The Victorian Government has released the framework for assessing the environmental impacts of the proposed East West Link between the Eastern Freeway to the Port of Melbourne.

State Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, said that the scoping directors for the Comprehensive Impact Statement will address a number of environmental, engineering and heritage matters relating to the project.

“I have requested that the Linking Melbourne Authority thoroughly investigate key matters associated with the project and identify ways to avoid or minimise any impacts,” Mr Guy said.

“While the East West Link includes one of the longest road tunnels in Australia, to minimise impact on the community and parkland above, there are still various issues that need to be carefully assessed – particularly where there are surface works.”

An independent assessment committee will be established to consider the findings of the Comprehensive Impact Statement as well as submissions from members of the community and other stakeholders.

The Comprehensive Impact Statement is expected to be released for public comment by the end of this year.

The assessment committee will make final recommendations on the project to Mr Guy who will then consider the required statutory approvals.

Construction is expected to commence in late 2014, subject to the timing of approvals and the conclusion of arrangements for commercial delivery of the project.