Transport, Road, Rail and Ports

Demand for new infrastructure will be especially high where the two classic signs of infrastructure shortfalls — congestion and overcrowding — are evident. Australia's ports and principal airports will require major upgrades and expansion to avoid gridlocking the nation's logistics network. Urban highway and rail networks will also require priority attention in order to deliver more efficient outcomes for commercial traffic and commuters.

Our infrastructure lawyers have unparalleled experience advising governments and the private sector on all aspects of port, airport, road and rail projects. We provide tailored and cross-disciplinary teams for the project lifecycle – from strategic input through to project delivery and dispute resolution – and seamlessly integrate specialists in real estate, planning, environment, construction, tax, finance, competition and regulatory, insurance and dispute resolution to manage risk and achieve the best outcome for the project.

$310 million Berth 8 and 10 upgrade at Port of Townsville

Port of Townsville Limited has commenced an expansion of the Port of Townsville to address current capacity constraints and accommodate forecast growth in trade over a planning horizon to 2040.  We are assisting the Port of Townsville Limited in all matters associated with the $310 million upgrade of two major berths at the Townsville port including the project delivery method which is now proposed to be a competitive ECI. This project involves reclamation, general construction and upgrading of facilities.

Roads & Maritime Services pro-forma design and construction project deed

Acted for Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) on preparing the new design and construction project deed for use on major projects. Work involved participating in workshops to discuss risk allocation and drafting the new form of contract in close consultation with the RMS legal and commercial teams.

Railcorp Reform Program and rail access arrangements

Advised Railcorp and Transport for NSW (TfNSW) on rail access arrangements associated with the Railcorp Reform Program and the establishment of Sydney Trains and NSW Trains. This included reviewing and amending the standard rail access agreement to take account of the changed arrangements between RailCorp, TfNSW and Sydney Trains and the requirements of the Rail Safety National Law as well as assisting with negotiations with rail operators. We also assisted with rail access arrangements for Sydney Trains and NSW Trains to the NSW rail network and ARTC network.

Port of Melbourne Channel Deepening Project

Advised Port of Melbourne Channel Deepening, one of the largest infrastructure projects conducted by the Victorian Government in recent times, seen as critical to the Port and Australia's position in global shipping. As key advisers to the Port of Melbourne Corporation, we advised on many aspects of the project, including the Supplementary Environmental Effects Statement and managed the public hearing process Federal Court litigation over the Federal Government's environmental approval for the dredging, cultural and Aboriginal heritage issues, relocation of essential infrastructure under the Yarra River, the resolution of the alliance dredging contract, and land tenure issues relating to land assets affected by the project.

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal

Acted for Golding Abigroup Joint Venture on the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal. The Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal is a key part of the development of the existing Port of Gladstone. Expected to cost over A$2.5 billion. The new facility provides the additional Gladstone export capacity needed to meet the expansion of the Surat Basin, and growth of mining in central Queensland, which is all focused on the coal demand worldwide. The Abigoup Golding Joint venture was contracted to undertake most of the bulk earthworks and civil works including the coal reclaim tunnels under a contract with final value of approximately A$400 million. We advised the Abigroup Golding JV in relation to various contract dispute issues which arose between the joint venture and the WICET SPV, a consortium of coal mining companies operating in Queensland. During the course of this project, the Principal had issued a number of variations in respect to the reclaim tunnel works. As a consequence, Abigroup Golding JV incurred additional costs in performing the works and suffered delays.