Community & Environment
A community information 'drop-in' session was held at the Gelorup Community Hall (40 Hasties Road, Gelorup) on Thursday, 22 August 2019, between 4.00pm - 7.00pm. This informal session provided information about the concept design of the southern section of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road project and provided the opportunity for community members to talk to the project team prior to the environmental referral.
The project team is engaging with stakeholders and the community on an ongoing basis.
While it is a complex project with multiple diverse stakeholders, our immediate priority has been to engage with those landowners and residents who are potentially directly impacted by the project. Briefing meetings have been held with directly impacted landowners in both the northern and southern sections, and contact with these community members is ongoing.
On 23 July we held a Local Access Strategy Workshop providing local residents who may be affected by the proposed Centenary Road interchange to have input into the local access options being considered.
We have also established two Community Reference Groups – one for the Northern/Central section, and one for the Southern section. These groups were established in mid 2018.
Find out more about the range of other groups to represent key stakeholders.
Consultation to date
Four Community Information Sessions were held in October 2018 – in Australind, Eaton, Bunbury and Gelorup and two were held in February 2019 – in Bunbury and Australind.
The ‘drop in’ sessions provided an opportunity for interested community members to review project information, meet the project team and ask questions. The meetings were well attended. The key themes raised by community members were alignment selection, environmental impacts and local access/connections.
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Community Reference Groups (CRG)
Nominations for membership of the CRGs were invited from residents, local businesses and community groups. All those who nominated for membership were accepted.
Meeting once a month, the Community Reference Groups:
- Provide a conduit for two-way communication and stakeholder input
- Communicate matters to, and from, their respective organisations, groups and committees
- Collaboratively inform the planning and development process for the project
- Assist in identifying and responding to project issues and opportunities identified by project stakeholders to ensure an optimal solution
- Provide issue-specific liaison in selecting / assessing options
Members of the CRG's represent a variety of social, economic and environmental values held within the greater Bunbury community. Interests represented across the two CRG’s include a mixture of local residents, representatives of local community/ resident groups, road users, landowners including directly affected landowners, businesses, business associations and environmental groups.
Terms of Reference
Northern and Central Community Reference Group Presentations
Southern Community Reference Group Presentations
The project requires various approvals, including environmental and funding. Environmental approvals are needed from both State and Federal environmental regulators. Funding to construct the project has been committed by both the Federal and State Governments, with final approvals provided through normal budgetary processes.
The environmental approvals process started this year. This involves sending referrals to both State and Federal regulators for both sections.
Two corridors were investigated as part of the southern alignment and included the preparation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports.
EIA Southern Section - GBRS
EIA Southern Section - Alternative alignment*
*In June 2019 the existing road reserve, previously identified in the Greater Bunbury Region Scheme, was selected for further planning and development. The alternative alignment will no longer be progressed.
What opportunities are available to provide formal feedback as part of the environmental approvals process?
There are three opportunities in the process which is managed by environmental regulators:
- At the start of the process when a decision is being made whether to assess the project, and if so what the level of assessment should be
- In review of the information submitted by Main Roads to the regulator(s)
- In response to the Draft Conditions that result if approval is granted
In June we referred the Northern and Central sections of the project to the Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE) for assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC). In September, we referred the Southern section.
In June we also referred the northern section to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for assessment under the Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act. In September, we referred the Southern section
On registration of this referral, the EPA will decide whether to assess the project and, if so, determine the level of assessment that will be applied. As part of this decision, the EPA will invite public comments through its consultation hub located on the EPA website . Typically, this public comment period is open for 7 days.
If the EPA decides to assess the project, there are five key steps involved in the proposal assessment process. Several of these steps provide further opportunity for the public to lodge comments or submissions.
Please visit the EPA website if you would like to learn more about the assessment process. Alternatively, you may wish to subscribe on the EPA website or sign up to receive notifications any time a new item is opened.
Read more information on the project urban design and landscaping in our fact sheet.
Noise and amenity
Noise impacts from new roads are managed under State Planning Policy 5.4 “Road and Rail Transport Noise and Freight Considerations in Land Use Planning”. As part of the environmental assessment process, we undertake noise monitoring to calibrate a noise model. A clearly defined process will be followed to assess noise impacts, and ensure once completed is compliant. This includes obtaining base line noise levels from monitoring noise at key points within the project alignment. In some cases noise monitors are placed on a resident’s property.
This data is then input into a modelling system and also takes into account a range of other variables, including:
- House ground levels
- Property fences
- Designed road ground levels
- Vehicle heights
- Future projected traffic volumes (2040)
- Heavy Vehicle numbers
- Road surface types
- Road gradients
Once the noise monitoring and modelling is completed, a peer review of the findings is conducted. The findings will then be presented to the Community Reference Groups and other communities of interest, with noise mitigation strategies being agreed.
These noise mitigation factors can take a variety of forms, including 'noise walls’ and architectural treatment ‘quiet’ pavement/road surface.
A complex range of factors impact on noise levels, including the topography of the land, the type of road surface, buildings, traffic volumes and types of vehicle. These are all taken into account in the noise model.
We use a range of mitigation measures in seeking to ensure that noise levels remain within the limits in State Planning Policy 5.4 . These include the construction of noise walls/bunds, or architectural treatments to individual properties.
In cases where the visual amenity of a residence is affected as a result of new road works, (i.e. the property outlook) we meet owners and discuss measures to reduce this impact. Examples include using screen planting (such as densely planted trees) as mitigation.
Find out more information in ourNoise and Visual Amenity Fact Sheet.
Infrastructure projects, such as large road projects like BORR, have significant ability to influence Economic, Environmental, Social and Governance outcomes/values from a local to national scale. It is therefore important that when we are planning for new road projects, we consider and identify opportunities and potential impacts prior to design and construction being undertaken, where the ability to influence sustainability outcomes becomes more limited for some aspects.
Infrastructure Sustainability Rating
The BORR Team has committed to undertake an Infrastructure Sustainability rating of the BORR Project during the planning stage. The project is applying the Infrastructure Sustainability V2.0 Planning rating scheme developed by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). BORR is the first major project to apply the new V2.0 Planning rating and it is anticipated that use of this tool will become the new industry standard.
V2.0 of the IS rating tool links sustainability aspects back to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This allows the project team to directly link project specific sustainability issues against a global framework and classification of impacts that are well recognised.
We have used the UN’s Sustainability Goals to guide the key areas of sustainability to be considered, and identified key priority areas for sustainability on the project.
Find more information on the UN website.
Why are we undertaking sustainability rating?
By undertaking a rating process, we assess the project against a number of sustainability aspects from governance to resource use and ecological impact. It also facilitates the development of a number of opportunities that will provide the project with sustainable outcomes. The process is evidence based and at completion of this phase, we provide ISCA with our assessment submission. An independent third-party verification is undertaken and following this, the project is awarded with a certification and rating which can be assessed against other major infrastructure projects across Australia.
For more information on ISCA’s Infrastructure Sustainability rating tools please visit the IS ratings website.
Climate change poses significant risks to our economies, communities and the natural environment and it is therefore important for major infrastructure projects to consider these risks within the design, construction and operation of the asset. In order to identify risks the BORR project team, in consultation with external groups, have undertaken a Natural Hazard and Climate Change Risk Assessment in compliance with AS 5334 and identified a number of treatment options for associated risks. This process gives us opportunity to address potential impacts of climate change over the lifecycle of the project (100 years+) and consider how resilient the project is to external shocks.