Hexham Relief Road (Hunter Region) – EIS, CEMP and EPL
Situated in New South Wales, 120 km north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley Region is rich in natural resources. Significantly connected to coal mining, the economy in the Hunter Valley Region continues to expand due to global demand for reliable and high quality coal. The Port of Newcastle remains the world’s largest facility for the export of coal.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) leases and operates the Hunter Valley Rail Network which services the rail transport needs of the Hunter Valley region network. In 2009 ARTC created the Upper Hunter Valley Alliance (UHVA) to undertake a program of works to upgrade the network to ensure it has sufficient capacity to meet the anticipated volumes of coal being transported from the mines to the Port of Newcastle.
The $163 million Hexham Relief Roads project aims to provide the capability to buffer an array of variations in real time operations and therefore is a contributor to the development of robustness in operability and flexibility for the rail network servicing the Port of Newcastle. The project involves the design and construction of five relief roads (train lines) and associated infrastructure in the vicinity of Hexham station to allow trains to be temporarily diverted off the main tracks while they wait to enter the loading facilities at Newcastle port.
As a sub-Alliance partner, KMH was responsible for preparing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project in accordance with Part 5.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979. The project was approved by the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure on 30 September 2013. KMH also prepared the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) and Environment Protection Licence (EPL) for the project. The CEMP was approved by the Minister on 9 December 2013 and the EPL on 5 December 2013.
KMH has a unique ability to take projects from the options identification and assessment stages through to pre-construction approvals and into construction. Our experience in implementing environmental management and mitigation measures during construction is incorporated into the environment assessment process to ensure our EISs provide practical solutions to managing environmental impacts.
As an integral member of the Alliance, KMH has provided expertise into the concept and detailed design, and construction planning elements of the project. This has ensured that mitigations for environment and community impacts have been incorporated into the design on the project, thereby reducing these impacts. This knowledge has also been incorporated into the CEMP to provide a practical on-site environmental management tool. KMH will be responsible for environment and community matters during construction. Project construction is scheduled to take 15 months.KMH was engaged by Sutherland Shire Council (SSC) to perform level 2 and 3 energy audits of their top energy using facilities which included Aquatic and Sport Centres, Administration Buildings, Library, Art Gallery, Works Depot and an Entertainment Centre. The focus of this work was to identify energy efficiency opportunities and to provide guidance for developing energy precinct scale solutions.
If you would like to know more about this project, please contact KMH Environmental.