Proponent: Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
The Western Distributor Project is subject to ongoing design development, including consultation with the community and key stakeholders. This project includes the following key components:
- Widening the West Gate Freeway by two lanes in each direction, generally between Williamstown Road and M80, plus collector-distributor carriageways, elevated ramps, structures and surface road connections.
- Two bored tunnels ultimately catering for three traffic lanes in both directions under Yarraville and new ramps for vehicles to access Hyde Street.
- A bridge across the Maribyrnong River connecting the new tunnel, connections to the Port of Melbourne and viaducts (elevated roads) in both directions above Footscray Road.
- Inbound and outbound connections to CityLink and access to Docklands, West Melbourne and central city via connections to Footscray Road, Dynon Road and Wurundjeri Way.
Environment Effects Statement Scoping Requirements
The Minister for Planning has released the Scoping Requirements for the EES to be prepared by DEDJTR for the Western Distributor Project. Scoping Requirements set out the matters to be investigated and documented in the EES.
The draft Scoping Requirements were available for public comment from 22 February to 15 March 2016 and the submissions received were used to inform the final Scoping Requirements.
DEDJTR will prepare the EES for the project in light of the Scoping Requirements and the Ministerial Guidelines. DEDJTR will also prepare and implement a consultation plan covering engagement with stakeholders while the EES is being prepared.
A Technical Reference Group, with members from government agencies, local government and statutory authorities, has been appointed to provide advice to DEDJTR and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) during the preparation of the EES.
When the Minister is satisfied that DEDJTR has prepared a suitable EES, he will authorise the statement to be exhibited for public comment for a period of 30 business days (at least six weeks). The exhibition will be advertised and submissions will be invited. Currently this is expected in late 2016
or early 2017.
The Minister will appoint an Inquiry to evaluate the public submissions, having regard to the EES studies and the relevant statutory requirements.
At the final stage of the EES process, having considered the Inquiry Report, the EES documents and public submissions, the Minister will make his Assessment providing authoritative advice about the project's environmental effects and how they might be managed, for the guidance of statutory decision-makers.
Requirements [PDF File - 6.8 MB]
Requirements [MS Word Document - 192.4 KB]
Declared 'public works' under the Environment Effects Act 1978
'Public works' are defined as being works undertaken, or proposed to be undertaken, by or on behalf of the Crown or for public statutory bodies, but does not include works undertaken by or on behalf of municipal councils.
On 10 December 2015, DEDJTR provided the Minister for Planning with a Project Outline [PDF File - 1.6 MB], and requested that the Minister declare the project described in the Project Outline to be 'public works' for the purposes of section 3(1) of the Environment Effects Act.
On 23 December 2015, the Minister for Planning declared the works proposed for the Western Distributor Project in order to require a rigorous Environment Effects Statement (EES), which will include community consultation and an independent panel review to inform the Minister's Assessment and decision-making.
In making his Order, the Minister has specified the following procedure and requirements [MS Word Document - 105.6 KB] that are to apply to the EES.
Reasons for Order
In accordance with normal EES practice, a statement of the Minister's Reasons for Order has been prepared — EES Reasons for Order [MS Word Document - 27.9 KB].
- Questions relating to the Western
Distributor Project should be directed to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
Phone: 1800 817 687 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
- Questions relating to the EES process should be directed to the department's Impact Assessment Unit
Phone: (03) 8392 5458