General and overview
This portal provides information about the design and features of the M12 Motorway. It presents key information presented in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project in an interactive, visual and informative way to support the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s public exhibition process.
The EIS describes the potential environmental and social impacts that may occur during construction and operation of the project, and the measures to manage these impacts.
The design of the M12 Motorway is subject to further refinement as it progresses through the planning approval process and community engagement phase.
The M12 Motorway would feature a 16 kilometre motorway running east west between the M7 Motorway at Cecil Hills and The Northern Road at Luddenham. The scope of work includes:
- A new dual-carriageway motorway with two lanes in each direction with a central median allowing future expansion to six lanes
- Three interchanges/intersections to provide motorway access to M7 Motorway, Western Sydney International Airport, and The Northern Road
- Bridge structures across waterways, within Western Sydney Parklands and at interchanges and local roads to maintain local access and connectivity
- New shared pedestrian and cycle shared paths including pedestrian bridges and an off-road shared user path
- Modifications to the local road network to facilitate connections across and around M12 Motorway where required
- Adjustments of waterways where required including Kemps Creek, South Creek and Badgerys Creek.
Roads and Maritime is seeking approval for the M12 Motorway as Critical State Significant Infrastructure which requires assessment and approval under Division 5.2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The EIS is on exhibition from Wednesday 16 October 2019 to for the community and stakeholders to comment on the project. A final EIS submissions report with responses to issues raised will be submitted to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and helps to inform the Minister of Planning and Public Spaces’ decision on the project.
Strategic justification and project need
Western Sydney International Airport and planned development associated with the Aerotropolis, employment lands and the South West Growth Area is expected to drive population growth in Western Sydney, with about one million additional people expected to live in the region by 2031. Road network modelling indicates that with the expected growth many roads in the existing network would be at or near capacity in the future.
The proposed M12 Motorway is a critical component to improving road network efficiency across Western Sydney in the long-term, and is part of a wider integrated transportation plan that includes public transport initiatives. The project would support and maintain Western Sydney International Airport and the surrounding Aerotropolis as the catalyst for economic growth in Western Sydney, by providing a high-speed motorway-standard access between the Sydney motorway network at the M7 Motorway and the arterial road network at The Northern Road. This would provide a reliable transport link for an increasing number of residents in Western Sydney to access nearby jobs, housing and transport, health facilities, schools and social infrastructure.
Project development and alternatives
A number of alternatives were considered in providing access to Western Sydney and Western Sydney International Airport. These included alternative modes of transport and upgrading Elizabeth Drive from a two-lane undivided road to a dual carriageway (two lanes in each direction) arterial road. The project was preferred as it would provide a safe, modern, high-capacity motorway to support future increased traffic generation (both freight and passenger) associated with the Western Sydney International Airport and development in Western Sydney.
A number of routes were considered for the project, factoring in environmental and social impacts including impact on existing land use, impacts on threatened or endangered ecological communities, impact on utilities and impacts on existing roads. The preferred route was selected based on the relative overall performance when compared to other route options.
The project would include the following key features:
- A new dual-carriageway motorway between the M7 Motorway and The Northern Road with two lanes in each direction with a central median allowing future expansion to six lanes
- Three interchanges/intersections to provide motorway access to M7 Motorway, Western Sydney International Airport, and The Northern Road
- Bridge structures across Ropes Creek, Kemps Creek, South Creek, Badgerys Creek and Cosgroves Creek
- Bridge structure across the M12 Motorway into Western Sydney Parklands to maintain access to the existing water tower and mobile telephone/other service towers on the ridgeline in the vicinity of Cecil Hills, to the west of the M7 Motorway
- Bridge structures at interchanges and at Clifton Avenue, Elizabeth Drive, Luddenham Road and other local roads to maintain local access and connectivity
- Inclusion of active transport (pedestrian and cyclist) facilities through provision of pedestrian bridges and an off-road shared user path including connections to existing and future shared user path networks
- Modifications to the local road network, as required, to facilitate connections across and around the M12 Motorway
- Adjustment, protection or relocation of existing utilities
- Ancillary facilities to support motorway operations, smart motorways operation in the future and the existing M7 Motorway operation, including gantries, electronic signage and ramp metering
- Other roadside furniture including safety barriers, signage and street lighting
- Adjustments of waterways, where required, including Kemps Creek, South Creek and Badgerys Creek
- Permanent water quality management measures including swales and basins
- Establishment and use of temporary ancillary facilities, temporary construction sedimentation basins, access tracks and haul roads during construction
- Permanent and temporary property adjustments and property access refinements as required.
Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2022 and conclude in 2025, with works occurring concurrently across the full length of the construction footprint during this period. Detailed construction planning would be carried out during detailed design. Planning would consider specific work methods and scheduling to manage community and environmental issues including noise, access, amenity and general disruption, and ensure works would be carried out in line with Work Health and Safety legislation.
Equipment and plant requirements would be confirmed during detailed design and during the development of the construction methodology by the construction contractor.
Where feasible, construction would be carried out during standard construction hours from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm Saturday. However Roads and Maritime is seeking approval for ‘extended construction hours’, being standard construction hours plus additional time at the start and end of each day (Monday to Friday) and Saturday afternoon. Some works would also need to be undertaken during out of hours. However noisy activities would be restricted to standard construction hours where feasible. Noise mitigation measures would also be installed where impacts are identified.
The consultation and engagement activities carried out for the project have occurred in four main phases:
- Consultation carried out before public exhibition of the EIS (mid-2015 to 2019), including consultation carried out during:
- Project development – This involved activities carried out from the early planning phase in mid-2015; the NSW Government’s announcement of the start of the M12 Motorway investigations in August 2015; shortlisting of the route options in early 2016; announcement of the preferred route in November 2016; and the announcement of the preliminary design and access strategy in early 2018
- Preparation of the EIS – This included the submission of a scoping report and State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) application to the NSW DPIE, in July 2018; the submission of an EPBC referral to the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy (DoEE) in July 2018; and preparation of the EIS for public exhibition
Stakeholders were identified as those parties that may have an interest in or have the potential to be affected by the project. These include:
- Landowners and residents potentially directly or indirectly affected by the project
- Government stakeholders such as Local, State and Commonwealth agencies including the Western Sydney Parklands Trust
- Local Government Area Councils
- WSA Co
- Utility and service providers
- Local Aboriginal Land Councils and other relevant stakeholders
- Other relevant industry and stakeholders such as affected businesses and community groups.
Consultation with the community and other relevant stakeholders would continue through the detailed design, construction and operational stages, should the project be approved.
Project assessment categories
About 74 hectares of native vegetation would be removed, including an existing biobanking site within Western Sydney Parklands and other native vegetation classified as threatened ecological communities and one critically endangered ecological community.
There would be direct and indirect impacts on threatened flora and fauna, including the direct removal of two threatened plant species (Dillwynia tenuifolia (244 individuals) and removal of Pultenaea parviflora (90 individuals)), threatened fauna habitat, fragmentation and edge effects, and impacts on riparian corridors and waterways due to the construction of bridges and possible creek adjustments.
Where possible, the removal of threatened species and threatened species habitat will be minimised. A construction flora and fauna management plan will be prepared that will include measures to avoid impacts on sensitive ecological areas and revegetate/restore disturbed areas.
For residual impacts that cannot be avoided, biodiversity offsets will be secured in accordance with the Biodiversity Offset Strategy prepared for the project and where possible, re-vegetation will prioritise Cumberland Plain Woodland and local native species grown from locally sourced seed. However, consideration will need to be given to ensure landscape works are compatible with the relevant guidelines of the National Airports Safeguarding Framework (NASF) regarding bird strike close to the Western Sydney International Airport.
Transport and traffic
High numbers of construction vehicle movements may temporarily affect the surrounding road network, particularly heavy vehicles. The construction phase would require temporary traffic arrangements, cyclist and/or pedestrian diversions, road occupation, temporary road closures and temporary changes to speed limits.
A number of road closures and detours would be required to allow for safe construction next to or over live traffic for the installation of bridges on Elizabeth Drive and M7 Motorway, The Northern Road, and the Clifton Avenue realignment.
The existing off-road pedestrian and cycle path along the M7 Motorway would need to be relocated further east however would be constructed and opened before decommissioning the existing path so that access is maintained.
A construction transport and traffic management plan will be prepared which will outline measures to maintain access to properties, manage construction vehicle access and movement and the development of a signage strategy. Further ongoing consultation will also be carried out with affected community members in accordance with a Community Communication Strategy that will be prepared for the project to manage impacts during construction.
There would be general improvement to network performance, particularly in the evening peak. Overall, the project would lead to lower delays and higher average speeds across the network, with projected future traffic growth in the region mainly generated by the Western Sydney International Airport and surrounding urban development, rather than by the project itself.
Traffic would improve at intersections along Elizabeth Drive corridor between The Northern Road and Mamre Road. However for intersections east of Mamre Road, trips using this section of Elizabeth Drive would not have access to the M12 Motorway as an alternative route, so the traffic improvements in this section would be limited. Forecast traffic would also exceed capacity at the Elizabeth Drive – M7 interchange.
Travel times on the M7 Motorway and Elizabeth Drive would increase with the project during the morning peak, while travel times on The Northern Road and the M4 Motorway would increase with the project in the evening peak. These increases would be caused by merging traffic at the M12 Motorway-M7 Motorway interchange, and by changes in access to Western Sydney International Airport, respectively.
Although travel times would increase over time as traffic demand grows, the change is small (less than five minutes along the length of the motorway), which demonstrates that the project has sufficient capacity to perform acceptably with forecast 2036 traffic volumes.
Consultation with the Traffic Management Centre and Northwest Roads will continue regarding the management of potential operational traffic impacts.
Urban design and visual impacts
Key potential visual impacts during construction primarily relate to residential receivers that would have views of construction activities such as the use of ancillary facilities, tree removal, hoardings and temporary noise barriers, and increased vehicle movements and personnel in the area. However most of the project would traverse rural properties or parklands resulting in only a few residential receivers near construction activities.
However, some landscape character zones were identified as having a high sensitivity to change, and would therefore experience the largest reduction in landscape quality during construction. These mainly include those areas that are more elevated such as The Northern Road Ridgeline and Luddenham Rolling Hills. Overall landscape character impacts during construction would be relatively low and temporary in nature.
A detailed Landscape Plan will be prepared for the project and implemented throughout construction. The plan will guide the implementation of measures to minimise landscape character and visual impacts, including revegetation requirements.
The introduction of a substantial infrastructure element into an existing Cumberland Plain landscape is expected to have landscape character impacts ranging from moderate-low to high. A high landscape character impact would be expected around the proposed Western Sydney International Airport interchange, where the existing relatively flat terrain would be affected by the scale of the interchange and the realignment of Elizabeth Drive over the project. Areas where the project would transverse the Western Sydney Parklands and fragment the residual land between the project and Elizabeth Drive would also be expected to experience a high landscape character impact.
Potential visual impacts from elements such as permanent lighting, possible noise barriers, earthworks and large structures range from low, where the views of the project would be generally at a distance such as in areas of agricultural land, to high where existing high-quality rural views are relatively undisturbed and close to residential receivers, or where the scale of the project significantly impacts the integrity of the view.
An urban design and landscape plan will be prepared to minimise landscape character and visual impacts and detail the implementation of landscape features to be installed as part of the project, including revegetation requirements. Where possible, re-vegetation will prioritise Cumberland Plain Woodland and local native species grown from locally sourced seed with consideration to the requirements of the NASF. A tree management strategy will also be prepared for the project, which will describe requirements for the replacement trees including provisions for a net increase in the number of trees (not identified as being within an endangered ecological community).
Balarinji (an Aboriginal-owned agency) has been engaged to manage the Aboriginal cultural heritage design process that informed the concept design to create a unique and distinct identity interpreting a rich sense of place, that embraces Aboriginal and cultural heritage across the project. The findings and recommendation of this process will be incorporated into the urban design and implemented as part of the project, including interpretive initiatives.
Socio-economic, land use and property
The M12 Motorway would involve the full acquisition of five properties and partial acquisition of 36 properties. Temporary leases of land would also be required to accommodate ancillary construction facilities. This includes about 10 commercial properties and land within the Western Sydney Parklands.
Partial property acquisition may require permanent adjustments to some private properties, including adjustments to access, fencing and farm infrastructure, and may also result in severance or fragmentation of some rural properties and impacts on farming operations.
The project would directly impact on existing social infrastructure including about 90 hectares of land within the Western Sydney Parklands and the Wylde Mountain Bike Trail.
Other impacts include potential impacts on local amenity and character of the local area during construction associated with noise and vibration, dust, traffic, and reduced visual amenity. Potential amenity issues arising during construction would be managed in accordance with the management measures outlined in the CEMP and relevant sub plans including a noise and vibration management plan, an air quality management plan and the urban design and landscape plan.
A Personal Acquisition Manager has been appointed to assist landowners and residents affected by acquisition, including dispute resolution and counselling. Consultation with affected landowners will also continue in accordance with a Community Communication Strategy that would be prepared for the project.
Roads and Maritime will continue to work with Western Sydney Parklands Trust to support their delivery of a replacement for the Wylde Mountain Bike Trail prior to construction of the project.
There are 19 Aboriginal sites that would be directly impacted by the project during construction, mostly consisting of broad distributions of Aboriginal stone artefacts associated with major creeks. Of these, 11 sites would be subject to partial harm as they extend outside the construction footprint and would be left partially intact. Eight sites would be wholly impacted.
Three areas of high cultural significance associated with recorded sites would also be impacted. These sites were identified by the Registered Aboriginal Parties during fieldwork but are not gazetted Aboriginal Places under S86(4) of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
A heritage interpretation framework will be prepared to guide development of the detailed urban design for the project and will draw on the findings and recommendation of the Aboriginal cultural heritage design process managed by Balarinji (2019).
A construction cultural heritage management plan will be prepared which will outline procedures and exclusion zones for avoiding impacts on known Aboriginal heritage items. A detailed Aboriginal cultural salvage strategy will also be prepared for the project in consultation with project Registered Aboriginal Parties and Environment, Energy and Science Group of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to guide the salvage excavation process for Aboriginal sites.
The project would have a major impact on four heritage items and a minor impact on one item:
- McGarvie Smith Farm (State significance, major impact)
- McMaster Field Station (State significance, major impact)
- Fleurs Aerodrome (local significance, major impact)
- Cecil Park School, Post Office and Church Site (local significance, major impact)
- The Fleurs Radio Telescope Site (State and potential national significance, minor impact).
There would be a negligible impact on four other heritage items where the project was able to avoid direct impacts.
A construction cultural heritage management plan will be prepared and will outline procedures and exclusion zones for avoiding impacts on known non-Aboriginal heritage items.
The heritage interpretation framework will identify opportunities for design responses to non-Aboriginal heritage and include for the integration of heritage themes and values to be incorporated.
Noise and vibration
During standard daytime working hours, the highest (‘Peak’) impacts during construction would be experienced at relatively low numbers of residential receivers to the east of the M7 Motorway and north of Elizabeth Drive at the eastern end of the project, north of Elizabeth Drive near Salisbury Ave and near Clifton Avenue in the north of the construction footprint.
Night-time works are only proposed in certain areas (associated with bridges, roadworks and ancillary facilities), with only a small number of receivers predicted to have ‘Peak’ impacts around Clifton Avenue and Salisbury Avenue. ‘Moderate’ impacts are predicted east of the M7 Motorway, along Elizabeth Drive to about Kemps Creek, and near Luddenham Road at the western end of the project. Compliant noise levels or ‘minor’ impacts are predicted for the rest of the study area.
There may be vibration impacts to about 19 structures or buildings, including the Upper Canal (also state heritage listed) and two high pressure gas pipelines.
A construction noise and vibration management plan will be prepared and will include procedures for extended and out-of-hours work as well as measures to minimise vibration impacts on structures. Further consultation with utility owners will be carried out to identify vibration criteria for assets and vibration monitoring will be carried out during construction.
About 262 receivers (183 individual buildings) are predicted to have exceedances of the operational road traffic noise criteria for the project and considered eligible for consideration of additional noise mitigation.
Operational road noise mitigation measures will be investigated and may include at-source and at-property noise treatments. Appropriate measures will be subject to a reasonable and feasible assessment and will be considered in order of preference from at-source treatment through to quieter road pavement surfaces, noise mounds, noise barriers or at-property treatments.
The project is unlikely to have a flooding impact on existing buildings in the area surrounding the project. Outside of the project’s operational footprint, the proposed flooding conditions are expected to be largely the same as existing, even during large flooding events (e.g. 100-year ARI).
The modelling of the main creeks shows there is minimal increase to existing afflux levels and surrounding land use would be unaffected by this increase. However, modelling of the minor drainage lines indicates that there may be an increase in volumes and rates of flow which would potentially impact surrounding land use. This would need to be managed through mitigation such as detention basins and scour protection, which will be considered during detailed design.
Flood modelling during detailed design will incorporate updated regional flood modelling to account for expected major development in surrounding areas. A construction flood management plan will also be prepared and will include requirements for ongoing monitoring to minimise potential impacts during construction.
Surface water quality and hydrology
During both construction and operation, the main risks to downstream water quality would be from the release of pollutants including sediment, hydrocarbons, metals and nutrients contained in uncontrolled stormwater runoff. This could lead to impacts on stream health and aquatic flora and fauna, requiring mitigation through temporary and permanent water quality control structures such as sediment basins and swales.
During operation, there is unlikely to be a significant change to hydrology and flow distribution across the broader catchment. However, there is the potential for localised changes in flow from one sub-catchment to the next. An increase in flows could result in additional water supply and more frequent overtopping of some farm dams, and potentially increase the risk of flooding, scour and erosion. Conversely, a decrease in flow due to changed flow paths could result in a reduced water supply to some farm dams. These operational impacts are considered minor and manageable through the adoption of appropriate measures.
A construction soil and water management plan will be prepared and will include measures to manage water quality during construction and outline erosion and sediment control measures that would need to be implemented. A water reuse strategy will also be developed for both construction and operation to reduce reliance on potable water.
A surface water monitoring program will be developed for both construction and operation to establish baseline conditions, observe any changes in surface water during construction and following the completion of construction, and inform appropriate management responses.
Groundwater quality and hydrology
Groundwater is likely to be intercepted only within a road cutting over a distance of about 250 metres, between The Northern Road and Luddenham Road. The project is unlikely to intercept the water table at other locations.
However, there are expected to be very low to negligible inflow rates at this location, and a maximum drawdown of 1.61 metres is expected during construction, which is within the bounds of natural variability that would occur in response to changing long-term climate conditions.
The extent of the groundwater level reduction or ‘radius of influence’ associated with drainage of the western cut was estimated to extend about 60 metres from the base of the cut. The cutting is therefore unlikely to result in impacts to water supply bores in the surrounding area, mapped groundwater dependant ecosystems, or alluvial groundwater systems given their distance from the works. The project is also expected to result in minor and acceptable impact to groundwater levels.
Based on the minimal impact considerations outlined in the NSW DPI Office of Water NSW Aquifer Interference Policy, project construction impacts relating to groundwater level/ pressure are considered acceptable. There is also minimal potential for groundwater quality to be impacted by the project during construction, or for groundwater quality to cause impacts.
With the exception of recharge from project stormwater basin water, operational impacts on groundwater quality are not expected to differ from those which are likely to occur due to construction impacts.
Potential impacts on groundwater flows will be reconsidered as the detailed design for the project progresses with the aim of ensuring that the groundwater controls proposed for the design would remain effective in mitigating groundwater impacts.
Groundwater monitoring will be carried out as part of the construction water quality monitoring program, which will also include monitoring for at least six months of operation to verify there are no groundwater impacts and the management measures are adequate.
Soils and contamination
A number of potential moderate to high risk areas of environmental interest (AEIs) along the project may be disturbed during construction. These are largely associated with a number of landfills and areas of potential fill and dumped material. Asbestos was also confirmed within the construction footprint along Range Road, Cecil Park. There may also be asbestos within other areas within the construction footprint, which may include a greater concentration of surficial asbestos between the airport interchange and Western Sydney Parklands where denser residential and commercial/industrial land uses are present.
There is a potential for soil vapour contamination beneath areas next to the SUEZ Kemps Creek Resource Recovery Park which may result in explosion and asphyxiation if not appropriately managed during construction.
There is a moderate to high risk of saline soils throughout the construction footprint. Disturbance of these soils may result in impacts such as those on the ecological health of waterbodies, structures, and agricultural production. Given the expected disturbance and terrain of the construction footprint, there is also a risk of soil erosion, particularly on existing slopes.
A contaminated land management plan will be prepared along with an asbestos management plan and a hazardous building materials management plan to manage impacts associated with the disturbance of contaminated material. Further investigations will also be undertaken to determine the extent of contamination within the construction footprint, including intrusive asbestos investigations and detailed investigations to assess the extent of high-risk soil gas.
Dust generated during clearing and demolition, excavation, materials handling, stockpiling and compaction activities is expected to be the primary air quality-related risk during construction. If not appropriately managed, elevated airborne or deposited dust levels have the potential to cause adverse health or nuisance impacts and can also impact on vegetation.
When considering the number of receivers near the project and amount of dust likely to be generated by each type of construction activity, a high overall risk of dust impacts was identified for ecological receivers along most of the project, along with a high risk to human health for receivers between Western Sydney International Airport access road and Clifton Avenue. The project is therefore likely to present a high risk of dust impacts without the implementation of management measures. However provided risks are adequately managed through the implementation of the proposed management measures, significant residual impacts are not anticipated.
A construction air quality management plan will be prepared to manage dust and other emissions during construction.
The key air quality pollutants generated during operation would be associated with the combustion of fossil fuels in motor vehicles. Pollutants generally associated with these include particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and volatile organic compounds. Emissions of these pollutants can be linked to impacts at a local scale on human health and amenity, heritage and ecological values, along with impacts at wider regional scales.
There would likely be Increases in pollutants in surrounding areas due to forecast increases in traffic accessing the Western Sydney International Airport and surrounding urban development, regardless of the project. While the project may result in some increases in emissions when compared to no project scenarios in future 2026 and 2036 scenarios, these increases would largely be below the relevant assessment criteria, and would not be substantially above the expected concentrations associated with forecast traffic in the study area. The exception is annual PM2.5 concentrations which are already likely to already be at the assessment criteria under existing conditions. While these concentrations may increase in certain areas when compared to no project scenarios, they would not be substantially different, and would reduce in some areas (eg near M7 Motorway) when compared to existing concentrations and future no project scenarios.
Health and safety
As the safety of workers and the public is a priority for Roads and Maritime, a work health and safety plan will be prepared for the project. This will support the management measures and procedures included in the CEMP, including site and activity-specific Safe Work Method Statements.
It is anticipated that health risks associated with dust, noise and vibration, contaminated land, and other environmental hazards would be low following the implementation of appropriate management measures.
The project is unlikely to result in significant environmental hazards associated with increased noise and vibration levels, or reduced air quality. Contamination hazards would also be minor in nature and not expected to constitute an environmental hazard.
The project would provide a more direct, alternative route to the Western Sydney International Airport than Elizabeth Drive and the local road network. Cyclists and pedestrians would also have access to the proposed shared user path, a safe off-road facility which would also remove the risks associated with cycling on road adjacent to general traffic. As a result, there would be a beneficial impact to the safety of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
The project would contribute to improved access and connectivity to regional, State and national level community services and facilities within or near the study area through improved travel time savings and improved travel time reliability. The project would also provide additional opportunities for people to increase levels of physical exercise and journeys made by active travel modes.
The sustainability themes and objectives outlined within relevant guidelines such as the Transport for NSW Sustainable Design Guidelines v4.0 and the Roads and Maritime Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2015-2019, were considered within the design of the project and preparation of the EIS.
Sustainability has been implemented during the preparation of the design, including avoidance of environmental impacts where possible, and assessment of impacts and identification of measures to minimise impacts. The design has also considered sustainability principles and requirements of Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s (ISCA) Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating tool.
A strategy has been established to ensure that the desired sustainability outcomes outlined within applicable guidelines can be implemented in future stages of the project (eg during detailed design) when they are most applicable and to ensure that the project can achieve an ‘Excellent’ IS rating.
The overarching sustainability objectives for the project will be met through the implementation of a sustainability management plan and project specific sustainability initiatives. The sustainability management plan will be prepared during the detailed design phase for the detailed design and construction phase of the project.
Waste generated during construction would primarily be from works associated with clearing, stripping, demolition of existing structures, earthworks and construction of road carriageways, retaining soil structures and/or walls, bridges and drainage infrastructure. However, construction of the project would require a greater quantity of fill than the quantity of excavation material generated, and all material that is suitable for reuse would be used for construction activities. The remaining material that is determined unsuitable for reuse would be transported offsite for reuse, recycling or disposal at an appropriately licensed facility.
Mismanagement of waste during construction would have the potential to result in excessive materials being sent to landfill instead of being recycled or reused, impacts to human health and the environment, and amenity impacts associated with dust, noise and traffic due to inadequate storage, handling and transport of waste.
A construction waste and resource management plan will be prepared for the project. This will include a spoil management plan which would outline appropriate management procedures for the generation and importation of spoil.
The impact of operational waste is expected to be minimal and will be managed through the through the application of standard Roads and Maritime and Council operating and maintenance Environmental Management Systems and procedures.
Climate change risk and greenhouse gas
A number of potential moderate and high climate change risks were identified for the project during construction and operation, such as those associated with extreme heat, extreme rainfall, bushfires and droughts.
Detailed design will incorporate appropriate adaptation measures to withstand extreme weather events and temperatures. Some of these may include selecting appropriate materials to withstand extreme temperatures, consideration of energy dissipation at culverts, use of fire tolerant native species for plantings, and maintenance of fauna passages along creek lines.
A climate change monitoring and adaptive management framework will also be prepared and implemented for the project, which will incorporate performance monitoring criteria and measures.
Construction greenhouse gas emissions would be generated by vegetation clearing, fuel consumption, and production of construction materials. However during operation, activities generating greenhouse gas emissions would mainly be associated with electricity use, diesel fuel for the operation of maintenance vehicles and embodied energy within road materials, and the use of the road by vehicles.
Targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be included in the project sustainability management plan. Goods and services will be sourced locally and be energy efficient/have low embodied energy where feasible.
Summary of environmental management measures
Roads and Maritime’s Environment Policy Statement outlines the commitment to effectively manage any impact that lead to an adverse impact on the environment. The impacts associated with the project were assessed in accordance with the SEARs.
This chapter presents a consolidated summary of the environmental management measures that have been identified for each environmental discipline in the assessment process throughout the EIS. This chapter also presents the framework for managing potential impacts and outlines the structure and hierarchy of the management plans that would be prepared for the project.
Environmental risk analysis
This chapter outlines the environmental risk analysis process and identifies key environmental risks associated with the project that were identified through this process.
The process to assess environmental risk has involved:
- Undertaking a preliminary environmental investigation as part of the State significant infrastructure scoping report
- Assessing the key issues and other issues presented in the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) issued for the project
- Undertaking an environmental risk analysis to identify key environmental risks associated with the project.
This chapter also outlines the relevant management measures to address the associated risks and assesses the potential for residual risks following the implementation of these measures.
Project justification and conclusion
This chapter presents a justification for undertaking project and a conclusion to the EIS. The justification considers how the project balances strategic and project needs against the protection of the environment and planning outcomes outlined in the objects of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, including ecologically sustainable development and community consultation.
This environmental assessment has addressed the key issues identified in the SEARs issued under Division 5.2 of the EP&A Act and the relevant provisions of Schedule 2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000. Provided the measures and commitments specified in the EIS are applied and effectively implemented during the detailed design, construction and operational phases, the identified environmental impacts are considered to be acceptable and manageable.
The project is justified in relation to its strategic transport need and its anticipated benefits, taking into account biophysical, economic and social considerations, including ecologically sustainable development and cumulative impacts. The project is considered to best meet the project objectives when compared to other alternatives and options.
The project synthesis summarises the technical details and findings of the EIS including an overview of the project. It details how impacts have been minimised through the development of the project design and consideration of alternatives, and outlines any uncertainties and approach to design refinements.
Key impacts and management measures are summarised as well as discussion of how the project addresses the performance outcomes outlined in the SEARs. The project justifications are also included, taking into account biophysical, economic and social considerations, including ecologically sustainable development and cumulative impacts.