As with any major infrastructure project in a large, busy city such as Melbourne, there will be some disruption to day-to-day operations in and around the key Metro Tunnel construction sites.

The level of disruption to business activity will vary depending on the location of the business, the type of construction activity and duration of works.

The information on this page is also available as a Business Support fact sheet (PDF, 3.4 MB).

Managing potential impacts to businesses during construction

The Minister for Planning has approved a number of safeguard measures on the Metro Tunnel Project for the benefit of the community and businesses in the form of Environmental Performance Requirements (EPRs).

EPRs define the outcomes that must be achieved during the design, construction and operation of the project. Specific EPRs have been developed to ensure that the appointed contractors reduce and manage impacts and pro-actively engage with businesses.

These requirements include:

  • business continuity plans outlining how contractors will manage impacts and provide support
  • timely and regular communications with businesses including works notifications
  • maintaining access to businesses for customers, vehicles and deliveries
  • managing noise, dust, vibration and overall business amenity
  • providing a range of support measures in line with the Business Support Guidelines for Construction.

Details of the EPRs are available in the Metro Tunnel Environmental Management Framework.

Guidelines for business support

Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) has created the Business Support Guidelines for Construction (PDF, 204.8 KB) to help businesses continue to operate throughout the Metro Tunnel construction program so they can take advantage of the long-term benefits and opportunities that the new Metro Tunnel will bring to Melbourne's business community.

The guidelines, approved by the Minister for Planning, outline the proactive measures and support services that RPV and the appointed construction contractors may deliver to support businesses that experience disruption from Metro Tunnel construction.

Types of business support include:

  • promoting individual businesses and precincts through various channels
  • activation opportunities such as tailored events, leveraging existing events and pop-ups
  • partnerships with key stakeholders and organisations such as local councils, tourism organisations and business precinct associations
  • upskilling opportunities for businesses including engagement of specialists and one-on-one advice to businesses
  • developing Business Plans to assist businesses and the contractor to further understand how to best support businesses during construction.

How will I know if I am eligible for business support?

Eligibility for business support will be determined by the appointed contractor/s, based on the proximity to construction activities and the program of construction as it progresses.

Eligible businesses include:

  • directly impacted businesses in close proximity to construction activities
  • other businesses within the designated project area that may be impacted by construction activities
  • businesses within an eligibility zone as identified by the contractor/s, based on their construction program
  • businesses outside the above criteria that can provide evidence that Metro Tunnel construction activities have negatively impacted their operations.

The appointed contractor/s will notify and engage with businesses that are eligible for support, based on the construction program and anticipated impacts.

What if I am not satisfied with the level of support I am receiving?

Every endeavour will be made to work with businesses to understand their specific requirements and provide appropriate support measures. This includes developing a Business Plan, if required, to achieve a deeper understanding of how a business operates so that tailored measures can be implemented.

If a business is not satisfied with the support measures provided, there are options available to businesses to resolve the matter:

1. Providing feedback or registering a complaint to Metro Tunnel contractors

Members of the business community can provide feedback or register a complaint to the Metro Tunnel appointed contractors via the following channels:

Contractors will liaise directly with the business to seek resolution of complaints received.

2. Contacting RPV's Business Support team

RPV has established a Business Support team as a single point of contact within RPV to ensure ongoing engagement with businesses across the Metro Tunnel Project and to ensure the appointed contractors are appropriately supporting businesses in line with the Guidelines.

Should a business wish to escalate matters to RPV, the Business Support team can be contacted via the following channels:

In the first instance, the Business Support team will liaise with the business and the contractor to resolve matters. Further information on our complaints handling process is available.

3. Engaging the Victorian Small Business Commissioner

RPV has engaged the Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC) to provide an independent mediation service if a business is not satisfied with the level of support provided under the Guidelines by the appointed contractor or RPV.

The VSBC will, where appropriate, facilitate dispute resolution between the business and the appointed contractor and / or RPV. Businesses can contact the VSBC via the following channels:

Keeping you informed

We are committed to keeping businesses and the community informed about Metro Tunnel works in their local area and changes to traffic conditions.

Our construction contractors will notify businesses in advance of any works commencing and aim to minimise disruption wherever possible.

We will regularly engage with businesses to provide information to assist businesses to continue operating during Metro Tunnel construction through:

  • works notifications by mail and email
  • face to face briefings
  • direct contact via phone and email
  • group presentations such as business breakfasts and briefings
  • case management support.

How the Metro Tunnel Project will benefit business

The Metro Tunnel Project will create significant long-term opportunities for businesses and communities across Melbourne and Victoria.

It will change the way people move around Melbourne with 'turn up and go' rail services and improved access to key business precincts, retail and hospitality destinations, event venues and tourist attractions.

It will also enable businesses to reach new customers and markets, develop new products and services and benefit from the greater connectivity that a metro-style rail network will deliver.

The business community plays an important role in generating and supporting economic prosperity for Melbourne and Victoria. This role will only grow in significance as our population increases, with Central Melbourne projected to become Australia's largest business centre with almost 900,000 jobs by 2051.

The Metro Tunnel will support this growth by improving the frequency and reliability of the rail network to make it easier for people to travel in and out of the CBD and also to move around the city for commercial, retail, tourism and events activities.

The project will also stimulate urban renewal in inner-city areas such as Arden and enhance access to the CBD, Parkville and Domain precincts to create opportunities for new commercial development, jobs and housing close to the city centre.

In August 2018, we updated with a tourism and industry forum focussed on how the Metro Tunnel Projects, along with Regional Rail Revival and the Melbourne Airport Rail, will benefit businesses. For more information see the Tourism and industry forum presentation (PDF, 12.9 MB).