Minister approves East West Link but final design unknown

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 9.48.33 pm

The Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, has approved the stage one of the East West Link but has ignored key recommendations from the planning panel to reduce impacts from the project.

Mr Guy announced on Monday that he has granted relevant approvals for the project on the condition that the Linking Melbourne Authority redesign parts of the western end of the project, and with the condition the Elliot Avenue interchange be scrapped.

In a statement, Mr Guy said “my approval is subject to the LMA progressing design refinements to the eastern flyover and the connection from CityLink at Parkville and the Port of Melbourne.

“I have also determined that the Elliott Avenue interchange as proposed will not proceed and instead will be replaced by access to Flemington Road.”

It is unclear exactly which aspects of the project will be redesigned.

The panel recommended that the southbound connection to CityLink at the western end be relocated outside the project boundary.

Combined with the relocation of the Elliot Avenue interchange, and the relocation of the northern connection to CityLink, Ross Straw Field may be left free from impact, but until the LMA submits further designs this won’t be known.

The committee found that 23.27 ha of Royal Park “will not be accessible to the public during the Project’s construction phase”.

Mr Guy ignored the assessment committee’s recommendation that he set aside Part B of the project.  The panel said the viaduct along the western side of CityLink above Flemington and Kensington “has not been adequately assessed, and should be set aside until  the proposed widening  of  CityLink  and  the  Tullamarine  Freeway,  and  the  proposed  WestLink connection is better understood”.

The committee decided not to recommend a supplementary assessment of Part B because of announcements after the hearings had concluded.

The panel supported the project overall saying it accepted there “economic  and community benefits in linking the Eastern Freeway  with CityLink”, but it also said that “the direct impacts on local communities need to be better resolved”.

The panel also said the Comprehensive Impact Statement “overstates” support for the East West Link in the Eddington report and that Eddington pointed to public transport improvements as well as a city bypass as required transport improvements.

The panel criticised the reference design saying it had “failed to deliver appropriate outcomes” and that it “should not be used as a template for the final design”.  It was critical of the process that meant the reference project was not responsive to Urban Design principles and framework.

The committee made pointed comments about difficulty in assessing a project based on a reference design.  With respect to the Hoddle St flyover, it said “at the end of the day it is not up to the Committee to redesign the Reference Project.

“However the Committee is concerned that even the Reference Project appears to be based on a limited design brief that would likely produce suboptimal outcomes.”

It also commented that parties had been working to “challenging timeframes”.

The committee commented that was not provided with and did not consider the business case for the project, and it was not provided with a copy of the cultural heritage management plan. In his approval, Mr Guy said “I do not rely on a business case…  It is not necessary for me to do so.”

The final design on the project is unknown and is reliant on further work from the LMA.

Two consortia are currently in the running for the tender which is due to be announced in September.


What the panel recommended:

(will be updated when clear which of these have been accepted by the Minister)

  • Redesign Part B alignment and connections from and to CityLink south to the Western Portal of Part A including consideration of the alternatives of a road in tunnel or an elevated road on the east side of CityLink  Some redesign work accepted by Minister
  • Avoid a connection to Arden Street
  • Avoid significant impacts on: The Moonee Ponds Creek, The Arden Macaulay redevelopment area, and the West Melbourne Terminal Station
  • The proposed flyover at Hoddle Street should not be constructed as it is shown in the Reference Project Some redesign work accepted by Minister
  • Locate the Elliott Avenue Portal at, or outside, the park edge Accepted
  • Ensure there is no cut and cover east of Elliott Avenue
  • Ensure that there is no net loss of Royal Park parkland and no net loss of public open space
  • Accommodate only a northerly connection to and from CityLink (at Ross Straw Field)
  • Ensure tunnel portals are located proximate to Oak Street and bored or covered across the Manningham Parklands (Royal Park west of the Upfield Railway Line) to avoid elevated structures and any residential property acquisition
  • Relocate the Manningham Street playground within walking distance for local residents at the start of the project in consultation with the City of Melbourne.
  • Facilitate the formation of a Community Liaison Group for the Manningham Street/West Parkville residents and property owners.
  • Establish a community grant program to operate during construction of the Project to fund community support activities and small capital works targeting community, sporting and recreation facilities in the local region as defined in the social impact assessment.
  • Avoid significant impacts on the Flemington Housing Estate
  • Prior to the commencement of major construction works in the area, prepare and implement a master plan for Debney’s Park developed  in consultation with  relevant stakeholders including the Office of Housing, Moonee Valley City Council and Flemington  Neighbourhood Renewal Board or other representative of the estate tenants.
  • The Masterplan must include: Replacement of the Debney’s Park playground with a new facility of equal or higher standard to the existing playground away from the project area; Replacement of the Flemington Community Centre with a new facility of equal or higher standard to the existing centre away from the project area; and Replacement of the Flemington Community Garden with a new area of equal or higher utility to the existing garden away from the project area
  • Reduce the impact on the Essendon Community Garden and the Moonee Ponds Creek by moving the intersection of Ormond Road  and the northbound Ormond Road off‐ramp east closer to CityLink and minimising the separation distance between the off‐ramp  and  CityLink
  • If the Essendon Community Gardens are impacted by the Project, provide mitigation works requested by the Gardens.
  • Contaminated spoil is not to be stored within Royal Park, Manningham Parklands, Ross Straw Field or the former Fitzroy Gasworks site.
  • Facilitate a process that enables the opportunity for voluntary purchase agreements with property owners that have an interface with, or are impacted by the Project that are located outside the Proposed Project Boundary.
  • Avoid any temporary or permanent construction related activity or laydown areas in the following parts of Royal Park: a) Australian Native Garden  b) Trin‐Warren Tam‐boore Wetlands and White’s Skink habitat (north of a line that runs due east west through the  Ross Straw Field  Sports Pavilion from the Upfield Railway Line to Oak Street) c) Remnant Grassy Woodland Ecological Vegetation Class
  • Negotiate  with Urban  Camp to resolve  a  fair  and satisfactory relocation  and/or  temporary closure strategy  and associated  compensation  package.
  • The short  and  long term  impacts of Part B of the Project alignment  as  it  affects  SP AusNet’s WMTS  are undesirable  and should be  avoided.

Report here:

Tags: , , ,


  1. Planning Minister approves the East West Link | Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport - July 1, 2014

    […] from East West Link Blog: Minister approves East West Link but final design unknown (30 June 2014) The Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, has approved the stage one of the East West […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: