CLAYTON UTZ has advised the Southern and Eastern Integrated Transport Authority (SEITA) on the development of Australia’s newest tollway, the $3.8 billion EastLink freeway project in Melbourne.
The 39-kilometre motorway connecting Victoria’s Monash, Eastern and Frankston freeways is due for completion mid-year but already in its design stages have picked up awards for budget, sustainability and innovation.
Melbourne-based partner Marko Misko and Brad Vann led the Clayton Utz major projects team in an advisory role that involved the developmental and contracting stages, as well as the tender process, the concession deed, the project scope, construction and technical requirements.
Misko said given the enormous nature of the project and the ongoing issues involved, Clayton Utz still has plenty of work ahead of them on the toll-way. “It might involve advice on customer relations, tolling issues, regulatory issues or refinancing,” he said.
So far the project is well and truly on track and considered a success with completion expected early, Misko said. The collaborative nature of the project means it’s a team-based effort and one that produces satisfying results for a construction lawyer. “It’s collaborative in the way the parties have worked together for a common goal,” Misko said. “It’s been a wonderful relationship between government and the private sector.”
Doug Jones, head of the Clayton Utz major projects team said the well-regarded project and gave the firm a boast in significant experience around major infrastructure works.
“EastLink is one of the largest [public-private partnerships] ever carried out in Australia and it is fantastic to see that industry has given this project the recognition it deserves,” Jones said. “There might also be innovations and other variations that the parties want to implement.”