11 June 2013 — Major transport infrastructure project delays and costs will be reduced by a bill introduced into Victorian Parliament this week.

Premier Denis Napthine said the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Amendment Bill (East West Link and other projects) 2013 would cut red tape and streamline approval processes.

The proposed legislation includes provisions that:

  • enable early works such as relocating drains and moving gas pipes to be done before major tunnelling or construction works start, while still retaining necessary planning approvals
  • bring the impact assessment process up to best practice standard by making it a risk-based assessment, consistent with the changes proposed for environmental assessments under the Environment Effects Act
  • shorten statutory timeframes, simplify administrative processes and remove the need for the internal administrative burden of exchanging letters between Ministers that add no value to the process
  • increase project flexibility – for example, allowing reasonable variations to project designs to be considered during the approvals process, as was the case with EastLink.