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Coalition Government launches East West Link tender process

Thursday, 18 July 2013
Minister for Roads Terry Mulder and Acting Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips today called for Expressions of Interest to build the largest infrastructure project in Victoria’s history, Stage One of the East West Link. 
The project will improve traffic congestion and travel times, boost Victoria’s productivity and create 3,200 jobs during construction. Stage One is forecast to cost between $6 - $8 billion.  
Mr Mulder said that Expressions of Interest for the East West Link will be evaluated based on six criteria, including design, construction capability and experience; operations, maintenance capability and experience; stakeholder engagement; financing capacity and capability; commercial structure; and innovation.
“Earlier this week, we released the reference design for the East West Link. While we have put this out to the community and industry to consider, we are also encouraging the private sector to come up with innovative solutions wherever possible to help reduce any impacts to the community and its surrounds,” Mr Mulder said.
“We will be looking for excellence in urban design and sustainability, particularly on tunnelling solutions, to deliver the best possible outcomes for the project’s local communities.” 
Construction of the project is expected to commence in late 2014 with expected completion in 2019-20. Mr Rich-Phillips said the Victorian Coalition Government has received strong interest from some of the world’s largest construction and finance companies to deliver the project.
“The Coalition Government is excited about the level of interest from both local and international companies to deliver this much needed infrastructure project,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
“This is the largest infrastructure project of this type being offered for tender anywhere in the world this year.
“The Coalition Government has done its due diligence to ensure the East West Link will be a success for Victorians and the businesses that will partner with the Coalition Government to deliver this project.” 
Mr Rich-Phillips said that the Coalition Government intends to deliver the East West Link project as an Availability Public Private Partnership (PPP), with the State initially retaining tolling and traffic risk. 
“An Availability PPP will secure strong competition for the construction, operation and financing of the project,” Mr Rich-Phillips said. 
“Importantly, this will ensure the construction industry is responsible for delivering the project on time and within budget.
“The 2013-14 Victorian Budget has allowed for the State’s full contribution for the delivery of Stage One of the East West Link, including $294 million to commence procurement and to start early works.”
Project proponents will have six weeks to get their Expressions of Interest in, with the Linking Melbourne Authority expecting to go to the market with a Request for Tender in October, and awarding a contract in late 2014.
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