NSW govt's remaining WestConnex stake sold

The NSW government has collected $11.1 billion from the sale of its remaining stake in the WestConnex motorway and will allocate $5 billion to an infrastructure fund for western Sydney.

© Paul Miller/AAP PHOTOS The entire WestConnex asset has now been sold by the NSW government for $20.4 billion.

The entire WestConnex asset has now been sold by the government for $20.4 billion, having spent about $16.8 billion on its construction.

Sydney Transport Partners – a consortium including Transurban – bought the remaining 49 per cent stake and now has full control of the network.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the capital would be placed in the state’s sovereign wealth fund and used to pay down debt.

But the government would also put $5 billion towards a new “WestInvest Fund” for infrastructure in western and southwestern Sydney.

The fund will allocate $3 billion for future western Sydney projects such as parks, sporting grounds, schools and suburban high streets.

Another $2 billion will be spent on other local “high priority projects”.

“This road project has ensured Parramatta Road flows faster, that people right across western Sydney are able to get to Sydney faster, get home to their families as quickly as possible,” Mr Perrottet said.

“It’s a testament to the strong financial management we’ve had since coming to office, unlocking capital and investing it in infrastructure.”

The sale of WestConnex has long been opposed by NSW Labor, which has campaigned against the rising toll burden on Sydney residents.

Opposition Leader Chris Minns said the sale would result in increased tolls for drivers and the WestInvest Fund did not constitute a genuine western Sydney post-COVID recovery package.

“Selling WestConnex equals higher tolls … this has been the treasurer’s priority in the middle of a pandemic,” Mr Minns said on Monday.

Mr Perrottet denied the sale would impact toll rates and said a broader NSW economic recovery package would be unveiled next month.

He also denied the government was planning to privatise other assets.

“Not only do we have a road that has no debt associated with it … we have a $5 billion investment here in western Sydney,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The toll regime is not affected at all by this transaction.

“The Labor alternative is to not build the roads.”

The NSW government sold the initial 51 per cent stake in WestConnex to Sydney Transport Partners for $9.26 billion in 2018.

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