Ministers assessment published
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Proponent: Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (North East Link Project)

North East Link provides a new freeway standard connection between the M80 Ring Road and an upgraded Eastern Freeway, completing the missing link in Melbourne’s metropolitan ring road. It will give the city a fully completed orbital connection for the first time. The project includes Victoria’s longest twin road tunnel, Melbourne’s first dedicated high-speed busway, new public open space and extensive walking and cycling links.

The project includes:

  • M80 Ring Road to Lower Plenty Road:
    From the M80 and Greensborough Bypass to the northern tunnel portal, this section will include above, below and at surface road sections, with new road interchanges at M80, Grimshaw Street and Lower Plenty Road.
  • Tunnels:
    From the northern tunnel portal located just north of Lower Plenty Road to south of Manningham Road, twin tunnels would travel under residential areas, Banyule Flats and the Yarra River. Near each tunnel portal supporting tunnel infrastructure would be required, including ventilation structures and substations. This section would include a new interchange at Manningham Road.
  • Bridge Street to Eastern Freeway:
    This section would include open cut and bored or mined tunnel with the southern tunnel portal located south of the Veneto Club. Further south, surface road and viaduct structures would connect to the Eastern Freeway via a new interchange.
  • Eastern Freeway upgrades:
    From around Hoddle Street in the west to Springvale Road in the east, modifications to the Eastern Freeway would include widening to accommodate future traffic volumes, provision of new dedicated bus lanes for rapid bus services and associated works.

North East Link Project (NELP) is managing the Project on behalf of the Victorian Government.

Minister's assessment

On 3 December 2019, the Minister for Planning completed his assessment under the Environment Effects Act 1978, which concludes the environment effects statement process for this project. The assessment has been provided to the Minister for Transport Infrastructure and statutory decision-makers to inform approval decisions on this project, including for the planning scheme amendment and EPA works approval.

Public review and Inquiry


An inquiry and advisory committee (IAC) was appointed to consider the EES, draft planning scheme amendment, EPA works approval application and public submissions and inquire in to the environmental effects of the proposal.

A directions hearing was held Friday 21 June 2019. The IAC held a public hearing from 25 July 2019 to 16 September 2019 and provided its report to the Minister for Planning on 22 October 2019.

Exhibition of EES

The environment effects statement (EES) for North East Link, together with the draft planning scheme amendment and EPA works approval application, was released for public comment for a period of 40 business days, from 10 April to 5pm on 7 June 2019.

Online submissions closed on 7 June 2019.

EES preparation

Consultation plan

North East Link Authority has prepared a communication and consultation plan for the EES, outlining the opportunities and approaches for its community engagement during the preparation of the EES. The plan has been refined following advice from DELWP and the Technical Reference Group and is published on this web page. The consultation process may be adapted or modified to meet changing community needs and requirements.

Scoping requirements

The Scoping Requirements set out the matters to be investigated and documented in the EES.

The Draft Scoping Requirements for this EES were on public exhibition between 22 May and 12 June 2018.

After considering public submissions on the Draft Scoping Requirements, the Minister for Planning issued Final Scoping Requirements on 24 June 2018.

Minister's decision on referral

On 12 January 2018, North East Link Authority 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 2 February 2018, the Minister for Planning declared the works proposed for the North East Link Project as ‘public works’ requiring an Environment Effects Statement, including community consultation and an independent panel review to inform the Minister's Assessment and decision-making.

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

North East Link Authority has also referred the project to the Australian government under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Australian government has decided that the project is a ‘controlled action’ under the EPBC Act, and assessment through a public environment report is required to address matters of national environmental significance.

Public works

'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 contact

If you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch via the contact details below.

North East Link Project
North East Link Authority
1800 105 105

Page last updated: 13/02/24