11 August 2022
The West Gate Tunnel Project is one of the largest road projects underway in Victoria and will, among other benefits, deliver a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge, providing a much needed second river crossing, quicker and safer journeys, and removing over 9,000 trucks from residential streets in the inner west.
The West Gate Tunnel Project, Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (WGTP MTIA) has been established to manage the West Gate Tunnel Project on behalf of the Victorian Government.
In December 2017, contracts were signed between the government and Transurban to design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the West Gate Tunnel Project until 2045, and with the builder, CPB Contractors John Holland Joint Venture. Construction commenced in January 2018 and is due for completion in 2025.
A Community Liaison Group (CLG) has been established by WGTP MTIA as an avenue for community involvement during the construction/delivery phase of the West Gate Tunnel Project. This continues the planning phase conversations held between the West Gate Tunnel project team and the community for over two years before construction started.
The CLG contributes to the West Gate Tunnel Project design and construction phase by:
- Encouraging a broad range of community representatives from geographic areas to participate in discussions for the project;
- Providing a regular and direct avenue of communication between local communities and the project team to understand what is happening during construction;
- Providing a local perspective on the project, particularly in relation to minimising impacts on local communities;
- Allowing stakeholders to appreciate each other’s views to the benefit of the project; and
- Sharing local information, and helping support community engagement activities relating to the project.
The Community Liaison Group is made up of members covering the various geographic areas that cover the three distinct precincts of the West Gate Tunnel Project
- West Gate Freeway precinct, which includes municipal areas of Hobsons Bay, Wyndham and Brimbank and suburbs that include Point Cook, Seabrook, Altona, Altona North, Brooklyn, South Kingsville and Spotswood;
- Tunnel precinct, which includes municipal areas of Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay and suburbs that
include Yarraville, Footscray and Seddon;
- Port to City precinct, which includes municipal areas of Maribyrnong and Melbourne and suburbs that
include Footscray, Kensington, North and West Melbourne and Docklands.
The CLG comprises the following representatives:
- An independent chairperson;
- Representatives of local government;
- Community members representing the project corridor;
- Industry and relevant associations;
- The West Gate Tunnel project team, including WGTP MTIA (State Government), Transurban (Project Company), CPB Contractors John Holland Joint Venture (project builder).
Community representative positions are sought through an expression of interest process and appointments based on a formal selection process.
Members of the Community Liaison Group are required to:
- Understand the objectives of the West Gate Tunnel Project;
- Attend a minimum of 75% of CLG meetings over a 12 month period and participate in discussions;
- Share project updates and information to their respective community, organisation or network, and provide feedback at meetings;
- Impartially represent the interests and views of the local community;
- Provide views and advice on relevant issues raised through wider community feedback;
- Restrict issues and debates to matters relevant to the project;
- Member site visits and attendance at WGTP community events will be encouraged; and
- Ensure a broad range of community perspectives are considered respectfully and impartially.
Key operational details of the group include:
- CLG meetings will be held every 6 weeks, generally occurring on a Thursday evening between 5.30pm –7.30pm.
- All meetings will be closed forums and while a preference is to hold these in person, flexibility for virtual meetings is available;
- Meetings are generally held at the Project Information Centre, 2 Somerville Road, Yarraville however may be held at other locations from time to time.
- The Independent Chair will:
o lead the group, facilitate discussion, and encourage equitable participation by all members;
o determine issues to be dealt with in accordance with the Terms of Reference; and
o ensure proper and professional conduct of the group.
- The WGTP MTIA is responsible for administration, including the organisation of meetings and arranging guest speakers, issuing invitations and support activities such as the distribution of agendas, minutes and briefing papers;
- If a member cannot attend a CLG meeting, a proxy is permitted to attend on their behalf, with notice of the attendee to WGTP MTIA CLG Chair and Secretariat via the CLG email. A proxy can represent the member fully and ask questions on the member/group’s behalf.
- At each meeting, 1-2 guests in total are permitted to attend a meeting. A guest would be required to attend with the respective CLG member. Guests are invited to attend in an observer capacity only, and any questions should be raised through the associated member. A request to bring a guest should be made to WGTP MTIA CLG Chair and Secretariat via the CLG email.
- The intention is for the CLG to operate until the Project is completed in late 2025, with a review of group membership and Terms of Reference every 18 months; and,
- A Code of Conduct must be signed by all members.
The composition of the CLGs and minutes of meetings will be published on the West Gate Tunnel project web page and information may be included in other project publications.
WGTP MTIA recognises community involvement should not be an impost on volunteers. Reimbursement of reasonable expenses related to fulfilling their role on the CLG may be offered in accordance with individual circumstances, as discussed with the Chair and WGTP MTIA.