The State Government has made a commitment to construct the North East Link (NEL). The project will connect the M80 Ring Road in Greensborough to the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen Road and includes the widening of the Eastern Freeway between Bulleen Road and Springvale Road.
The Minister for Planning has released his report regarding the environmental effects of the project and also amended the relevant planning schemes, including the Whitehorse Planning Scheme, to allow the project to proceed. A copy of the Minister’s assessment and other documents about the assessment process can be found at:
Whitehorse City Council is concerned about the decision making process. Council participated in a process based on a “reference design” – which is only an indicative or draft design. The final design could be very different, and any new adverse impacts will not have been taken into account.
Council understands and accepts that road infrastructure is important to connect people to their work, business and study.
However, the project in its current form represents an unfair, excessive burden on the Whitehorse community. It is Council’s role to advocate strongly on behalf of Whitehorse residents.
If North East Link is to proceed, there are a number of changes which should be made, to achieve a better balance between the benefits the project is said to deliver, and the cost that the local community is asked to bear.
Once the amenity and open space reserves are lost, they cannot be replaced.
Council has recently resolved to challenge the State Government decisions regarding North East Link. This difficult decision was not taken lightly and is aimed at achieving a process that is fair for people who live, work, socialise and travel through Whitehorse.
A media statement regarding the decision is at: