The State Government has taken the next step in progressing the $5.5 billion Western Distributor Project, today (22 February 2016) releasing the scoping requirements that will shape the Environmental Effects Statement (EES).
Reducing congestion around the West Gate Bridge to improve transport links to Melbourne is a G21 Priority Project.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said the EES would provide the most transparent and exhaustive environmental assessment framework for major construction projects in Victoria.
The public can now comment on the EES scoping requirements before the details are finalised.
Then, the proponent will be responsible for technical studies to investigate the issues identified in the scoping requirements and to report back to the government.
Residents and Businesses will be able to make submissions as part of the EES in the coming months and a report will be prepared and submitted to Minister Wynne.
The likely effectiveness of proposed measures to avoid, minimise and offset environment effects will also be evaluated.
The EES process will provide a robust and transparent assessment of the any potential impacts of the road.
This comprehensive planning process will ensure the final scope and design of the project will be developed in consultation with the community, local government and industry.
The local community will also be able to have direct input at community consultation sessions commencing in April.
The sessions will be held along the route of the project and will display plans, maps and other information with technical specialists present who will be able to answer questions and listen to residents
The Western Distributor would deliver immediate travel time savings of up to 20 minutes a day, take 6,000 trucks off the West Gate Bridge, and create 5,600 new jobs.
The scoping requirements are available online at www.delwp.vic.gov.au and consultation closes 11 March 2016.
The Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne said: “The EES is the proper process for assessment of this project, and will ensure we get the right information and make the best decisions about how the much needed $5.5 billion Western Distributor Project comes together.”
“Everyone will have the chance to examine the scope of the EES view the available information and to have their say.”
The Minister for Roads, Luke Donnellan said: “Local residents and industry will be able to have their say on the scoping requirements and I look forward to getting on with this vital project for Melbourne and Victoria.”
“The Western Distributor will take 22,000 vehicles a day off the West Gate Bridge, including up to 6,000 trucks and improve links to the Port of Melbourne, Webb Dock and the inner north.”
Source: A state government media release