NSW looking to sell WestConnex

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday March 6, 2020

Sydney’s M4. Source: WestConnex

The New South Wales government will weigh up whether it should sell its remaining 49% stake in the WestConnex motorway with an independent scoping study.

State Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the study would look at whether the government should hold onto the motorway, or use funds from the potential privatisation to invest in new infrastructure.

He said the government would “only proceed if there is clear evidence that doing so would be in the best interest of the people of NSW”.

The government sold its 51% stake in Sydney Motorway Corporation, the entity building WestConnex, in 2018. The $9.26 billion sale was used to fund the M4-M5 Link as well as other infrastructure throughout Western Sydney, Perrottet noted.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian signalled her intentions to privatise the rest of the motorway, as well as the state’s plantation forests, in August.

The state government axed its plan to sell the forests last month, after a five-month scoping study found approximately 25% of Forestry Corporation’s softwood division had suffered fire damage over the summer.

READ MORE: NSW scraps forest privatisation plan

The treasurer said future transactions would help fund the government’s $97.3 billion infrastructure program.

Concessions for the right to operate all stages of WestConnex would revert to the government in 2060. Perrottet said any sale of NSW’s 49% stake would not impact this outcome, and the construction, operation and tolling of WestConnex would go unchanged.

A report into the scoping study would be delivered later this year.

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