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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Northern Link Tunnel receives conditional approval

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Northern Link Tunnel receives conditional approval

    Planning for the $1.7 billion Northern Link Road Tunnel in Brisbane has reached another milestone with the Coordinator-General granting conditional approval for the project, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe announced today.

    “Brisbane City Council (BCC) is proposing to build a 7km twin-tunnel underground toll road linking the Centenary Motorway at Toowong to the Inner City Bypass at Herston,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “The Coordinator-General’s evaluation report of the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) now allows the reference design for the project to proceed subject to strict conditions.

    “The Northern Link Road Tunnel is obviously a major piece of infrastructure that will have a positive impact on improving traffic flows in Brisbane.

    “Its construction will need to be managed carefully to minimise any adverse impacts on local residents and the environment.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said the Coordinator-General and the Department of Infrastructure and Planning spent 28 months thoroughly assessing Brisbane City Council’s Environmental Impact Statement and associated materials, including 213 public submissions and a supplementary Environmental Impact Statement.

    Coordinator-General Colin Jensen said the 34 conditions in the evaluation report were the most extensive and stringent ever for a transport infrastructure project in Queensland, and included extra controls developed from experience gained with other road tunnel projects in Brisbane.

    “Overall, compared to these other projects, the Northern Link Road Tunnel was much simpler, will have less impact on residents and the environment with no homes resumed,” Mr Jensen said.

    “The most common issues of concern raised in the public submissions were surface impacts on properties and the widening of streets in Toowong due to proposed local tunnel connections onto Milton Road at Toowong and at Kelvin Grove.

    “As part of the Environmental Impact Statement process, the project has been significantly improved. In April 2009, in response to the concerns raised, Brisbane City Council prepared a supplementary Environmental Impact Statement and decided to remove the local tunnel connections from the scope of the project.

    “Another major concern raised in the submissions was the air quality levels from the two ventilation outlets. One is proposed at each end of the tunnel.

    “Conditions governing air emissions from the ventilation outlets will be covered directly by an environmental authority set by the Department of Environment and Resource Management. These conditions are set out in the report.

    “During construction, rock excavated from the tunnels will be transported to Mt Coot-tha Quarry by a conveyor belt. Any changes to the conveyor route proposed recently by council will be subject to further separate assessment once council has completed its tender process.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said capital investment for this project was an estimated $1.7 billion. The Federal Government committed $500 million and the State Government previously contributed $5 million for planning studies.

    It is expected to generate up to 1400 construction jobs and 85 operational jobs.

    Mr Jensen said the Northern Link Road Tunnel had been declared a significant project, for which an EIS was required under Part 4 of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971, on November 2, 2007.

    The Coordinator-General’s Report can be viewed at

    Media: 3227 8425