The New South Wales Government has announced that the sale of its 49 per cent stake in the WestConnex underground motorway scheme has been finalised.
Sydney Transport Partners (STP) was the successful bidder with $11.1 billion in sale proceeds for the two 24.5 per cent stakes in WestConnex.
New South Wales Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, said, “This transaction continues our successful asset recycling strategy, which has been the cornerstone of our record $108.5 billion infrastructure pipeline that has built and upgraded schools, hospitals, road and rail across the state.”
Roads Australia President, Michael Bushby, said Sydney Transport Partner’s acquisition of the remaining WestConnex share is a win for Sydney’s integrated transport network.
“Roads Australia 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,” Mr Bushby said.
“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.”
The New South Wales Government launched the sale process for its remaining 49 per cent stake in WestConnex in November 2020.
The sale was structured as a two-tranche process to maximise competition.
Net proceeds from the sale will be invested in the New South Wales Generations Fund (NGF) – the state’s sovereign wealth fund – as required by legislation – before being used to retire an equivalent amount of debt.
WestConnex is Australia’s largest toll road project, and when complete, will enable motorists to travel over 50km from Penrith to the city without hitting a single traffic light.
Before the road was constructed motorists could face a trip of up to two hours from Penrith to the Sydney CBD.
In 2018, STP purchased a 51 per cent stake in WestConnex for $9.26 billion.
This money was used to fund the M4-M5 Link – the final stage of WestConnex – as well as other infrastructure throughout Western Sydney.
Key WestConnex highlights include:
- Around 40 minutes cut from an average peak journey between Parramatta and Sydney Airport
- Around 20 minutes cut from a peak hour trip between Burwood and Sydney Airport
- Bypassing 52 sets of traffic lights, including an uninterrupted journey between the Blue Mountains and Rozelle
The estimated construction cost to complete WestConnex is $16.8 billion with the final section due to open in late 2023.