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ACT light rail project signed off
Sparke Helmore picks up Curwoods partners:

ACT light rail project signed off

Stephen Carcano

A number of firms have advised on a contract for the first phase of the Canberra Metro Light Rail project.

Firms: Herbert Smith Freehills (Canberra Metro); Allens (Canberra Metro); Herbert Smith Freehills (John Holland and CPB Contractors); Corrs Chambers Westgarth (John Holland and Pacific Partnerships); Colin Biggers & Paisley (John Holland, CPB Contractors and Pacific Partnerships)

Deal: A consortium led by Pacific Partnerships signed a contract with the ACT government to build and operate a tram line from Gungahlin to Canberra's CBD.

Value: $710 million

Area: Government

Key players: HSF partners Peter Paradise and Erin Wakelin, along with senior associates Andrew Griffiths and Amelia Fleming, led a cross-practice team, with support from senior associate Anna Britten-Jones and solicitors Lauren Whitehead, Melissa Rubbo, Sam Cooper and Laura Ferraro. The design and construct joint venture was advised by partner Josh Sgro, special counsel Nicole Lacy and solicitor Lauren Davis.

The team from Colin Biggers & Paisley was led by partner Stephen Carcano, along with solicitor Teodor Lomaca.

Allens' team was headed up by partner Phillip Cornwell, managing associate Scott McCoy and associates Sunny Jong and Gabriela Wilson.

Deal significance: The Canberra Metro project will see a 12-kilometre light rail run between Canberra’s northern suburbs and its inner city.

A Canberra Metro consortium won the bid to work on the project in early February. A contract between the consortium and the ACT government was signed earlier this week to build the line from Gungahlin to the city.

Construction is expected to take three years and will begin within months, with trams expected to be operational by early 2019.

HSF advised the consortium and the design and construct joint venture (CPB Contractors and John Holland) throughout the competitive bidding process.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth advised the operation and maintenance joint venture (John Holland and Pacific Partnerships) in relation to the project.

Colin Biggers & Paisley advised both the joint ventures in relation to the key design and engineering consultant agreements for the project as well as the significant subcontracts with the Spanish company CAF and its Australian subsidiary.

CAF will supply trams for the network while its subsidiary will maintain the trains for the term.

Allens advised the financiers on the funding of the project.

According to a statement from Allens, the project is the largest public private partnership ever undertaken in the ACT and the second in the territory's history.

The ACT government will contribute $375 million towards the project in 2018-2019, funding from the sale of assets - including ACTTAB, ageing public housing and ACT government office accommodation - and includes a 15 per cent bonus from the Commonwealth as part of the Asset Recycling Initiative.

Editorial note: this deal has been updated with further information from CBP and Allens




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