Roads Australia (RA) President Michael Bushby says the New South Wales Government’s announcement that its remaining share of WestConnex has been acquired by the Sydney Transport Partners consortium is a win for Sydney’s integrated transport network.
“The WestConnex project is a prime example of how asset recycling can be used to deliver high-quality transport infrastructure for the community,” said Mr Bushby.
“As the nation’s largest toll road project, WestConnex plays a critical role within Sydney’s integrated transport network and supports vital road transport connections to Sydney Airport and key freight precincts. It also significantly reduces journey times and traffic congestion while improving road safety on key commuter routes throughout the Sydney road network.”
Mr Bushby applauded the WestConnex project for its implementation of smart technologies, noting the importance of private sector involvement.
“The WestConnex project also recognises the importance of technology in the operation of modern transport infrastructure, through its use of Smart Motorways and underground navigation technology that delivers an enhanced customer experience for users.”
“RA has consistently noted that the involvement of the private sector in designing, constructing, financing, operating and maintaining toll roads has facilitated the capture of the benefits of innovation, leading to better project and community outcomes.”
With yesterday’s announcement, the New South Wales Government has now transferred 100 per cent of its stake in WestConnex, a roughly 70 kilometre system of toll roads linking Sydney’s sprawling metro area, to the Sydney Transport Partners consortium.
The sale is part of the state government’s asset recycling strategy, to help fund its $108.5 billion of infrastructure pipeline.
Mr Bushby said the announcement would enable the NSW Government to continue investing in much-needed transport infrastructure for NSW communities and creating employment opportunities.
“Transport for NSW, WestConnex and Transurban are all valued members of Roads Australia – and we look forward to engaging with them as work continues to deliver the remaining stages of the WestConnex project.”
Transurban already owned 51 per cent of WestConnex along with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and domestic pension fund AustralianSuper. The New South Wales state government owned the remaining share.
Buying out the 49 per cent share from the state gives the group – of which Transurban owns a half share – the full financial benefit as more sections of the giant capital works project open to traffic in the next few years. The consortium added Canada’s Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec as a member.
WestConnex is Australia’s largest toll road project. When complete in 2023, WestConnex will provide motorists with a continuous 33-kilometre traffic-light free motorway network linking Sydney’s west to Sydney CBD, Sydney Airport and Port Botany.