Brisbane Airport Link

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Corrs Project team advised BrisConnections on all aspects of its successful bid, including negotiation of the project deed with the State, the design and construction sub-contract, and the operations and maintenance contract with the other project participants.

The project involved a $1.2 billion initial public offering of securities in BrisConnections and a $3 billion debt financing package.

Airport Link, a 6.7km multi-lane electronic free-flow toll road with dual 5.25km tunnels, will be Australia’s largest ever toll road infrastructure project by design and construction cost. The project is a priority transport infrastructure project for Brisbane and is designed to meet the needs of Brisbane’s rapidly rising population.

Corrs are the lead transaction lawyers for the BrisConnections consortium, which will deliver the Airport Link, Northern Busway and Airport Roundabout Upgrade projects. The Consortium, which includes Leighton Holdings, Macquarie Capital Group, Thiess and John Holland, was announced as preferred bidder for the project in May 2008.

Corrs advised on all aspects of its successful bid, including negotiation of the project deed with the State, the design and construction sub-contract, and the operations and maintenance contract with the other project participants.

The transaction was unusually complex. The design and construction sub-contract, for example, is the largest construction contract for an Australian Public-Private Partnership (PPP). It provides for the simultaneous design and construction of the publicly-financed and owned Northern Busway, the privately-financed and owned Airport Link toll road and publicly-financed and owned Airport Roundabout Upgrade.

Each type of work had its own challenges – the payment, environmental, approval, tenure and access regimes were different for each work package and had to be separately addressed in the subcontract.