Scoping requirements for $5.5 billion Western Distributor released

Monica Gameng   |   February 21, 2016

The scoping requirements for the $5.5 billion Western Distributor Project has just been released by the Andrews Labor Government. The latest release of information will help shape the Environmental Effects Statement (EES). 

WesternDistributorMapTwo729px.jpgImage source: The Age Victoria

According to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne, the EES will be able to provide a transparent and in-depth environmental assessment framework for Victoria’s major construction projects.

“The EES is the proper process for assessment of this project, and will ensure we get the right information and make the best decisions about how the much needed $5.5 billion Western Distributor Project comes together.” – Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

Before details are finalised, the public is allowed to comment regarding the EES scoping requirements. An advocate will be responsible for any technical study which will investigate issues recognised in the scoping requirements, and then report it back to the government.

As part of the EES, both residents and businesses will be allowed to make a submission in the coming months. The submissions will be included in a report to be submitted to the Minister for Planning. Evaluations will also include the effectiveness of the proposed measures to minimise, avoid and offset any environmental effects.

“Local residents and industry will be able to have their say on the scoping requirements and I look forward to getting on with this vital project for Melbourne and Victoria.” – Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan

Through the EES process, a strong and transparent assessment of the possible impacts of the road will be provided. With this comprehensive planning process, there is a guarantee that the final scope and design of the project is developed with consultation from the local government, the community and the industry.

Community consultation sessions will commence in April which will enable the local community to have a direct input in the EES process. Maps, plans and other project information will be displayed along the project route during the sessions. Technical specialists will also be present to answer questions from and listen to residents.

“Everyone will have the chance to examine the scope of the EES, view the available information and to have their say.” – Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

Travel time savings of up to 20 minutes a day, as well as remove 6000 trucks off the West Gate Bridge and create at least 5600 new jobs will be delivered by the Western Distributor project.

"The Western Distributor will take 22,000 vehicles a day off the West Gate Bridge, including up to 6,000 trucks and improve links to rhe Port of Melbourne, Webb Dock and the inner north." –  Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan

The key features of this project includes the following:

  • Widening the West Gate Freeway from 8 to 12 lanes between the M80 and Williamstown Road
  • A tunnel under Yarraville and a second river crossing over the Maribyrnong
  • An elevated road along Footscray Road with direct links to the Port of Melbourne
  • The longest managed motorway system in Australia from Geelong to Pakenham
  • 5km of new cycling and pedestrian paths including completion of the Federation Trail
  • Widening the Monash Freeway from 8 to 10 lanes between EastLink and South Gippsland Highway, and from 4 to 6 lanes to Clyde Road in Berwick

Watch the video below for a more detailed look at the plans.

The Western Distributor project will break ground in 2018 and the projected completion is by 2022.

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Author's note: Original article is from the Premier of Victoria and other information sourced from Victoria State Government

Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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