Planning approvals

Planning approvals for North East Link in Victoria were informed by an Environment Effects Statement (EES) – our State's most robust and transparent impact assessment process.

The EES for North East Link:

  • assessed impacts across 18 topics including traffic and transport, air quality, noise, community and businesses
  • took more than one year to prepare and included more than 10,000 pages of technical reports
  • was informed by more than 2000 pieces of community feedback to help reduce impacts on people and the environment
  • was exhibited for 40 days – 10 days longer than the minimum required to give people time to read the EES and make submissions to an independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee
  • received more than 870 submissions
  • took around 7 months to be reviewed and assessed, including through a public hearing that ran for 36 days
  • helped set 110 requirements the project must meet for design, construction and once it opens to traffic.

Planning scheme amendment and works approval

A draft planning scheme amendment and works approval application were also exhibited with the EES.

  • the draft planning scheme amendment proposed changes to the planning schemes for Banyule, Boroondara, Manningham, Nillumbik, Whitehorse, Whittlesea and Yarra so land could be used to build North East Link
  • the works approval application applied for approval to build and operate the North East Link tunnel ventilation system.

The Minister for Planning released his assessment of the EES in December 2019 and approved the planning scheme amendment in January 2020. The Minister approved the final conditions the project must meet for design, construction and operation in February 2020.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria approved the works approval application in February 2020.

The Urban Design Strategy for North East Link received approval from the Minister for Planning on 23 March 2020.

Read more about key state approval documents.

Cultural Heritage Management Plan

Separate to the EES process, a Cultural Heritage Management Plan was prepared to assess the potential impacts to Aboriginal cultural heritage and manage how that heritage can be best protected.

To identify Aboriginal heritage in the project area, investigations were done together with Aboriginal Victoria and Traditional Owners Groups, including the Registered Aboriginal Party, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.

The Cultural Heritage Management Plan for North East Link was approved by the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and Aboriginal Victoria on 17 February 2020.