Proponent: Western Distributor Authority

The Western Distributor Authority (WDA) is an administrative office within the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR). The WDA is responsible for managing the delivery of the West Gate Tunnel Project.

This West Gate Tunnel Project is a major new freeway project which includes:

  • Widening the West Gate Freeway by two lanes in each direction between Williamstown Road and M80 interchange, widening the Princes Freeway between M80 interchange and Kororoit Creek Road, collector-distributor carriageways, elevated ramps, structures and surface road connections including new connections to Hyde Street;
  • Two bored tunnels catering for three traffic lanes in both directions under Yarraville and tunnel ventilation structures at tunnel exits; Bridges across the Maribyrnong River including a central carriageway connecting the tunnels with twin viaducts above Footscray Road and connections to the Port of Melbourne, CityLink, Footscray Road, Dynon Road and an extended and widened Wurundjeri Way;
  • Relocation of major services infrastructure; and
  • Improvements to the shared pedestrian and bicycle network and provision of several new open spaces.

Process

Public Works

Declared 'public works' under the Environment Effects Act 1978.

'Public works' are defined as being works undertaken, or proposed to be undertaken, by or on behalf of the Crown or for public statutory bodies, but does not include works undertaken by or on behalf of municipal councils.

Project Outline and Order under Section 3(1)

The Western Distributor Authority recently announced the selected design for the West Gate Tunnel Project (formerly known as the Western Distributor Project). On 14 May 2017, a revised order was approved by the Minister for Planning that more accurately reflects the project design.

In making his Order, the Minister specified procedures and requirements that are to apply to the Environment Effects Statement (EES).

On 10 December  2015, DEDJTR provided the Minister for Planning with a project outline, and requested that the Minister declare the project described in the Project Outline to be 'public works' for the purposes of section 3(1) of the Environment Effects Act.

On 23 December 2015, the Minister for Planning declared the works proposed for the West Gate Tunnel Project in order to require an  EES, which includes community consultation and an independent panel review to inform the Minister's Assessment and decision-making.

Reason for Order

In accordance with normal EES practice, a statement of the Minister's Reasons for Order has been prepared.

EES Communications and Engagement Plan

This Communications and Engagement Strategy prepared by DEDJTR outlines the engagement that will take place during preparation of the West Gate Tunnel EES.

Scoping requirements

The Minister for Planning has released the Scoping Requirements for the EES to be prepared by DEDJTR for the West Gate Tunnel Project. Scoping Requirements set out the matters to be investigated and documented in the EES. The draft Scoping Requirements were available for public comment from 22 February to 15 March 2016 and the submissions received were used to inform the final Scoping Requirements.

Exhibition

The EES for the West Gate Tunnel Project, including an EPA Works Approval application and draft Planning Scheme Amendment, was released for public comment for a period of 30 business days, from 29 May to 10 July 2017.

Details on public exhibition, including how to access EES documents and how to make a submission are provided in the EES exhibition public notice (PDF, 128.6 KB).

A public information session with the West Gate Tunnel Project EES Inquiry and Advisory Committee will be held on Friday 16 June 2017.

Inquiry

A joint Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) was appointed on 18 May 2017 to consider the EES, EPA Works Approval application and draft Planning Scheme Amendment, and inquire into the environmental effects of the proposal.

A Directions Hearing is planned for Wednesday 19 July 2017. The IAC expects to commence public hearings in the week of 14 August 2017 and run for a period of approximately 5 weeks. The IAC will then prepare a report to the Minister for Planning.

More information

  • EPA works approval application process
    EPA
    1300 372 842