Environmental management on WestConnex

Environmental management is key to the successful delivery of the WestConnex projects. We have invested in project-specific environmental professionals to develop and operate under robust environmental management systems that advise, guide, monitor and report on our environmental obligations. 

For a consolidated view of project specific environmental information such as management plans, compliance tracking reports, licences and conditions of approval, please click on the relevent link below:

WestConnex is being delivered in accordance with:

  • The measures identified in the related Environmental Impact Statement and Submissions and Preferred Infrastructure Report
  • The Conditions of Approvals set out by the Department of Planning and Environment and the Minister for Planning
  • The related project Environmental Protection Licences.
  • The NSW Environment Protection Authority, which monitors compliance with the Environmental Protection Licences and regulates environmental performance
  • NSW Department of Planning and Environment, which monitors compliance with the conditions of project approval and mitigation measures agreed to during planning approval
  • Australian Department of the Environment and Energy, which regulates national environmental laws.

The WestConnex Strategic Environmental Review identifies the major environmental benefits and key challenges associated with WestConnex. 

Each WestConnex project is subject to a thorough environmental impact assessment under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. 

This process involves the preparation and public exhibition of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Each EIS includes information on the project design, air quality, heritage, traffic and transport impacts, and the management of other construction and operational impacts. 

We invite stakeholders and members of the community to provide feedback during the preparation and exhibition of the EISs for our projects. All submissions are addressed in a Submissions and Preferred Infrastructure Report and submitted to the Minister for Planning for his consideration in the planning approval assessment.

These WestConnex projects have received planning approval: 

In addition, the New M5 project had the potential to impact on some species listed under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity (EPBC) Act 1999. This meant it needed approval from the Australian Government Minister for the Environment, in addition to environmental and planning approvals required under State legislation. Australian Government approval was given on Monday 11 July 2016. 

We are now building these projects following the mitigation measures in their EIS, the Submissions and Preferred Infrastructure Report and the conditions of approval issued by the Department of Planning and Environment.

WestConnex focuses on resource efficiency through considered avoidance, use, reuse, recycling, and waste management.

We explore ways to minimise energy use and choose materials with a lower environmental impact.

Through a combination of well-designed infrastructure, and the transfer of vehicles from surface roads to tunnels, we are on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 610,000 tonnes each year once WestConnex is complete in 2023.

Our principal contractors prepare and implement an Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Strategy, detailing processes to reduce energy usage during construction and operation. This includes integrating energy efficient elements into the design of the New M4, New M5 and M4-M5 Link, such as:

  • LED lighting to reduce electricity usage
  • low pressure fans requiring less energy for tunnel ventilation
  • mainline tunnels designed for long term performance.