23 Jul 2013

Clayton Utz congratulates Transport for NSW on North West Rail Link milestone

Sydney, 23 July 2013: The North West Rail Link is now firmly on target to transforming Sydney's public transport network, with the awarding late last month of a $1.15 billion contract to build the line’s 15 kilometre twin tunnels.

The contract represents a major milestone for Transport for NSW as the project delivery authority, and its advisers, Clayton Utz.

The North West Rail Link will deliver Australia’s first, fully-automated, rapid transit system.

It will comprise eight new stations, parking for 4,000 cars, two major bus interchanges and regular, safe and reliable rapid transit rail services between Chatswood and Cudgegong Road in North West Sydney. The 15 kilometre twin tunnels between Epping and Bella Vista will be the longest rail tunnels ever constructed in Australia.

A Clayton Utz team led by Construction and Major Projects partners John Shirbin and Sergio Capelli, special counsel Lina Fischer and lawyer Kathryn McCormack, has been advising Transport for NSW on all stages of the project since the firm's appointment as advisers in October 2011.

John said Clayton Utz was proud be part of the team that will continue to work alongside Transport for NSW in helping deliver this milestone project.

"The North West Rail Link will provide a critical link to north western Sydney and will form an important part of Sydney's public transport network. Over the coming decades, an extra 200,000 people will move into the region, taking its population above 600,000.  The North West Rail Link will deliver, for the first time, a reliable public transport service to a region which has the highest car ownership levels per household in Australia. Customers will benefit from a train at least every five minutes – a "turn up and go" service which means there is no need for a timetable."

He added: "The project's unique three-contract structure – two civil works contracts and an over-arching PPP – is ground breaking in project procurement terms."

On 25 June, the New South Wales government announced that it had awarded the $1.15 billion tunnelling contract to the Thiess, John Holland, Dragados joint venture – the first of three major contracts on the North West Rail Link to be awarded. Work will start immediately to get the first tunnel boring machine in the ground by the end of next year, with construction of the tunnels expected to be completed in the first half of 2017.

North West Rail Link is expected to open by the end of 2019 and has a project budget of $8.3 billion.

Clayton Utz's role on the North West Rail Link project reinforces the firm's significant reputation in supporting both government and private sector clients on the delivery of major road, rail and social infrastructure projects.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.