Metro Tunnel environmental plan in place

Victorian Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has signed off on the Environmental Effects Statement for the $10.9 billion Metro Tunnel in Melbourne’s CBD.Victorian Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has signed off on the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) for the $10.9 billion Metro Tunnel in Melbourne’s CBD.

As a result of the EES, 119 fewer trees will be lost, Fawkner Park won’t be used for the project and property acquisition in Kensington has been reduced from 22 to one.

Mr. Wynne has also required more action from the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA) to minimise the impacts of the project on the community, businesses and surrounding heritage.

The MMRA is also required to set up new stakeholder groups along the alignment to work with communities during construction of the project.

A business disruption plan, a traffic and transport work group and new guidelines for construction noise levels have also been requested in the final EES.

The draft EES was released early 2016 for consultation and 379 submissions were received. Submissions focused on noise and vibration from tunnelling, changes to traffic and transport, loss of trees, impacts on open space, heritage and the impact on communities and businesses around the works.

An independent committee sat for 33 days between August and October, hearing from 115 parties, before making recommendations to the minister.

The independent EES Panel assessed proposals to build a deeper Domain Station and determined that the shallow station provides the greatest benefit for the 40,000 passengers who will use the station each day.

Now the EES has been finalised, planning controls can be put in place for the project to go ahead.

“The Metro Tunnel is the biggest Victorian infrastructure project since the city loop was built in the 1980s and it will generate decades of benefit to public transport users,” said Mr. Wynne in a statement,

“While there will be significant impacts over the construction period, plans will be in place to minimise the disruptions and we will keep working with the community along the way.”

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