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.
The Victorian Government considered four potential corridor options for the NEL and announced corridor Option A as their preferred option in November 2017. This corridor option 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 NEL corridor Option A as it will have a direct impact on Boroondara’s liveability. It will place the Koonung Creek Reserve, the Freeway Golf Course and the Boroondara Tennis Centre at risk. Traffic volumes, noise and pollution on Bulleen Road and Doncaster Road will increase.
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.
Environment Effects Statement
The North East Link Project (NELP), formerly the North East Link Authority (NELA), prepared an Environment Effects Statement (EES) as part of the Victorian Government’s approval process for the project.
An EES is a collection of studies and reports that identify important issues about the environmental, social, economic and planning impacts of the project. It also considers measures to mitigate the impacts of the project.
There are two key activities associated with the EES:
- Public exhibition - From Wednesday 10 April until Friday 7 June 2019.
- Public inquiry - July, August and September.
The North East Link EES was on public exhibition at all Boroondara libraries between 10 April 2019 and 7 June 2019. During that period, residents and stakeholders were invited to lodge a submission for consideration at the public inquiry.
Although the public exhibition has now concluded, copies of the EES documents can still be viewed at Balwyn Library and Greythorn Library Lounge for reference until late September.
Council prepared a joint submission to the EES with Banyule and Whitehorse City Councils. The submission includes an overarching document identifying issues and topics of concern to all councils and separate attachments with council-specific concerns.
Over 850 submissions were made to Engage Victoria on the North East Link EES. All submissions can be viewed at Engage Victoria.
The public inquiry or panel hearing begins on Thursday 25 July 2019 at the Veneto Club, 191 Bulleen Road, Bulleen and is scheduled to finish on Friday 13 September 2019.
The timetable for the inquiry and the presentation of submissions is available at Engage Victoria.
The legal team representing Boroondara, Banyule and Whitehorse Councils will present its opening submission on Friday 26 July. A further 10 days have been allocated for the legal team to present its submission and call expert witnesses on Council’s behalf.
The panel hearing is open to the public. There are a number of community groups and stakeholders concerned about the impact of the NEL on the Boroondara community who will present submissions.
Engage Victoria has produced a useful guide for those planning to attend and speak at the panel hearing.
The Minister for Planning’s decision
Having considered all information and evidence put to them, the public inquiry panel will present the Minister for Planning with a report and recommendations for his consideration and review.
The Minister will make a decision about whether the project should or should not proceed, whether conditions need to be placed on the project and if changes need to be made to the reference design.
We anticipate the Minister will make his decision by Christmas 2019.
|December 2019||Minister for Planning to announce decision about the project following the Environment Effects Statement (EES) exhibition, inquiry and panel report consideration.|
July to September 2019
Draft EES public inquiry to be held.
|10 April to 7 June 2019||Draft EES to be released for public exhibition.|
2 May 2019
Community information session about the EES. View the presentation from the community information session.
26 November 2018
NELA releases Invitation for Expressions of Interest (Early Works) and Invitation for Expressions of Interest (Primary Package).
Council endorses two concept designs at the 26 November 2018 Council meeting for inclusion in the Bulleen Park land use planning project to save the Boroondara Tennis Centre and the Freeway Golf Course.
8 September 2018
NELA releases the Stage 3 Market Engagement to Participate to the construction industry.
NELA releases refined project design for community feedback and holds community information sessions.
NELA publishes the traffic noise standard of 63 decibels for the project along the length of the Eastern Freeway and confirms this includes all Boroondara properties abutting the Eastern Freeway.
8 August 2018
NELA holds the first and only community workshop for all clubs and facilities impacted by the Bulleen Park land use plan.
|28 June 2018||The NEL declaration under the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act is gazetted.|
|24 June 2018||Victorian Government releases EES final scoping requirements.|
|23 June 2018||Victorian Liberal Party announces support for the NEL.|
|19 June 2018||
The Minister for Roads and Road Safety is nominated as the NEL Project Minister.
The NEL is declared under the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act.
|27 May 2018||The Victorian Government releases the business case for the NEL.|
|13 April 2018||
The Federal Department of the Environment and Energy publishes its decision on the NELA Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act referral. The Federal Department of the Environment and Energy determines the NEL is a controlled action and will require assessment and approval by means of a Public Environment Report.
NELA holds public information sessions and releases first project design update.
|6 February 2018||
Council presents a formal submission on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act referral to the Federal Department of the Environment and Energy.
|2 February 2018||Works proposed by NELA declared Public Works under the Environment Effects Act 1978; NELA must prepare an EES.|
|15 January 2018||
NELA submits a referral to the Federal Department of the Environment and Energy under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
|25 November 2017||Victorian Government announces Melbourne’s first dedicated, high speed busway to be built as part of the North East Link project.|
|24 November 2017||Victorian Government announces Corridor Option A as preferred route.|
|18 September 2017||Council hosts community forum.|
|17 August 2017||NELA holds public information session.|
|7 August 2017||Victorian Government releases four potential corridor options.|
We believe Corridor Option A will directly impact on the City of Boroondara with relation to:
- the acquisition of both private and public land
- the Freeway Golf Course and Boroondara Tennis Centre
- Koonung Creek Reserve and other parks extending to Chandler Highway through the widening of the Eastern Freeway
- additional traffic and noise on Bulleen Road, connecting arterial roads and local roads and possible changes to these roads
- additional noise levels along the Eastern Freeway corridor due to an increase in traffic and notably truck traffic
- the future of the Doncaster Rail project.
Bulleen Park Land Use Plan Project
The North East Link project, including the Bulleen Road interchange, will have a significant impact on the Boroondara Tennis Centre (BTC) and the Freeway Golf Course (FGC). Under the current design released by NELP, the BTC will be demolished to make way for a Doncaster busway park and ride facility and several holes of the FGC will be removed.
We have developed design solutions to ensure the residents of Boroondara and Manningham can continue to enjoy the opportunity to play tennis and golf at these important community facilities. Neither facility relies on a membership base, with both open to the general public for use by any tennis player and golfer.
At the meeting on 26 November 2018 we formally resolved to provide two concept plans to the North East Link Project (NELP) for consideration in the Bulleen Park land use planning study. The study was initiated by NELP.
The concepts were prepared by Council officers with the benefit of discussions with key stakeholders impacted directly by the proposed interchange. These include the Camberwell Golf Club, Harp Golf Club, the BTC contractor and the FGC contractor.
Both concept plans include a good quality, playable 18-hole golf course and 23-court tennis centre. The key difference between the two plans is the inclusion of an AFL size sporting oval located to the north of the proposed Boroondara Tennis Centre site in one option and the inclusion of an urban forest in the other. The urban forest would protect and improve the biodiversity values in the area and along the important Koonung Creek and Yarra River corridors.
We encourage community members to contact NELP directly to express their comments on the concept plan. We will also encourage NELP to engage with the broader community to ensure all users of all facilities impacted by the project have an opportunity to have their say on any proposed changes.
Boroondara's submission to NELP
On 18 September 2017 Council submitted our formal response to NELP. We requested further information so we could properly assess the options and understand the specific details of Corridor Option A.
September 2017 Community forum
On Tuesday 12 September 2017, Council hosted a community forum in Kew to listen to residents’ concerns about North East Link corridor Option A.
More than 440 residents attended and the live stream on Facebook reached more than 5,200 people, with many viewers posting comments and providing feedback during the session.
- View a recording of the forum on the Boroondara Facebook page
- Read Council's presentation to the community
- Read NELA's North East Link project presentation
September 2018 – North East Link design update
April 2018 - North East Link Project Update - North East Link YouTube
24 November 2017 - City of Boroondara media release - North East Link Corridor Option A would deliver a blow to Boroondara homes and liveability
24 November 2017 - Victorian Government media release - North East Link Victoria’s Biggest Ever Transport Project
12 September 2017 - Recording of community forum: Boroondara Facebook page
1 August 2017 - Mayor's blog: North East Link could impact Boroondara
Maps of the 4 options, fact sheets, and project updates: North East Link Authority website.
Involving the community
We are advocating for the community and actively listening to your concerns. We welcome your comments by email at [email protected].
We will continue to ensure the community remains informed about this project.