Planning Minister approves the East West Link

Planning Minister Matthew Guy today gave the green light for the eastern section of the East West Link, including the port connection, and released the full report of the East West Link Project Assessment Committee.

“I have approved the East West Link eastern section as a wholly integrated project that will deliver a critical transport connection for Victoria. The value and importance of the East West Link project to Victoria is clearly recognised in the Assessment Committee’s report. The project will significantly improve traffic flows in Melbourne’s inner-north and provide an opportunity for enhanced public transport services.

“Today I have granted the approvals required for the eastern section of the East West Link to be developed, subject to appropriate conditions. These approvals have been developed with regard to the Assessment Committee’s report and recommendations, EPA advice and the other matters I am required to have regard to,” Mr Guy said.

“The East West Link will improve transport throughout Victoria – this vital piece of infrastructure is the missing link in our road transport network.”

The East West Link Project Assessment Committee was appointed by the Planning Minister on 21 October 2013. The Committee’s role was to assess the Project’s Comprehensive Impact Statement (CIS) prepared by the Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) and to make recommendations.

“It is critical that this project delivers the best design and community outcome for Victorians, so my approval is subject to the LMA progressing design refinements to the eastern flyover and the connection from CityLink at Parkville and the Port of Melbourne. I have also determined that the Elliott Avenue interchange as proposed will not proceed and instead will be replaced by access to Flemington Road, subject to further detailed design work,” Mr Guy said.

As part of the Minister’s approval, the LMA is required to prepare additional plans for various aspects of the project and to establish a process for providing regular information to owners and occupiers of land in areas where further design refinement is occurring.

“The purpose of this process is to balance project benefits with community impacts, and to work out how to minimise the impacts on the community. LMA will be required to prepare a Property Impact Report to ensure ongoing management of the project’s impact.

The Assessment Committee’s extensive public hearings took place over thirty days during March and April. The Committee supported the Eastern Freeway to CityLink/Tullamarine Freeway via a tunnel; however concerns were highlighted in relation to some design elements.

Mr Guy confirmed that the approval includes performance requirements and detailed plans that will govern the ongoing assessment of the project. The proponent will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the ability of the performance requirements to be met.

It is now up to the LMA to consider the conditions of the approval and undertake any design modifications that may be required.

“I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation to the Assessment Committee and to all of those who took the time to comment, make a submission or attend the public hearings,” Mr Guy said.

“The East West Link is just one part of the Napthine Coalition Government’s $27 billion transport infrastructure pipeline, which also includes Melbourne Rail Link, Airport Rail Link, Cranbourne Pakeningham Rail, level crossing removals, Citylink-Tullamarine widening and the western section of the East West Link,” Mr Guy said.

Source: News Release Planning Minister Matthew Guy, 30 June 2014 

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