Two ancient river red gums in the path of the Yan Yean Road upgrade could be saved, with the state government announcing an environmental effects statement for the project.

The statement will cover potential environmental, social, economic and cultural impacts of the upgrade in Doreen.

The investigation will be assessed by an independent panel and will inform the final design for stage two of the Yan Yean Road upgrade, which will widen the road between Kurrak and Bridge Inn roads.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne’s decision to complete an environmental effects statement for the project follows a community campaign calling for the trees, on the corner of Doctors Gully and Yan Yean roads, to be saved.

As reported by Star Weekly, the Yeomans family, whose property the trees are on, launched the campaign in May last year.

The family says an arborist and local Wurundjeri people believe the trees to be 400 and 500 years old, placing them among the oldest gum trees in Victoria.

Yan Yean MP Danielle Green said she was aware that the community had a “strong desire” to retain the trees.

“The environmental effects statement will make sure we minimise impacts on the local environment,” she said.

“The EES is yet another opportunity to consult with the community to explore options as we finalise the design.”

Submissions can be made until Friday, May 17.