Overhead photograph of a highway and bridge running over the top on a sunny day

North East Link

Helping Melbourne to move more efficiently in the north-east.

The North East Link project is the biggest ever investment in Melbourne’s north-east and changes the way people move around Melbourne. Once complete, the North East Link Tunnels will provide a critical link between Melbourne’s freeway network. The 6.5km twin tunnels are estimated to remove 15,000 trucks off local roads each day and reduce travel time by up to 35 minutes. By diverting traffic through the tunnels, the project also frees up extensive space for parklands and wetlands.

The APP Group, Arup and Aurecon, as the joint venture AAAJV, were appointed as the Independent Reviewer and Environmental Auditor by principal contractor Spark Consortium for the North East Link project in 2021. Through its combined expertise and experience in major civil and tunnelling projects, the AAAJV team will provide independent assurance that the project is delivered in accordance with all project requirements and objectives. The team also has a role in the independent review of project activities including design reports, construction packages, design and construction management, and Environmental Auditing to verify that Spark Consortium is compliant with more than 100 strict environmental requirements.

The North East Link Tunnels project is funded by the Australian and Victorian governments and is part of Victoria’s Big Build program. The tunnels are expected to open in 2028. 

Spark Consortium, Victorian Government
Melbourne, Victoria
Project status
2021 – Active
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Artistic render of modern new building for the motorway control centre
Overhead photograph of a bridge in Melbourne, Victoria on a sunny day

AAAJV adopted the cloud-based software ‘Fulcrum’ to drive greater efficiency and automation. The software generates tags and traces project-specific records, observations, photos and entries for better record keeping and resolution of compliance issues. Teams can easily access past and current information and provide feedback leading to higher quality outcomes.

The North East Link project is estimated to support 10,000 jobs and provide a range of inclusive employment opportunities. The AAAJV, in partnership with one of Australia’s leading employment social enterprises, Brotherhood of St Laurence, offers a career pathways program with the goal of creating a robust and resilient local workforce for this and other projects.

Finding efficiencies and optimising how we work is critical in our role as Independent Reviewer and Environmental Auditor. This is a highly technical project, so harnessing the latest technology has been key to us meeting our responsibilities in support of the successful delivery of the project.

Bianca Diffin, Independent Review Director – The APP Group for AAAJV