Rail trenches to proceed at Edithvale and Bonbeach
The Minister for Planning has today issued his assessment of the Environment Effects Statement (EES) for Edithvale and Bonbeach prepared by the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA). This confirms that rail trenches will proceed at both sites with robust environmental protections in place.
The Minister’s Assessment found that a rail-under-road removal of the level crossings at Edithvale Road, Edithvale and Bondi Road, Bonbeach would not threaten the internationally-listed Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands, provided a balance of environmental and social needs and reflected community feedback.
The engineering solutions presented by LXRA will reduce the impact of the rail trenches on the environment and manage local groundwater flows during construction.
What the Minister’s Assessment said
The Minister’s Assessment made a number of key points:
- The rail trenches can be built and operate with acceptable environmental effects, subject to the Minister’s approval of an amended Environmental Management Framework (EMF). The Framework is a structured process for avoiding, minimising and managing potential environmental effects.
- Any impacts on the environment are minor and will be monitored and managed during and for several years after construction. This includes monitoring groundwater and foreshore vegetation.
- The Minister requested that subject matter experts work with LXRA and other agencies to design the monitoring system for groundwater flows in the area.
Environmental Performance Requirements, part of the EMF, lay down the ground rules for monitoring and require LXRA to document future ownership of the monitoring network, along with accountability for compliance reporting and any remedial works required.
- A Foreshore Vegetation Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem Monitoring and Mitigation Plan will be developed and will be publicly available
The Minister noted: ‘Monitoring will ensure that no unforeseen future effects unduly impact this precious environmental asset. The projects do not threaten flora and fauna species nor migratory birds.’
The Minister’s Assessment is available on the Engage Victoria website
A report from the Federal Minister for the Environment on matters relevant to the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act is due before the end of this year and will conclude the EES process.