Corrs advising on an Australian first transport PPP

Gold Coast Rapid Transit, the first light rail network in any regional Australian city and the first public passenger transport project to be delivered as a PPP in Australia, has passed another milestone with the RFP documentation released to the shortlisted bidders on 2 July 2010.

Corrs has advised the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads on the project since 2007. The firm was initially appointed for the development of the project’s business case, which was delivered in April 2009.

The work for the business case included conducting the market sounding process, obtaining detailed feedback on the feasibility of a light rail PPP from key players in the international light rail market and key participants in the Australian PPP market. This role was later expanded to include finalising the project’s delivery strategy and procurement planning.

The project was one of Infrastructure Australia’s nine ‘priority’ projects in the 2009 Federal Budget, receiving $365 million in federal funding from the Building Australia Fund.

Since late 2009 Corrs has played an integral role in preparing the EOI documentation, participating in EOI evaluation and preparing the RFP documentation. Corrs are now advising on the interactive bid phase of the project with Proposals expected in late 2010.

The Corrs team is led by partner Peter Schenk, along with partners David Warren and Simon Ashworth and lawyers Sian Reece, Airlie Fox, Nerida Haberkern and Kip Fitzsimon.

This work confirms Corrs’ position as one of the market leaders in the infrastructure area. In the past 18 months, Corrs has advised on Brisbane’s A$4.8 billion Airport Link, the $3.5 billion Victorian desalination project (acting for the State of Victoria), Adelaide desalination plant (as adviser to the Crown Solicitor’s Office of South Australia), the South Australian Schools PPP (as adviser to the Crown Solicitor’s Office of South Australia), and acted for the State of Victoria in the Victorian Schools PPP.

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