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Linking Gold Coast rail networks on track

Linking Gold Coast rail networks on track

The connection of light and heavy rail networks in Queensland is on track, with Stage 2 of the Gold Coast Light Rail project pending design and construction.

Firms: DLA Piper (Keolis Downer Gold Coast Pty Ltd); Allens (GoldLinQ Pty Ltd)

Deal: Keolis Downer Gold Coast Pty Ltd has successfully undertaken a financial close with for the Queensland government (GoldLinQ) tender process on Stage 2 of the Gold Coast Light Rail project.

Value: Confidential

Area: Banking and ginance

Key players: The DLA Piper team was led by the firm’s Asia-Pacific transport and PPP practice head Alex Guy (pictured), with support from senior foreign legal associates Brendan Hanvey and Kim Broadbent. The team was also assisted by special counsel José de Ponte and solicitors Kate McKenzie and Codie Gippel.

The Allens team was led by partner David Donnelly and Nicholas Ng with assistance from partner James Darcy, senior associate Matthew De Remer, senior associate Matt Thomas, as well as associates David Yang and Timothy Leschke.

Deal significance: The Queensland government gave its go-ahead for plans to connect an existing light rail system at Southport to the heavy rail network at Helensvale station in August last year. 

Stretching over seven kilometres, the planned route will connect existing light rail at the Gold Coast University Hospital station to the heavy rail network at Helensvale station, adjacent to the Gold Coast line.

According to the state's Department of Transport and Main Roads, project construction is expected to commence in 2016 and will be completed well ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. It is the second stage of what the government describes will be a "world class public transport system for residents and visitors to the Gold Coast".

DLA Piper has advised Keolis Downer on all phases of Stage 1 of the PPP Gold Coast Light Rail project – including the bid, financial close, and construction and operation phases – and has now advised Keolis Downer to successful financial close on Stage 2.

Keolis Downer will continue to operate and maintain Stage 1 of the light rail system while CPB Contractors design and construct Stage 2. Upon practical completion of Stage 2, Keolis Downer will operate and maintain the extended alignment.

Alex Guy, DLA Piper’s PPP practice head, said that the firm was pleased to be involved in the growing Gold Coast infrastructure.

“DLA Piper is pleased to have partnered with Keolis Downer on another successful project,” Mr Guy said.

Keolis Downer is a joint venture between Keolis Australia Pty Ltd and Downer EDI Rail Pty Ltd.

GoldLinQ Pty Ltd was contracted by the Queensland government for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of the light rail system. GoldLinQ was advised by global firm Allens in the deal.

The Allens team also restructured GoldLinQ's original equity holding structure and refinanced the private sector debt for Stage 1 in order to support the expanded system.

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