Changes to Western Highway duplication

1 February, 2019Western Highway Duplication

Changes have been made to the alignment of the Western Highway duplication, to retain two significant trees.

As part of our long-standing commitment to work with the Aboriginal community, these localised design changes will ensure the two trees are retained along the alignment between Buangor and Ararat.

We’ve worked collaboratively with the Djab Wurrung community for several years, including with the Registered Aboriginal Party, Martang Pty Ltd as well as Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation.

These discussions highlighted the significance of these two trees to the Aboriginal community, which is why we’ve proactively changed the road alignment. The realignment will see around one kilometre of the Western Highway alignment shifted to avoid the two trees.

There has been comprehensive planning on this section of the Western Highway duplication, including an independent Environment Effects Statement process and Cultural Heritage Management Plan which obtained approval in accordance with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. In January 2019, the Federal Department of the Environment and Energy decided no protection declaration would be made on the area.

Several environmental initiatives will also be implemented, including timber reuse in the local community, the construction of animal crossings and retaining hollows.

The western Victorian community has waited for this upgrade, and with cultural and environmental sensitivities firmly in mind, work will now recommence progressively along the alignment.

The project has overwhelming support from locals and will also provide a vital boost to the regional economy.

The $672.3 million Western Highway duplication between Ballarat and Stawell will vastly improve safety for communities in Western Victoria.

For more information, see the Western Highway project page.

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