1 January 2020

Project overview

North East Link (NEL) is the biggest road transport project in Victoria’s history – finally fixing the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network. Up to 135,000 vehicles will use NEL every day, reducing congestion in the north-east while maintaining local roads for local trips.

NEL includes Victoria’s longest road tunnel as well as interchanges at the M80 Ring Road, Grimshaw Street, Lower Plenty Road, Manningham Road and Bulleen Road and significant upgrades to the Eastern Freeway. It will feature Melbourne’s first dedicated busway with express lanes along the Eastern Freeway from Doncaster towards the city.

North East Link Project (NELP)

NELP is responsible for all aspects of the project including planning and development of a project reference design, site investigations, stakeholder engagement, planning approvals and procurement, through to construction delivery and project commissioning.

Community Liaison Groups (CLG)

Role and Authority

  • Community Liaison Groups provide a forum for consultation and information-sharing between NELP, its key contractors and the local community during construction of the North East Link (NEL). The establishment of CLG’s is in accordance with the Environmental Performance Requirement (EPRs) approved by the Minister for Planning in 2019.
  • Core objectives of the CLG’s are to:
    • Provide a forum to discuss, manage, and where possible, mitigate and minimise any local impacts associated with NEL construction.
    • Provide a channel for two-way communication to support the dissemination of information between NELP, its contractors and the community.
    • Provide a local perspective and knowledge on the project.
    • Contribute information on local conditions and priorities and where possible assist in resolving community concerns that may arise.
    • Encourage a broad range of community and local business representatives to participate in delivery of the NEL.
  • CLG’s will assist and support construction of the North East Link (NEL) in accordance with EPR’s by:
    • Providing a forum for consultation and coordination between NELP, its contractors, the community and relevant public agencies, prior to, and during the design and construction phases of the project.
    • With support from NELP, advising the local community of NELP progress, planned construction activities and mitigation measures planned, or in place.
    • Informing NELP and its key contractors of specific concerns or questions from the local community, including providing timely information, suggestions or proposals for consideration by NELP and its contractors.
    • Discussing any other matters pertaining to the NELP requiring local stakeholder input and advice. CLG members are advisory groups and decision-making is not part of their duty. Project decisions are the responsibility of NELP and its key contractors.

Role of NELP associated contractors

  • NELP and/or contractors are required to provide an update on the following at each CLG meeting:
    • current works update
    • environment update
    • traffic management update
    • communications and stakeholder engagement activities
    • other topics as required.

Site managers and relevant team members are required to attend to present on the above at each meeting.

Membership and appointment

  • Members will be appointed in accordance with CLG criteria.
  • NELP will appoint members to the CLG, considering the project’s stakeholder interaction to date in each of the precincts and with the objective to have a broad range of views towards the project and its potential impacts. Members may be added to the CLG by NELP as required.
  • Members of the CLG are:
    • Independent Chair
    • NELP representatives
    • Appointed contractors
    • Impacted local councils
    • Community members within the project boundary
    • Agencies with stakeholders with an interest or impacted by the project
    • Business owners impacted by the project
    • School representatives
  • The Chair may invite representatives from other affected parties, institutions or relevant government agencies to attend meetings to clarify matters or hear or present on specific topics and respond to feedback or queries of CLG members.
  • Member participation in the CLG:
    • Members will participate on a voluntary basis.
    • Membership does not preclude members from participating in other NELP forums/channels.
  • All CLG members must be able to:
    • Act as a two-way channel for communication between the community interest or area they represent and the CLG.
    • Objectively present the views of the local community they represent, regardless of personal views.
    • Provide information relevant to their community interest or area they represent.
    • Be willing to pass on relevant information regardless of their personal views.
    • Listen and work cooperatively with others who may hold opposing views.
    • Attend CLG meetings located in the project corridor and participate in discussions every 6 weeks (approximate timeframe).

Administration

Administrative support will be provided to the Chair and CLG members.

This will include:

  • Advising members of meeting dates and venues.
  • Preparing meeting schedules and agendas.
  • Providing supporting documentation as required.
  • Recording minutes, points of discussion, actions and recommendations.
  • Managing all costs associated with hosting the CLG meetings.
  • Publishing any publicly available information, including CLG meeting minutes and presentations on the NELP website.

Operations

  • Meetings will be held approximately every 6 weeks and will run for approximately 2 hours.
  • Members will be invited to nominate topics/issues for discussion.
  • NELP has the option to revise the Terms of Reference and Code of Conduct of the CLG’s and will consult with members and the chair accordingly.