The North East Link (NEL) is a proposed freeway standard new road linking the Metropolitan Ring Road (M80) to the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen Road.
Following mediation with the Victorian Government and North East Link Project (NELP), the City of Boroondara has withdrawn from the legal proceedings against the North East Link (NEL) project.
Earlier this year, we joined with Whitehorse, Banyule and Manningham Councils to launch a legal challenge against NELP and the Victorian Government. Whitehorse and Manningham Councils have also withdrawn from the proceedings.
The councils commenced legal action because of concerns about the lawfulness of using a reference design as the basis for approval by the government. Council is pleased to have reached a settlement with the Victorian Government and NELP.
In withdrawing, Council has secured additional opportunities for meaningful consultation with NELP and its contractor as plans are developed, in addition to a number of highly beneficial outcomes for our community.
As part of the agreement reached during mediation, the Victorian Government and NELP will:
- Protect and retain the Freeway Golf Course as an 18-hole, competition standard public golf course.
- Transfer 1.9 hectares of land at the former VicRoads depot in Kew to Council for community use.
- Plant at least 4000 trees in Boroondara.
- Return the balance of the Koonung Creek Reserve land not acquired for the project to its original state with some improvements following completion of the NEL.
- Provide $300,000 to install the 40km/h shopping centre speed limit on Doncaster Road through the Greythorn Shopping Centre.
- Provide $500,000 for the finalisation and delivery of the Bellevue Shopping Centre improvement plan.
- Provide $700,000 for the design and construction of pedestrian operated signals on Balwyn Road, Balwyn, near Gordon Barnard Reserve.
Council had to choose between keeping the Freeway Golf Course as an 18-hole public golf course or retaining a regional tennis centre requiring 3.68 hectares of public open space land in Boroondara. NELP’s preference was to relocate the Boroondara Tennis Centre to the current Freeway Golf
Course site resulting in a shortening of the golf course to nine holes. The Freeway Golf Course is a public golf course and one of only two golf courses in Boroondara and shortening it to 9-holes was unacceptable.
Open space is limited in Boroondara as we are a built-up municipality. As our population grows, open space will be a lot more important for the community’s quality of life. The retention of public open space is vital for the City and it is not possible to construct a new regional tennis centre on existing public open space in Boroondara. Instead, Council will work to strengthen and improve tennis through our local community tennis clubs.
The Victorian Government has informed Council that it has commenced work to identify a new site for a new regional tennis centre outside of Boroondara. This would replace the current Boroondara Tennis Centre, which has been used by residents from across Melbourne. The Boroondara Tennis Centre at its current site on Bulleen Road will continue to operate until at least the end of 2022 provided a contractor is available.
The local impact of the North East Link
Corridor Option A is the Victorian Government’s preferred option for the North East Link. It proposes significant widening of the Eastern Freeway between Bulleen Road and Doncaster Road and the provision of a physically separated, dedicated busway from the Doncaster Park and Ride to the city.
We strongly oppose North East Link corridor Option A as it will have a direct impact on Boroondara’s liveability. We believe corridor Option C best serves the transport needs of the region and project criteria.
We will continue to advocate to protect Boroondara’s environment, community facilities and local amenity.
Ask NELP a question
Visit the North East Link website to submit a question to their project team.
Documents and links
- Minister for Planning’s Assessment Report on the North East Link.
- Minister for Planning’s Assessment Report – Appendix A – Environmental Performance Requirement.
- Inquiry and Assessment Committee Report on the North East Link.
- Engage Victoria website with links to NEL Environment Effects Statement submissions, recordings of the North East Link IAC panel hearing and all documents tabled during the hearing.
- City of Boroondara’s joint opening submission to the Inquiry and Advisory Committee Panel.
- City of Boroondara’s joint closing submission to the Inquiry and Advisory Committee Panel.
- City of Boroondara closing statement on Bulleen Park and the Boroondara Tennis Centre.
- North East Link website