The North East Link (NEL) is a freeway-standard road that is being built by the Victorian Government. It will link the Metropolitan Ring Road (M80) in Greensborough to the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen Road.

We continue to advocate on behalf of the Boroondara community for the best outcomes as planning and development of the NEL progresses.

Status update

NEL tunnels Urban Design and Landscape (UDL) Plan

The North East Link Program has awarded Spark consortium the central (tunnel) works package of the North East Link.

This is the first package of major construction works for the project.

Spark developed an UDL plan for public exhibition between 11 May and 31 May 2022. The consultation is now closed.

Within Boroondara the plan covers the following areas:  

  • the Eastern Freeway, Bulleen Road and North East Link interchange
  • the Eastern Freeway from Musca Street Reserve to the Estelle Street footbridge
  • the western third of Koonung Creek Reserve in Balwyn North
  • part of the Freeway Golf Course
  • Boroondara Tennis Centre land.

We prepared a submission to Spark’s plan on behalf of Boroondara residents. Council endorsed the submission on 20 June 2022. 

Although the consultation has now closed, you can still view the plan at the Engage Victoria website.

The plan will be presented to the Minister for Planning for approval, once community feedback has been reviewed and changes incorporated.

    NEL early works

    Since early 2021, NELP has undertaken early works to prepare for construction.

    These works included realigning service infrastructure such as:

    • water mains
    • sewerage pipes
    • electrical cables. 

    NELP has completed early works at:

    • Koonung Creek Reserve 
    • Mountain View Road
    • Page Avenue
    • Willow Grove.

    NELP expects to complete early works in September at: 

    • Boroondara Tennis Centre
    • Freeway Golf Course.

    Throughout the early works, we have worked closely with NELP and its contractors to review plans and look for ways to minimise impacts in Boroondara. 

    Plans for Freeway Golf Course reconfiguration

    On 26 April 2021, Council adopted and endorsed a design for the reconfigured Freeway Golf Course and construction method for the reconfiguration works. Works started in early September 2021, with plans to complete them by the end of 2022.

    The course is currently closed for reconfiguration works so it can be completed in the shortest timeframe possible.

    The golf course needs reconfiguration because approximately 3 hectares will be acquired for the NEL. The golf course master plan was developed by Pacific Coast Design, in partnership with Council officers. It included feedback from our golfing community.

    Find out more about Freeway Golf Course reconfiguration.

    View the golf course masterplan endorsed by Council

    Bulleen Park and Ride approved by Minister for Planning

    On 23 April 2021, the Minister for Planning granted approval for construction of the Bulleen Park and Ride (BPR), a dedicated park and ride facility as part of the NEL project.

    The BPR will be built on the corner of Thompsons Road and Kampman Street, in the City of Manningham. It won't be built on the site of the Boroondara Tennis Centre as previously planned. It is due to be completed in 2022.

    Council endorsed a submission to NELP on the Urban Design and Landscape Plan for the BPR in December 2020. In reviewing the approved plans, we were disappointed that NELP failed to adopt Council's suggestions.

    Withdrawal from the legal proceedings against NELP and the Victorian Government

    Earlier in 2020, we joined with Whitehorse, Banyule and Manningham Councils to launch a legal challenge against NELP and the Victorian Government. Following a lengthy mediation, all four Councils have now withdrawn from the proceedings.

    We commenced legal action because of concerns about the lawfulness of using a reference design as the basis for approval of the NEL by the Victorian Government. 

    For more information, see mediation and settlement outcomes.

    Approval of the North East Link

    The NEL was approved by the Minister for Planning in January 2020. The approval process included:

    • Development of a reference design for the North East Link.
    • Preparation of an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) based on the reference design. The EES included:
      • Technical reports on the various impacts of the road project.
      • A draft Planning Scheme Amendment (GC 98) designed to facilitate the project unencumbered by the need to obtain planning approvals from local authorities.
      • A draft Urban Design Strategy and Environmental Management Framework.
    • Community consultation on the EES.
    • Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) Panel Hearing to review community submissions, hear from impacted stakeholders including local councils and present a report to the Minister for Planning.
    • Approval of the project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
    • Review of the IAC report by the Minister for Planning and release of the Minister’s Assessment report.
    • Publication of the approved Planning Scheme Amendment in the Victorian Government Gazette.


    Since August 2017, we have been working to protect Boroondara from the negative effects of the North East Link.

    See the timeline of NEL

    More information

    Ask NELP a question

    Visit the North East Link website to submit a question to their project team.


    City of Boroondara
    Phone: (03) 9278 4444
    Email: [email protected]
    Post: Private Bag 1, Camberwell VIC 3124

    North East Link Project
    Email: [email protected]
    Phone: 1800 941 191
    Post: GPO Box 4509, Melbourne VIC 3001

    The Hon. Jacinta Allan, Minister for Transport Infrastructure
    Phone: (03) 8392 6100
    Email: [email protected]
    Post: Level 20, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

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