Western Roads Upgrade has been awarded Financial Excellence at the 2018 National Infrastructure Awards

Road and rail success at national infrastructure awards

Published 25 May 2018

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Two Plenary projects have been awarded some of the industry’s highest honours at the 2018 National Infrastructure Awards, with Western Roads Upgrade and Gold Coast Light Rail recognised for Financial Excellence and Government Partnership Excellence respectively.

The annual awards, run by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, celebrate outstanding achievements in the delivery of significant infrastructure across Australia and New Zealand.

This year’s awards were presented in front of around 500 people at a ceremony in Melbourne overnight.

Attending the event, Plenary CEO Paul Oppenheim said both projects demonstrate the quality outcomes that can be achieved by taking a true partnership approach with governments.

“It’s an honour to be recognised for our work, part of the great work being done by the infrastructure sector more broadly,” Mr Oppenheim said.

“Both projects are great examples of the innovative solutions that we achieved in their financing and procurement, and we thank our state partners in the Victorian Government and Queensland Government for their commitment to delivering infrastructure that truly benefits their respective communities.

“We look forward to continuing to offer our unique solutions as governments around the country increase spending on infrastructure and major projects.”

The A$1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade project is the State of Victoria’s largest single investment in arterial roads to date, comprising high-priority road upgrades with a comprehensive 20-year maintenance program covering a more than 260-kilometre road network.

Plenary was financial arranger, joint project sponsor and joint SPV manager for the project, part of the Netflow Western Roads Upgrade consortium – also comprising Cintra as joint project sponsor and SPV manager, WBHO Infrastructure as design and construction lead, and the Amey and Broadspectrum joint venture as services contractor – contracted by the Victorian Government to design, build, finance and maintain the project for 23 years.

The judges recognised the unique finance package arranged by Plenary that  includes full-term bond finance raised via the US Private Placement market, which marks Australia’s first greenfield bond financing for a PPP since the GFC.

The accolade follows the project winning the Advisory Excellence award at the 2017 National Infrastructure Awards.

The Gold Coast Light Rail, G:link, is Queensland’s first light rail system. The A$420 million Stage 2 project is a 7.3-kilometre light rail link completing the missing link between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, completed and operational in December 2017 in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Plenary was investor, financial adviser and commercial adviser for both stages of the Gold Coast Light Rail, part of the GoldLinQ consortium – also comprising Bombardier, CPB Contractors as builder and lead engineer, and Keolis Downer Gold Coast as operator and maintenance – contracted by the Queensland Government to design, build, finance and maintain the light rail system for a further 16 years.

The judges recognised the unique procurement process for what was the first extension of a rail PPP in Australia, the short timeframe in which the deal was completed, and the success in managing the complex contractual and operating environment across three levels of government.

See the full list of National Infrastructure Awards winners and finalists.


Christopher Whitefield

Corporate Affairs Manager
+61 3 8888 7754
+61 418 530 806