Key approvals are in place for the West Gate Tunnel Project following an extensive and robust planning process.

Approvals for the West Gate Tunnel Project include a Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA), Works Approval and Cultural Heritage Management Plan.

Note: the West Gate Tunnel Authority is referred to as the Western Distributor Authority in earlier planning documents

Minister for Planning's Assessment

In November 2017, the Minister for Planning released an Assessment of the project, concluding the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process. To assist in determining the PSA and Works Approval application, the Minister for Planning’s Assessment report was provided to decision makers.

The Minister for Planning’s Assessment report is available at: https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/schemes-and-amendments/browse-amendments?query=GC93#Amendments--GC93

Planning Scheme Amendment

On 8 March 2018, PSA GC93 was approved by the Minister for Planning to reinstate planning approval to enable construction works to continue and the project to be operated.

PSA GC93 reintroduced the West Gate Tunnel Incorporated Document (December 2017) in substantially the same form to PSA GC65. It made the Minister for Planning the responsible authority and introduced planning controls into the Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Port of Melbourne and Wyndham planning schemes.

Previously, a draft PSA (PSA GC65) was exhibited during the EES process (see Attachment IV) in 2017. PSA GC65 was approved and was published in the Government Gazette in December 2017. PSA GC65 was revoked by the Parliament of Victoria on 7 March 2018 and its provisions have been removed from the planning schemes. Planning schemes covered by PSA GC65 included Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Port of Melbourne and Wyndham. PSA GC65 enabled the project to be built and operated in accordance with the West Gate Tunnel Project Incorporated Document. The Incorporated Document sets out further planning controls, which are defined in the Development and Urban Design Plans and Environmental Performance Requirements (EPRs) as approved by the Minister for Planning.

The PSA also reintroduced a Design and Development Overlay (DDO) for the project into the Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay planning schemes.

  • To view the PSA documents, including the Incorporated Document and DDO visit: https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/schemes-and-amendments/browse-amendments?query=GC93#Amendments--GC93

Development and Urban Design Plans

The West Gate Tunnel Project Development and Urban Design Plans are referenced in the Incorporated Document and have been approved with the PSA. The Development and Urban Design Plans contain a description, plans and drawings for the project. They ensure that the project delivers a new gateway for Melbourne’s west, creates opportunities for urban renewal and public space, and is an exciting contribution to Melbourne’s reputation for design excellence.

Environmental Performance Requirements (EPRs)

The EPRs are referenced in the Incorporated Document and have been approved with the PSA. EPRs set standards for the project and are put in place to mitigate any adverse local effects of the project on people and environment. Action will be taken if the standards or requirements are not met.

Environmental Management Strategy

The Environmental Management Strategy provides an overarching framework to address all environmental requirements and manage environmental outcomes for the West Gate Tunnel Project.

The strategy was approved by the Minister for Planning under PSA GC65 on 20 February 2018. It was prepared in consultation with councils and other key stakeholders, and was reviewed by the West Gate Tunnel Project’s Independent Reviewer and Environmental Auditor. PSA GC65 was revoked by the Parliament of Victoria on 7 March 2018 (see above).

On 8 March 2018, a new planning scheme amendment (PSA GC93) was approved by the Minister for Planning, including the reapproval by the Minister for Planning of the Environmental Management Strategy.

The strategy outlines the West Gate Tunnel Project’s Environmental Management System. Consistent with AS/NZ ISO 14001, this includes legal requirements, environmental management documents, roles and responsibilities, communications, reporting, auditing and other elements of the Environmental Management System.

Environmental audits

The West Gate Tunnel Project's Independent Reviewer and Environmental Auditor carries out regular environmental audits. Six monthly reports are published here.

Communications and Community Engagement Plan

The Communications and Community Engagement Plan describes the approach the West Gate Tunnel Project team will take to developing and maintaining a collaborative relationship with the community and stakeholders through the design and delivery of the Project.

The Plan was prepared in consultation with affected local councils, and was reviewed by the West Gate Tunnel Project’s Independent Reviewer and Environmental Auditor.

In accordance with the Environmental Performance Requirements which form part of the project’s planning approval, the Plan includes the project’s Business Involvement Plan.

The Business Involvement Plan sets out the approach to working proactively with businesses affected by the project. It was also developed in consultation with affected Councils, and with affected businesses, relevant local trader associations and other affected stakeholders.

Works Approval application

A Works Approval has been issued by EPA Victoria. Previously, an application for a Works Approval was exhibited during the EES process (see Attachment V).

For more information, visit: http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/our-work/major-infrastructure-projects/west-gate-tunnel-project

Cultural Heritage Management Plan

A Cultural Heritage Management Plan was approved on 6 September 2017 under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

The Cultural Heritage Management Plan is required to assess the potential impact to Aboriginal cultural heritage and manage how that heritage can best be protected.

To identify any Aboriginal heritage in the project area, investigations were undertaken together with Aboriginal Victoria and Traditional Owners Groups, including Bunurong, Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri groups.

Have a question?

Questions relating to the EPA Works Approval application process should be directed to the Environment Protection Authority by calling 1300 372 842.

Questions relating to the Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) process, including questions about the Minister’s assessment process, should be directed to the DELWP Customer Service Centre by calling 136 186.