51 per cent stake in Sydney Motorway Corporation awarded

The NSW Government has announced that a 51 per cent stake in Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) has been awarded to a consortium in a $9.26 billion sale.

Sydney Transport Partners will pay $9.26 billion, with proceeds from the 42-year concession funding the M4-M5 Link – the final stage of WestConnex – and future infrastructure across the state.

NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, and Minister for WestConnex, Stuart Ayres, said the outcome was a validation of the Government’s asset recycling strategy.

“The transaction not only funds the completion of the congestion-busting WestConnex, but will allow the Government to inject billions more towards infrastructure projects like new schools and hospitals,” Mr Perrottet said.

“This project means people will be able to travel from the west and south west of Sydney with ease, spend less time in traffic, and get home to their families faster.”

Mr Ayres said the sale of WestConnex forms part of the Government’s core strategy to build budget strength while delivering a once-in-a-generation infrastructure pipeline, creating jobs and driving economic growth.

“We’re months from opening brand new 6.5km tunnels between Homebush and Haberfield and more than 75 per cent through tunneling on the New M5,” Mr Ayres said.

“For the first time in history Sydney will have a truly integrated motorway network, linking communities and providing a non-stop underground western bypass of Sydney’s CBD.”

The Government will retain a 49 per cent residual stake in SMC, with distributions directed into the NSW Generations Fund as announced in the 2018-19 Budget.

Sydney Transport Partners has obtained ACCC clearance. Transaction completion is conditional on Foreign Investment Review Board approval by the Commonwealth Treasurer.

The decision was welcomed by the Australian Logistics Council (ALC). Interim CEO, Lachlan Benson, said that Australia’s rapid rate of population growth is putting huge pressure on freight infrastructure networks and that ALC supports asset recycling.

“ALC has long supported asset recycling initiatives as an effective way to provide the capital needed to invest in the next generation of Australia’s freight infrastructure and alleviate capacity constraints.”

“Making an additional $9.3 billion available for the NSW Government will prove enormously beneficial in terms of constructing the sort of projects that will be needed to meet a rapidly growing freight task.”

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