West Gate Tunnel, State Government

West Gate Tunnel, State Government

About the project

The West Gate Tunnel, originally called the Western Distributor, is a proposed toll road that will link the West Gate Freeway at Yarraville with CityLink at Docklands via a tunnel beneath Yarraville. It aims to relieve congestion on the M1, provide an alternative river crossing to the West Gate Bridge and move trucks away from inner west homes. Major construction is scheduled to begin early 2018 (subject to planning approval) and be completed in 2022.

The project will include:

  • an upgrade and widening of the West Gate Freeway by two lanes in each direction between Williamstown Road and M80 interchange
  • a 1.5 km-long, six-lane tunnel
  • a new bridge over the Maribyrnong River with twin viaducts above Footscray Road and connections to the Port of Melbourne, CityLink, Dynon Road and extension of Wurundjeri Way to Dynon Road


The $5.5 billion project was proposed by Transurban in 2014.

The Victorian Government announced in December 2015 it would proceed with the project.

Amendment Summary

This amendment has been prepared by the Minister for Planning, who is the planning authority for this amendment.

The amendment has been made at the request of Western Distributor Authority (WDA), an administrative office within the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), to facilitate the delivery of the West Gate Tunnel Project.

The Amendment came into operation on 7 December 2017, when a notice was published in the Government Gazette. The amendment changes the planning scheme to amend the schedules to Clause 52.03 and Clause 81.01 to insert a new incorporated document titled West Gate Tunnel Project Incorporated Document, December 2017.

The amendment changes the Hobsons Bay Planning Scheme to:

  • amend the Schedule to Clause 61.01 to make the Minister for Planning the responsible authority for the administration and enforcement of provisions of the planning schemes as they apply to the use and development of land for the project
  • apply the Design and Development Overlay to land in Hobsons Bay that is above and adjacent to project infrastructure to ensure new development does not compromise the structural integrity or operation of that infrastructure
  • insert Schedule 15 to the Design and Development Overlay (DDO15) and Schedule 16 to the Design and Development Overlay (DDO16)
  • amend the Schedule to Clause 66.04 to make the Secretary to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (and the Roads Corporation from 31 December 2026) the determining referral authority for applications under DDO15 and DDO16

A copy of the Amendment can be inspected, free of charge, at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website at www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/planning/planningschemes/changingtheplanningscheme/amendmentsonline   

For further information please contact Council’s Strategic planning Department on 9932 1109.

What is Council's position on the project?

Council’s position on the EES was endorsed at Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 13 June. You can view the Council meeting minutes here.

Please follow this link to read the media release: EES congested with detail and not enough time

Please follow this link to read the media release: Action needed on trucks and traffic from West Gate tunnel

What role does Council have in the project?

The West Gate Tunnel project will have far reaching effects on the Hobsons Bay community, including how local areas look and how people travel. 

View Council's endorsed position.(PDF, 1MB)

Hobsons Bay City Council would like to thank the community who provided feedback during the development of Council’s position on the project. 

This position document enables Council to advocate on behalf of its community to ensure that the Hobsons Bay community needs are heard and listened to and gives Council a more powerful voice during the design process. 

Design Plan

Following two years of community consultation, technical investigation and design development, the design plan for the West Gate Tunnel Project was released by the Victorian Government earlier this year.

The planned design includes a number of improvements including widening the West Gate Freeway from eight to 12 lanes and the introduction of new express lanes between the M80 and the West Gate Bridge with the aim of reducing congestion during peak commuter traffic periods.

It is proposed a tunnel will be constructed from the West Gate Freeway to the Maribyrnong River and the Port of Melbourne taking motorists and trucks underground and off residential streets, thereby easing congestion and providing a more efficient freight route.

Also featured in the design is a bridge over the Maribyrnong River which will link to an elevated route along Footscray Road, providing road-users with access to the CBD North. 

Smart technology throughout the tunnel will link the project to other freeway management systems across Melbourne.

Key developments

  • Construction of a new tunnel from West Gate Freeway to the Maribyrnong River and the Port of Melbourne creating a new freight route and aiming to ease truck traffic
  • Widening the West Gate Freeway to 12 lanes
  • New express lanes between the M80 and the West Gate Bridge
  • New bridge across the Maribyrnong River providing access to CBD North

Hobsons Bay residents interested in learning more about the project are invited to download the design plan. For more information, download the Design overview (PDF, 1.6mb) fact sheet.

Environment Effects Statement (EES)

The EES for the West Gate Tunnel Project looks at the potential effects of the design, its construction and operation and allows the community voice their concerns.

Formal submissions were invited from the community during a six-week consultative period which closed in July this year.

The EES was managed by Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and assessed 17 areas including but not limited to transport, air quality, noise, landscape and visual amenity, vibration, business, ecology, social and human health.

Members of the public interested in learning more about the EES can view the West Gate Tunnel EES documentation here: www.westgatetunnelproject.vic.gov.au/eesdocuments

Inquiry and Advisory Committee

An independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) considered the EES and public submissions and held public hearings over a five-week period in August and September.

Have a Question?

Questions relating to the West Gate Tunnel Project, the EES documentation and the community information sessions should be directed to the Western Distributor Authority

Questions relating to the EES process should be directed to the Impact Assessment Unit of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) at environment.assessment@delwp.vic.gov.au or by calling (03) 8392 5503.

Questions relating to the EPA Works Approval application process should be directed to the Environment Protection Authority by calling 1300 372 842.

Get involved

It’s never too late to register for project updates and stay involved. Register your interest or just contact us through any of the following ways:

1. Email: westerndistributor@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au

2. Phone: 9932 1000

If you would like further information on the West Gate Tunnel project visit http://westgatetunnelproject.vic.gov.au or call 1300 280 939.

Rate this page

Was the information useful to you?