The West Gate Tunnel Project
The West Gate Tunnel project represents the single largest road project since the West Gate Bridge was opened back in the late 1970s.
Melbourne’s west is experiencing booming population growth. Population in the region now stands at approximately 830,000 people, up from 611,000 in 2006.
Failure to invest in basic infrastructure such as road and rail to support this growth will have a significant and enduring negative impact on the liveability and economic opportunities for Melbourne’s west. In these circumstances, doing nothing is not an option.
The West Gate Tunnel project will reduce our city’s over reliance on the West Gate Bridge and provide a critical second river crossing.
The construction of the tunnel will create 6,000 new jobs, including 500 apprenticeships, and up to 150 jobs for former auto workers.
After two years of community consultation, the project design incorporates the best quality noise walls in Victoria, the creation of 9 hectares of new open space and wetlands, and 14km of new and upgraded cycling and walking paths.
Spotswood sporting clubs will have access to a new shared pavilion in the Donald McLean Reserve and will get, for the first time, new noise walls along its boundary.
The West Gate Tunnel will also remove thousands of trucks off local roads. This delivers a massive win for communities in the inner west, with 24/7 truck bans on local roads such as Francis Street and Somerville Road in Yarraville once the tunnel opens in 2022.
The release of the Environment Effects Statement (EES) in May has raised some concerns among local residents about potential truck volumes on other local roads such as Hudsons Road, Blackshaws Road, Millers Road and Hyde Street.
Our Government remains committed to work with the local community to avoid any future adverse impacts. As local Member, I’m supportive of the need to consider further truck restrictions on local roads to protect community amenity. It would be counter-productive to build the tunnel and have more trucks flood our local streets.
We have also commenced discussions with residents in Hyde Street, Yarraville who have requested Government to consider acquiring their properties.
To this end, we will continue to work constructively with individuals and organisations that raise concerns about the project.
The EES process is expected to be finalised by the end of the year with construction to commence in 2018.
The West Gate Tunnel Project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Melbourne’s west, and when completed will forever transform the liveability of the inner west.