Thirty-six homes and 102 businesses will be compulsorily acquired to make way for the North East Link, documents show.
The $16 billion road link to connect Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway to the M80 Ring Road involves building two six-kilometre tunnels through urban areas.
The Victorian Government has released a 10,000-page environmental effects statement (EES) outlining the planning details, revealing it has reduced the number of homes to be bought.
Initially it was expected 75 homes would need to go to make way for the road but that had been cut to reduce the project’s footprint.
The EES shows more than 80 businesses would be acquired from the Bulleen Industrial Precinct in Melbourne’s north-east.
The summary report said about 1,000 people were employed by businesses that operated as an automotive cluster.
“Relocation of these businesses would potentially disrupt their supply chains, customer relationships, employment bases and ability to retain staff,” it said.
“The displacement of these businesses may also affect the character and productivity of the automotive cluster in the precinct, with remaining businesses possibly having to source new suppliers and build new commercial relationships.”
The residential acquisitions fall within the Banyule, Boroondara and Manningham council zones, including part of the Freeway Golf Course at Balwyn North, the Boroondara Tennis Centre, Bulleen Swim Centre and part of Bulleen Park.
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said it was the state’s biggest ever road project.
“We’re building a very large road project through a developed area here in the suburbs, but one that we do need to get on and deliver,” Ms Allan said.
“Every effort is being made to refine the impact as much as possible.”
North East Link Project chief executive Duncan Elliott said home and business owners had been told if their properties were in the path of the road.
“We’ve had ongoing conversations with those people, we’ve had case managers dealing with their specific concerns,” he said.
“All of those people today are aware of the fact that their property is still at this point likely to be acquired.
“We still need to refine the final design that the bidders give us; there is the chance that some of those may not be required … but at this stage they are certainly aware.”
Mr Elliott acknowledged it was difficult for affected businesses to operate with uncertainty.
“Our commitment is to work with them on a case-by-case basis to ensure their needs are met,” he said.
Mr Elliott said the acquisitions were dispersed along the corridor, but there would be no home acquisitions along the Eastern Freeway.
He would not detail exactly where the acquisitions would take place.
“For the benefit of the people involved I’d rather not [say],” he said.
“They know where their properties are and they know who they are.”
The environmental effects statement is open for public comment until June 7.
Topics: urban-development-and-planning, community-and-society, states-and-territories, government-and-politics, bulleen-3105, melbourne-3000, vic
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