Northern Package design update

Community feedback on the concept designs has closed. Council made its submission in November.

The Victorian Government North East Link Project (NELP) team is responsible for the delivery of the North East Link (NEL), Victoria's biggest transport infrastructure project. The NEL will run from the M80 (Western Ring Road) in Greensborough to Eastlink at Ringwood. The new roadway will run next to Greensborough Hwy and transition into a tunnel south of Watsonia under Banyule Flats.

North East Link will bring significant change to Banyule.


Banyule 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.

In 2017, four potential North East Link (NEL) routes were released and after surveying more than 40,000 Banyule households, we advocated for Corridor Option C as our preferred option. Some months later, the Victorian Government announced Corridor Option A as its preferred route.

Since 2017, we have been advocating on behalf of the Banyule community for the best outcomes as the NEL progresses.

Environment Effects Statement (ESS) process

In 2019, the EES was released for public exhibition. It looked at the possible impacts of the construction of the North East Link.

In March 2019, we ran a community forum to support our community to prepare for the EES submission process. We also reviewed thousands of pages of information to make submissions on behalf of the Banyule community for the Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) Panel Hearings. All submissions can be viewed at Engage Victoria.

We enlisted several experts, including an international tunnelling expert, to explore options to extend the North East Link tunnel and replace an open trench section to reduce the impact on the Banyule community.

On 13 September 2019, a joint closing submission by Banyule City Council, the City of Boroondara, Whitehorse City Council and Manningham City Council was made to the Panel.

After the hearings, the IAC provided its report to the Minister for Planning, after which the Minister released his assessment of the EES.

The Minister did not support certain recommendations of significance to Banyule, including the exclusion of Borlase Reserve as a tunnel boring machine launch site, an extended tunnel option near Watsonia and the designation of Simpson’s Barracks as a no-go zone. The Minister otherwise gave their approval to proceed.

In January 2020, the Victorian Government gazetted the Planning Scheme Amendment GC98 for the NEL.

In February 2020, the Council Alliance (Boroondara, Banyule and Whitehorse) and Manningham launched a North East Link legal challenge due to concerns about using a draft reference design for assessing impacts of the NEL and approving the project.

In July 2021, the challenge was withdrawn after lengthy negotiations that provided better outcomes for our community. The legal challenge update can be viewed here.