Details of North East Link judicial review agreement

22 Jul 2020
Well Governed Council

Manningham Council is pleased to provide more detail on the negotiated outcomes that led to the withdrawal from the judicial review process.  

Manningham Mayor, Cr Paul McLeish said Council advocated strongly to minimise the impacts on the community and improve consultation by working constructively with the Victorian Government.

“We negotiated in good faith with the Victorian Government and the North East Link Project (NELP) to the point where many of our concerns have been addressed.  

“We have more certainty following an agreement from NELP that we will have more input into the process and will be meaningfully consulted on the works and designs.  

“The uncertainty around the reference design has now been addressed as we will meet with the construction contractor and have enhanced avenues to provide feedback to the Planning Minister prior to the works being delivered.

“Once the construction contractor has been appointed, we will be briefed and given an opportunity to comment on the ultimate design.  

“This means we will have more active engagement opportunities to review and comment on relevant matters that impact our community and environment.  

“This agreement goes above and beyond the normal consultation requirements of any of the conditions of the project approval and will benefit those residents most impacted along with the whole community.

“We protected open space at Bulleen Park with no expansion of the golf course into Bulleen Park. The archery and aero-modellers clubs will remain at Bulleen Park and continue to enjoy all their sport and social connections,” he said.    

Cr McLeish said the judicial review process was a necessary investment to ensure the best outcome for the community and environment.  

“We commenced legal action because we believed the reference design didn’t provide enough certainty. We now have many more answers and this agreement provides a greater level of clarity and ability to influence the final design.  

“However, we acknowledge the NEL will still have significant impacts, with seven years of construction and the widening of the Eastern Freeway. With a project of this size not all our concerns could be alleviated through this process and we will continue to work with the North East Link Project to minimise impacts and improve amenity.  

“We worked hard to find a suitable relocation site for the impacted Bulleen Industrial Precinct businesses. Unfortunately this could not be achieved given the complexities and timeframes and this remains a significant concern for Council.”    

By participating in the judicial review process we have been able to negotiate certainty on key outcomes and significant projects for the benefit of our community including:  

  • NELP will consult with Council before finalising the outcomes of the final design of the project. Council will be given a reasonable opportunity for engagement and to provide meaningful input into the various designs  
  • A new pedestrian and cyclist shared user path bridge across the Yarra River  
  • Victorian Government will commence detailed planning work and a business case for the duplication and upgrade of Templestowe Road with shared pedestrian and bike paths  
  • Protection of Bulleen Park with no extension of the golf course and the retention of facilities for aero-modellers and archery club. Preservation of Yarra River frontage and open space  
  • Upgrades to three AFL/cricket grounds and club facilities at Bulleen Park benefitting a range of sporting clubs to offset the impacts to oval 1
  • Planning for future parkland along the Yarra River to offset the loss of open space elsewhere  
  • Construction of three new soccer pitches within a new facility at the Bulleen Golf Driving Range site on Templestowe Road  
  • If the Eastern Freeway is widened then for impacted residents, NEL have agreed to directly notify them as part of their community engagement  
  • A commitment to further progress the redevelopment of land at Websters Road as a future employment site.