The West Gate Tunnel Project has undergone an extensive and robust planning assessment process, including through an Environment Effects Statement (EES), a requirement of the Minister for Planning under the Environment Effects Act 1978.

The EES process has concluded following the release of the Minister for Planning’s assessment of the project. The assessment report is available at: https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/environment-assessment/browse-projects/projects/west-gate-tunnel

The assessment report has been considered by decision makers and necessary changes were made to key approvals documents. Planning and environmental approvals are now in place.

What's in the EES

Information in the EES will help answer your questions about how the project could affect the environment, and what we’re doing to manage impacts during construction and when the road opens.

An EES is a well-established process and the most comprehensive and transparent way for a project’s impacts to be considered. The EES has been undertaken by the West Gate Tunnel Authority (formerly the Western Distributor Authority). The EES process is managed by the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) on behalf of the Minister for Planning.

The EES for the West Gate Tunnel Project assessed potential impacts in 17 areas including but not limited to transport, air quality, noise, landscape and visual amenity, vibration, business, ecology, social and human health.

A draft Planning Scheme Amendment and Works Approval application were also exhibited alongside the EES and are being progressed. Find out more about key approvals.

View the EES documents

Inquiry and Advisory Committee

The EES, draft Planning Scheme Amendment, Works Approval application and public submissions were presented to an Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) appointed by the Minister for Planning. Public hearings concluded on Tuesday 19 September 2017.

The IAC considered all submissions and prepared a report to the Minister for Planning on the EES, draft Planning Scheme Amendment and the Works Approval application.

The IAC’s report and the Minister for Planning’s assessment report are available at: https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/environment-assessment/browse-projects/projects/west-gate-tunnel

Stakeholder and community input

We undertook a comprehensive engagement program in the development of the EES, draft Planning Scheme Amendment and Works Approval application, with input from stakeholders and the community.

Community members and stakeholders had the opportunity to comment on the EES, draft Planning Scheme Amendment and Works Approval application from Monday 29 May to Monday 10 July 2017. Formal submissions were invited during this time.

During this six-week public exhibition period, the EES and all attachments were available to view online and at 14 temporary displays and 13 information sessions held across the project corridor and regional areas. Specialists who prepared the EES attended the information sessions to talk to community members and answer questions.

Public submissions were considered by the Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) and the Minister for Planning. Stakeholders and community members also had the opportunity to present to the IAC at public hearings, which were held for over five weeks and concluded on Tuesday 19 September 2017.

View the EES

The full set of West Gate Tunnel EES documentation is available online.

Navigating the EES

The EES assesses the project’s design, construction and operation, including:

  • how the project has been developed and assessed
  • an overview of potential effects by location
  • proposed measures to avoid, minimise or manage project impacts, including a set of Environmental Performance Requirements
  • 17 technical reports and 2 peer review statements
  • a map book showing technical drawings of the design
  • attachments including a draft Planning Scheme Amendment and Works Approval Application
  • Development and Urban Design Plans

The EES is presented through four volumes of information and is supported by a number of attachments and maps. Volume 1 covers the West Gate Tunnel Project and the EES assessment while volumes 2, 3 and 4 look at the project’s effects by location – making it easier to find and read the information relevant to you.

Where to start?

As the EES documentation is extensive, a summary report has been made available to help draw out key information and give readers a broad overview of the project, its potential effects and how impacts are proposed to be managed. Download the summary report here.

In the EES, information is divided by location and by theme.

  • Locations include:
    • West Gate Freeway (Volume 2)
    • Tunnels (Volume 3)
    • Port CityLink and city connections (Volume 4)
  • There are five themes, which include:
    • Traffic and transport – Including detailed traffic modelling both with and without the West Gate Tunnel
    • Physical environment – Including contaminated soil and spoil management, groundwater, ground movement, surface water and ecology
    • Human health and amenity – Including air quality, noise and vibration (surface), vibration and regenerated noise (tunnel), and human health
    • Community – Including land use planning, social, business, landscape and visual amenity
    • Heritage – Including Aboriginal heritage and historical heritage

For a step-by-step guide on navigating the EES, download the EES Overview (PDF, 1MB).

draft Planning Scheme Amendment and Works Approval application are also part of the key approvals. Find out more.

Environment Effects Statement - related information