What you told us

2018 Proposed Reference design
Your feedback on the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link Proposed Reference design 2018 focused on the following topics:

2020 Environmental Impact Statement exhibition
Each submission has been examined individually to understand the concerns raised. Where similar issues have been raised in different submissions, only one response has been provided. Key environmental issues raised:

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Key issues raised in community submissions:

Each submission on the EIS has been examined individually to understand the concerns raised. Where similar issues have been raised in different submissions, only one response has been provided. Issues raised related to:

  • environment
  • project development and alternatives
  • strategic context and project need
  • stakeholder and engagement
  • project description
  • assessment process
  • construction work.

The key environmental issues raised are broken down in the following chart. For more information on issues raised, please refer to Section A of the submissions report.

Note - 78% of community submissions received related to environmental issues, and a breakdown of these is shown in the above chart.

*Other issues included

  • Land use and property
  • Urban design and visual amenity
  • Out of scope
  • Greenhouse gas and climate change
  • Heritage
  • Operational noise and vibration
  • Sustainability
  • Resource use and waste management
  • Cumulative impacts
  • Flooding
  • Hazards and risks
  • Related projects

We have listened to your feedback and we have made changes

We thank you for your feedback. It has helped us make a number of positive improvements to the project. These include:

Changes prior to the EIS exhibition

We carried out extensive consultation during 2017 for the concept design and 2018 for the proposed reference design. During this time your feedback was critical in helping us refine the design and make a number of positive changes to the project, a number of which were presented in the EIS. These changes included:

Improving access to Beaches Link and the new and improved open space and recreation facilities at Balgowlah

We have worked with the community on a number of alternatives to connect Beaches Link with Sydney Road, provide access for users of the new and improved public open space and recreation facilities at Balgowlah, and deliver a solution that provides the best outcome for the community. As a result, we have redesigned the permanent access road to reduce its length, area, and impacts.

Maximising usable community space in the final layout at Balgowlah

We have redesigned the connection at Balgowlah to return an area equivalent to around 90 per cent of the current open space at Balgowlah to the community as new and improved open space and recreation facilities. The redesign allows for earlier completion and handover of some new open space areas. The final layout will be determined based on community input as part of a dedicated consultation process to be jointly led by Transport for NSW and Northern Beaches Council. Further details of this will be released to the community later this year. 

Reducing impacts on Burnt Bridge Creek, Balgowlah

The proposed tunnel portal location at Burnt Bridge Creek Deviation has been shifted further to the south. This enables us to reduce traffic staging works on Burnt Bridge Creek Deviation, reduce our impacts on Burnt Bridge Creek and eliminate the need to demolish and replace the existing Kitchener Street Bridge.

Maximising distance between construction activities and community facilities at Willoughby and Northbridge

Using the eastern side of Flat Rock Drive as a temporary construction support site provides a greater distance between the site and the Willoughby Leisure Centre indoor facilities, netball courts and car park, and avoids direct impacts to the baseball diamond. Construction vehicles will have direct access to and from the site via Flat Rock Drive. At completion, the site will be rehabilitated in line with the land use zoning. Vegetation and landscaping will be determined in consultation with Willoughby City Council and the community.

Moving the tunnel connection to the Wakehurst Parkway further north to reduce impacts to the surrounding community

The tunnel entry and exit ramps have been moved about 450 metres further north along Wakehurst Parkway. This will reduce construction and operational impacts for the surrounding community as well providing an improved tunnel connection to Wakehurst Parkway. This significant design change was adopted following community engagement on the concept design in 2017.

Reducing impacts of the Wakehurst Parkway construction support site, near Kirkwood Street, on the surrounding community

Using the Sydney Water land north of Kirkwood Street as a temporary construction support site minimises impacts to residents and Seaforth Oval. After construction, the section of this site not required for Sydney Water operations will be incorporated into the Manly Warringah War Memorial State Park for the community to enjoy.

Changes since the EIS exhibition

Your feedback received during the EIS exhibition has been used to further refine the project design and update environmental management measures. Further design refinements outlined in the submissions report include but are not limited to:

Developing a plan to work with the community on how we manage our impacts on Flat Rock Reserve and rehabilitate the site with local input

We understand the importance of the Flat Rock area to the local community and we are committed to rehabilitating the site once our project is completed.

We are committed to working with Willoughby Council and the local community on measures to minimise our impacts, enhance the social and environmental value of Flat Rock Reserve, and quickly and responsibly rehabilitate the site. Transport for NSW will consult with Willoughby City Council and the community, (including bush care groups) to determine the vegetation and landscaping which will be used for rehabilitation, eg selection of plant species, the final alignment of walking tracks and measures which could be taken ahead of construction commencing.

Within one year of commencement of construction at the Flat Rock Drive construction support site, Transport will develop a Flat Rock Drive Social Value Strategy. The strategy will be developed in consultation with Willoughby City Council and relevant community groups and include initiatives which enhance the social and environmental value of the Flat Rock Reserve. These initiatives, which will be implemented during construction and for three years post the completion of construction, will seek to:

  • enhance the Flat Rock Reserve, including in the areas of access, amenity and facilities
  • support existing Council and community outcomes, initiatives and programs
  • partner with educational facilities and other stakeholders in research.

Reducing impacts to Spit West Reserve, Mosman

Following further consultation with Mosman Council and recreational user groups, we have reconfigured the Spit West Reserve temporary construction support site. The reconfiguration will reduce impacts to recreational users of the reserve during construction by maintaining access to the majority of current facilities, such as playing fields for soccer, netball, cricket, running and school sport.

Improving pedestrian and cyclist connectivity across Wakehurst Parkway, Frenchs Forest

We have refined the Wakehurst Parkway shared user bridge ramps at Frenchs Forest, following further consultation with NSW Department of Education (School Infrastructure) and Northern Beaches Council. The refined design will provide direct pedestrian and cyclist connectivity between Fitzpatrick Avenue East and Aquatic Drive, as well as facilitate direct access to the Warringah Aquatic Centre and proposed new Forest High School, east of Wakehurst Parkway. The refined design will reduce the area of Duffys Forest endangered ecological community impacted by the project and avoid permanent impacts to the Jumping Jack mountain bike trail. Please see our fact sheet on the refined design available on our interactive portal.

Reducing impacts to the local mountain bike trail network

We understand the importance of the mountain bike trails around Wakehurst Parkway to the local community. We are committed to further refining the design of Wakehurst Parkway to avoid or minimise impacts to the local mountain bike trail network where possible, in consultation with Northern Beaches Council and key bike user groups.

Managing community concerns

We know building a project of this scale and significance does not go without impact.

We will have a community contact system in place during construction and will ensure there is a number of ways you can contact us and raise concerns or make enquiries at any time.

We will also be working closely with teams from nearby construction projects to help minimise construction and consultation fatigue in your local area.

What happens next

The NSW Government remains committed to Beaches Link. Following independent advice, the NSW Government is restaging major infrastructure projects such as Beaches Link so they can be delivered in a sustainable and affordable way for taxpayers.

The Beaches Link project is still yet to receive Planning approval. We have now provided the submissions report and preferred infrastructure report to DPE to help inform the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces when making a decision on approval of the project.

We expect to have a decision on the project in mid 2022. If the project is approved, it will be built and operated in line with conditions of approval set by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces.

The contractor/s, once appointed and subject to project approval, will also be required to develop detailed environmental management plans to minimise and manage construction impacts. These plans will cover noise and vibration, air quality, traffic and access among others.

We will work with the appointed contractor/s to provide you with regular updates about our planned activities. At this stage we will also be able to provide you with more information on timing of key activities, details of traffic changes and how impacts will be managed.

We are committed to continuing to work collaboratively with our stakeholders and the community throughout the project.

Please note: the program timing shown in the Beaches Link EIS was indicative at the time of the Planning for the project.

Next steps - timeline graphic