A section of Melbourne's eastern freeway could soon be part of the city's monuments after Heritage Victoria recommended its inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register.

The inner-city freeway built in the 1970s has been nominated for consideration along an almost nine kilometre stretch between Hoddle Street and Bulleen Road.

One of the reasons listed for its inclusion are “its clear association with the early development of freeways in Victoria”.

Another significant factor determining the freeway’s nomination is its cultural significance “for the prolonged and at times violent community protests that met its announcement, construction and opening.”

“Its termination at Hoddle Street/Alexandra Parade became the rallying point for protesters concerned about the impact of freeways in general,” Heritage Victoria executive director Steven Avery said in his recommendation.

If this nomination is successful, it would mean permits will be needed for any construction connecting to that section of freeway.

Bulleen Road would mark the starting point of the North East Link, one of Victoria’s biggest road projects worth $15.8 billion.

The opposition has branded this recommendation as “ridiculous,” claiming it’s hard to understand why it is worthy of heritage listing.

“The Eastern Freeway is a dirty, great, big freeway. How on earth does it warrant heritage protection?” shadow minister Tim Smith said.