City Centre Eastern Link - EPA Outcomes and Way Forward
Published on 09 April 2018
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) today made public its finding on the Busselton Eastern Link Project. The project has been identified as requiring no further assessment and can proceed as planned subject to the outcomes of an appeals process that will run until 23 April 2018.
City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said that while the Council is pleased with the outcome more work is required before a decision to commence the project is made.
“While EPA approval is certainly encouraging, the project has also been referred to the Federal Department of Environment and Energy for further assessment. We have been advised by the Department that more work in relation to that assessment process is required particularly regarding the potential impact on Western Ringtail Possums and the Carters Freshwater Mussel.”
The City is in the process of providing more information to the Department as part of this assessment process and notes that Federal approval may take up to six months. This provides a good opportunity to engage further with the community on the Eastern Link project as well as other key elements of the Busselton Traffic Study, including the duplication of Causeway Road and the potential future development of Ford Road.”
The City has made a public undertaking to engage more broadly with community members on road modification projects identified in the Busselton Traffic Study, including the Eastern Link. This is reflected in a notice of motion before Council this week which calls for the deferment of a final decision to commence construction on the Eastern Link project (as well as other options for improving road access into and around the Busselton City Centre) until further community consultation has been undertaken. This postponement of works does not extend to relatively minor or ancillary upgrades to the road network many of which are underway or imminent.
“Postponing the decision to commence major elements of the Busselton Traffic Study, including Eastern Link, will enable further feasibility and cost investigation to be undertaken. It will also provide time to consider the environmental advice from the Federal Government in relation to Eastern Link and to inform the community accordingly.
Vehicle access and egress into the Busselton town centre has been identified by the community as a major priority and Council remains strongly committed to addressing the issue. Ultimately Council wants to deliver road modifications that are environmentally and economically sustainable; effective and have long-term broad benefit. Council will work with City officers and potentially independent consultants to develop a broad engagement program for implementation over the coming months.”
Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with Key Goal Area 5: Transport – smart, connective and accessible.
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