cycling and walking facilities and a reduction in through truck movements on local roads. Also, improved local outcomes for all other State Government transport projects that impact Banyule.’

October 2019

News

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EES process

NEL Public Hearing - July to September 2019

Banyule City Council, City of Boroondara and Whitehorse City Council (joint submission) and Manningham City Council, made joint representation to the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) hearing for the North East Link project.

The joint closing submission is available on the Engage Victoria Website and was presented to the EES IAC hearing on Friday 13 September 2019. The hearing was open to the public.

A Watsonia Neighbourhood Centre Concept Plan prepared by Ethos Urban was tabled at the hearing.

It is important to note that this document has not been adopted by Banyule Council and may not reflect its view. No formal public consultation has been undertaken to date. While the North East Link Project provided a financial contribution to the preparation of this work, it does not reflect the views of the North East Link Project.

Public Environment Report

The North East Link is being assessed by the Australian Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation 1999 Act (EPBC Act). The EPBC Act is the Australian Government’s environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places.

A draft Public Environment Report (PER) was available in April 2019 for public comment. The PER includes information on how the project could affect threatened species and communities, migratory species and the environment during construction and operation and how these impacts will be managed.

The Federal Minister for the Environment approved the project on 13 December 2019.

Environment Effects Statement Public Review

An important step in the North East Link project was the release of a North East Link Environment Effects Statement (EES) Report developed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and released on 10 April 2019. This report looks at the possible impacts of the construction of the North East Link. The report is available on the North East Link website.

Following that the public were able to make submissions to the North East Link EES Independent Panel Hearing. Submissions closed on the 7 June 2019. To help our community prepare for the EES submission process, we ran a community forum on Wednesday 27 March 2019.

Thanks to everyone that contributed to Council's submission or made an independent submission. All submissions can be viewed at Engage Victoria.

Proposed tunnel extension

We engaged an international tunneling expert to explore options of extending the tunnel of North East Link to replace an open trench section to reduce the impact of the project on the Banyule community. The tunneling expert report showed a range of benefits for the community including reducing property acquisition, minimising the impact to residents, businesses, and parklands. A summary of the report and a map can be seen here.

About the project

The project

The North East Link Authority has been appointed by the Victorian Government to deliver the North East Link, Victoria's biggest transport infrastructure project. The North East Link will run from the M80 through Banyule, join the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen, meet the EastLink at Ringwood, and bring dramatic changes to Banyule.

Latest plans can be viewed online. The recent alternate design for Watsonia station and shops can be viewed below.

Background

Council has long recognised the need for the Metropolitan Ring Road to be completed so it can provide a direct link from the Greensborough bypass to Ringwood and ease increasing congestion on Banyule roads. Currently, freight and commuter traffic use Rosanna Road and Greensborough Highway to connect with northern, western and south eastern suburbs.

Completing the Ring Road is a key priority in Council’s transport strategy, the Banyule Integrated Transport Plan.