Victorian Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has signed off on the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) for the $5.5bn West Gate Tunnel project in Victoria, Australia.
The West Gate Tunnel is expected to reduce congestion, reduce travel times and create 6,000 jobs.
The minister’s assessment recommends lowering of the Wurundjeri Way and V/Line stabling yards be relocated to maximise the potential of the future E-Gate urban renewal precinct.
The minister also recommended improving cycling and pedestrian connections between Docklands and North Melbourne.
The Western Distributor Authority has already proposed to plant three saplings for every tree removed under the project. However, Wynne recommended that the ratio be increased to five saplings.
The minister recommended acquisition of a group of houses on Hyde Street due to their proximity to the project, a proposal which was supported by the residents. Some of their properties have already reserved for acquisition.
Wynne also welcomed the announcement that the government will work with residents on Millers Road, Brooklyn, for the installation of double glazing to homes to further reduce noise.
The minister also proposed a noise wall along the future open space in Altona North, protecting the community from adverse noise and visual impacts.
New noise walls have already been proposed to protect existing open space reserves along the West Gate Freeway.
Wynne has sought further investigation of how to best manage traffic in North and West Melbourne besides plans for a linear reserve along the Moonee Ponds Creek between Dynon and Footscray Roads.
He also asked VicRoads to finalize its Traffic Noise Reduction Policy.
An EES is an assessment of the potential environmental or community impacts of a major development.
Richard Wynne said: “This project will slash congestion and keep neighbourhood streets quieter and safer. We’re planning properly and we’re getting it done.
“There will be significant impacts during construction, but we’re getting the planning right to ensure disruptions are minimised and both the community and the environment are protected.”