Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project

3 minute read  27.09.2018 Stewart Nankervis, Paul Paxton, Kip Fitzsimon
MinterEllison acted as legal advisors for the Cross Yarra Partnership, a consortium of Lendlease, John Holland, Bouygues Construction and Capella Capital, on the $6 billion Tunnel and Stations Public Private Partnership (PPP) which achieved Financial Close in December 2017, as part of the Victorian government’s wider Melbourne Metro project.

Key takeouts

  • Involved complex negotiations involving the infrastructure, finance and property teams on behalf of the Cross Yarra Partnership.
  • The Cross Yarra Partnership will finance, design and construct twin 9 km tunnels and five new underground stations in Melbourne's CBD.
  • Victoria’s biggest ever public transport project and largest enhancement to Melbourne’s CBD rail network in 30 years.

The Melbourne Metro project will be Victoria’s biggest ever public transport project and is the largest enhancement to Melbourne’s CBD rail network since the construction of the City Loop over 30 years ago.

The Cross Yarra Partnership will finance, design and construct twin 9-kilometre tunnels and five new underground stations at North Melbourne (Arden), Parkville, State Library, Town Hall and Anzac, and then maintain the package for a term of 25 years. Lendlease, as part of the Cross Yarra Partnership, will also develop the mixed commercial and retail oversite development above the CBD South Metro Station (located close to the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets).

Our role

MinterEllison's infrastructure, finance and property teams advised the client throughout the tender process and through to successful financial close. Our role involved negotiating with the State, key subcontractors, lenders and third party equity, to finalise the Project Documents with the State of Victoria, the key design and construction and maintenance subcontracts, the financing arrangements with a large banking syndicate, as well as advising on and establishing the equity capital structure.

Furthermore, the team advised on the various interfacing arrangements to bring together the broader Melbourne Metro project with Cross Yarra Partnership’s delivery of the tunnel and station package. This involved significant commercial negotiation to ensure that the risk associated with other packages of the broader Melbourne Metro Project was appropriately allocated, and that the Cross Yarra Partnership’s commercial position was not compromised. This included advising in relation to bespoke and complex interfacing arrangements between the Cross Yarra Partnership and the commercial developers.

MinterEllison also advised Lendlease on the oversite development aspect of the Project, which involved the documentation of a complex structuring arrangement to realise the value capture opportunity that existed above the project site.

The MinterEllison team was drawn from offices in three different states – Melbourne, Perth and Sydney – with a wider team of up to 50 lawyers across six practices.

Our approach

It was critical that the team worked with the consortium to address a number of highly technical risk issues to ensure that no compromises were made in relation to the innovative station designs and precincts. The legal and commercial challenges presented by such a transformative project required our team to work integrally with the consortium members and their financiers (and external advisors) to provide strategic advice and bring innovative commercial and legal solutions that helped successfully close a landmark infrastructure transaction.

MinterEllison is pleased to have been involved in what is one of the most complex infrastructure procurement projects ever delivered in Victoria, and to be part of such a ground breaking and city-shaping project that will transform Melbourne for generations to come.


This item is featured in our 2018 Annual Report

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