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Proponent: Western Distributor Authority
The West Gate Tunnel Project comprises the following elements:
- Upgrade and widening of the existing West Gate Freeway by two lanes in each direction between Williamstown Road and M80 interchange generally to provide overall capacity of six through lanes each way and auxiliary lanes as required, widening of the Princes Freeway between the M80 and Kororoit Creek Road, collector-distributor carriageways, elevated ramps, structures and surface road connections including new ramp connections to and from Hyde Street.
- Two bored tunnels catering for three traffic lanes in each direction under Yarraville which include a road tunnel ventilation system, tunnel portals and ventilation structures.
- Bridges across the Maribyrnong River connecting the tunnels with twin viaducts above Footscray Road and connections to the Port of Melbourne, CityLink, Dynon Road and extension of Wurundjeri Way to Dynon Road and widening to Flinders Street.
- Improvements, extensions and upgrades to the existing pedestrian and bicycle network, as well as the creation of new public open space areas and relocation of services.
GC93 Planning scheme amendment
Following the release of the Minister for Planning's assessment for this project, the required amendment GC93 to the Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Port of Melbourne and Wyndham planning schemes has been approved.
Access the Amendment documentation by scrolling down to the 'approval' tab at Planning Schemes Online.
On Monday 27 November 2017, the Minister for Planning released the assessment under the Environment Effects Act 1978, which concludes the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process for this project. The assessment has been provided to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety and statutory decision-makers to inform approval decisions on this project, including for the planning scheme amendment and EPA works approval.
On 8 November 2017, the Minister for Planning wrote to the Western Distributor Authority (WDA) requesting additional information regarding the following:
- Information and review in relation to the potential option of lowering the Wurundjeri Way extension component of the project and modifying the Dynon Road link cross section.
- Information or assessment in relation to the potential environmental effects of lowering the Wurundjeri Way extension component of the project and modifying the Dynon Road link cross-section.
WDA has since responded with an alternative design to the Wurundjeri Way extension and Dynon Road link.
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 into the environmental effects of the proposal.
A Directions Hearing was held on 19 July 2017. The IAC held a public hearing from 14 August 2017 to 19 September 2017 and provided its report to the Minister for Planning on the 23 October 2017.
West Gate tunnel Inquiry and Advisory Committee
The Minister for Planning appointed an Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) to consider the Environment Effects Statement, a draft Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA) affecting the Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Port of Melbourne and Wyndham Planning Schemes and public submissions associated with the West Gate Tunnel Project in accordance with the approved Terms of Reference.
The IAC also considered submissions on the works approval application for the road tunnel ventilation systems included in the Project, and in doing so fulfil a Section 20B Conference under the Environment Protection Act 1970.
Terms of reference
The Minister for Planning signed terms of reference in relation to this project on 26 May.
The Minister appointed the following members to the IAC:
- Nick Wimbush (Chair)
- Mandy Elliott (Deputy Chair)
- William O’Neil (Deputy Chair)
- Jenny Donovan
- Kate Partenio.
Exhibition period and submissions
The EES, works approval application and draft planning scheme amendment were publicly exhibited from 29 May to 10 July 2017. A total of 504 submissions were received.
Public information session
The IAC held a public information session on Friday 16 June 2017 at Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland Street, Footscray.
The purpose of this briefing was to provide the IAC representatives with an overview of the project components and EES.
The IAC issued preliminary matters and further information request to the proponent.
The directions hearing was held on Wednesday 19 July 2017 at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland Street, Footscray.
As a result of the directions hearing, the IAC issued directions and an evidence distribution list
Expert witness reports
The Expert witness reports circulated in accordance with Direction 30 are available online.
The public hearings commenced on 14 August 2017 at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland Street, Footscray.
The IAC submitted its report on 23 October 2017 in accordance with the time-frame stipulated in the terms of reference
The EES for the West Gate Tunnel Project, including an EPA Works Approval application and draft Planning Scheme Amendment, was available for public comment for a period of 30 business days, from 29 May to 10 July 2017.
Details on public exhibition were provided in the EES exhibition public notice.
A public information session with the West Gate Tunnel Project Inquiry and Advisory Committee was held on Friday 16 June 2017.
EES Communications and engagement plan
This Communications and Engagement Strategy prepared by DEDJTR outlines the engagement planned to take place during preparation of the West Gate Tunnel EES.
The Minister for Planning released the Scoping Requirements for the EES to be prepared by DEDJTR for the West Gate Tunnel Project. The 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.
Minister's decision on referral
In accordance with normal EES practice, a statement of the Minister's Reasons for Order has been prepared.
Project Outline and Order under Section 3(1)
The Western Distributor Authority announced the selected design for the West Gate Tunnel Project (formerly known as the Western Distributor Project) in early April 2017. 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.
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.
EPA works approval application process
1300 372 842
Page last updated: 20/07/23