About North East Link State Tolling Corporation

The North East Link State Tolling Corporation’s (STC’s) vision is to be a commercially orientated government owned toll road operator by the State Government of Victoria (Government) that supports the Victorian Department of Transport’s (DoT’s) wider network vision of a simple, connected, accessible, reliable, and safe journey and contributes to the Government’s vision of ongoing sustainable investment in the Victorian transport network.

STC Values in Action

STC has adopted the seven core Public Sector Values from the Public Administration Act 2004 (PAA). In addition, the Value of Collaboration has been adopted as an additional value to recognise the importance of regular and meaningful engagement with key stakeholders. It is anticipated that the Board and employees of STC will collaborate to develop core principles and values for adoption to support STC’s development and embed them in its ways of working.

Core Public Sector Values (Victoria)

  • Responsiveness
  • Integrity
  • Impartiality
  • Accountability
  • Respect
  • Leadership
  • Human Rights
  • Collaboration

Core Public Sector Values (Victoria)

Refer to Section 7 of the PAA for detail on how the values can be demonstrated.

Purpose and role

The North East Link (NEL) is the largest investment in a road project in Victoria’s history. It will complete the missing link in Melbourne’s orbital freeway network between an upgraded Eastern Freeway and the M80 Ring Road. The newly built north-south section from the M80 interchange to the Eastern Freeway will be tolled. However, no new tolls will apply to existing routes.

The NEL will be delivered via a number of discrete packages of work as follows:

  • Early Works in relation to utilities relocation and other enabling works;
  • a Central Package comprising the tunnelled sections and in-ground works, to be delivered as an availability Public Private Partnership (PPP) with an Incentivised Target Cost (ITC) regime that applies in respect of costs incurred during the design and construction phase of the project;
  • four separately procured Freeway Packages to the north, south, east, and west of the Central Package, all of which are to be delivered via bespoke collaborative contracts; and
  • a Toll Collection Capability in relation to the roadside tolling system, tolling back-office system and toll communication network.

The Government and STC entered into a Project Deed with Spark North East Link Pty Ltd as trustee of the Spark North East Link Trust (Spark) as Project Co for the Central Package PPP. Project Co has engaged: Webuild S.p.A (Webuild), GS Engineering & Construction Australia Pty Ltd (GS E&C), CPB Contractors Pty Ltd (CPB) and China Construction Oceania Pty Limited (CCO) under an ITC design and construct contract (D&C Contract) to carry out the design and construction of the Central Package. Project Co has also engaged Ventia Australia Pty Ltd (Ventia) under a services contract (Services Contract) to carry out operations and maintenance requirements on the Central Package once open.

Under the Project Deed, Spark will be responsible for:

  • designing, financing, constructing, and commissioning the works in the Project Area, as well as undertaking preliminary design of the Freeway Packages Interface Zone Designs, and the delivery of certain Information Technology System (ITS) and tolling enabling works outside the Project Area;
  • undertaking all asset management, operations, and maintenance services in respect of the Central Package PPP for 25 years from Commercial Acceptance; and
  • conducting incident management services and a specified set of other operational activities in adjacent sections of the road network outside the Program Area.

STC Purpose and Role

STC’s purpose is to support and respond to the Government’s policy objectives for the NEL in serving as the long-term asset owner, investor, and operator of the NEL toll road. In meeting this overarching objective, STC is charged with seeking to optimise the value of the toll revenue (within prevailing Government’s road pricing policy) through applying commercial principles in managing the toll revenue risk and in overseeing the cost-effective delivery and operations of the NEL toll road. In carrying out this purpose, STC is expected to work collaboratively with key stakeholders and partners to support the successful delivery of the NEL and on-time opening of the NEL toll road.

This has manifested in the structuring of STC as a key element within the broader funding and delivery strategy for the NEL, including the integration of STC into the commercial framework for the Central Package PPP. As a result, STC has been established as:

  1. A statutory corporation with the ability to own goods or assets and incur liabilities on its own behalf as a public entity, though not as a representative of the Crown;
  2. A Public Non-Financial Corporation (PNFC) entity to operate on a commercial basis and autonomously from Government; and
  3. The long-term asset owner, investor, and operator of the NEL toll road.

As specified in the North East Link Act 2020 (Act), the key objectives, functions, and powers that enable STC’s commercial operations include to:

  • Be responsible for managing and controlling the use of and access to and operating and maintaining the NEL road;
  • Fix and collect tolls for the use of the NEL tollway (in accordance with the Act and the NEL Tolling Agreement);
  • Optimise the value of, or return from, its infrastructure and other assets;
  • Procure, deliver and operate the NEL tolling system;
  • Be the primary funding entity for the delivery of the NEL tollway and the operation and maintenance of the NEL road;
  • Engage in activities in relation to the delivery of the NEL road; and
  • Engage in other activities connected with the NEL road, and charge fees for those activities.

STC will work collaboratively with the Government, including DoT, the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) and the North East Link Program (NELP), in carrying out its roles and responsibilities for the NEL.