The issue

A massive 10-lane, 65-metre wide trench cutting through the middle of Watsonia is proposed as part of the northern section of North East Link (NEL). It will be so big it will separate people from shops, services, schools and the station. A grey concrete trench will impact our leafy green community forever.
Council Plan: Vic Gov Plan:

Images shown are an an artistic representation of Banyule Council's proposal for a green lid and an artistic reproduction of the Government's North East Link design.

Our Plan

We’ve worked with tunnelling, analytics and modelling experts and identified a better option. That is to put a lid over the trench that will:

  • create a green bridge over a grey trench
  • help keep businesses open and our community thriving
  • create more than three hectares of land that in years to come can be used to create the places and spaces our community needs and deserves
  • boost accessibility and access between Watsonia Village, the train station and car park

  • A treed lid creates green open space – more than three hectares
  • Provides access from one side of Watsonia to the other
  • Wider landscaping buffer between homes and Greensborough Highway
  • Replanting of at least 700 trees
  • Underground carpark linked to an expanded Watsonia Village across both sides of railway line, better integration and accessibility
  • Able to pursue future development opportunities, to create the places and spaces that the community needs and deserves (current and future)
  • Renewing the gateway to Watsonia

Government's Plan

  • The current plans for the northern section of North East Link put a massive 10-lane trench through Watsonia.
  • Wall to wall, the trench will be 65 metres wide, equivalent to an 18-storey building lying on its side.
  • At some points it will be 100 metres wide, with 18 lanes of asphalt (driving, service and on/off lanes).
  • It will divide our community, threaten the viability of businesses, increase noise and visual clutter.
  • It will split Watsonia in two and separate people from shops, services, the train station and each other.

  • More than 100 metres wide in places
  • Delays and disruptions likely to effect local traders.
  • Separates station / carpark from Watsonia Village
  • Does not improve existing accessibility issues
  • Noisy and visually unappealing
  • Community places and open spaces will never be able to be developed above the trench – a significant opportunity missed
  • Splits Banyule down the middle


  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Put a lid on it!

    We are calling on the Government to put a green lid over NEL and provide more greenery, connections into Watsonia and future proof the area.

  • Timeline item 2 - active

    A builder appointed

    The Victorian Government will soon announce a builder for the the northern section of NEL .

We need to get it right

We've been advocating for many years to improve NEL. Now we need your help to get a green bridge for Banyule.

Contact us

Have questions or want to learn more about this project, contact us below:

Name Michele Purtle
Phone 0403 159 388