About North East Link State Tolling Corporation

Our vision, people, purpose and role.

Vision

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 and Planning’s (DTP’s) wider network vision of ‘thriving places, connected communities’ and contributes to the Government’s vision of ongoing sustainable investment in the Victorian transport network.

People

Our people are highly skilled, passionate, professional and competent individuals who work collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders in making progress towards achieving our vision to be the best-in-class transport asset owner- operator and to create lasting value for Victoria.

Values

In addition to the Victorian Public Sector Code of Conduct, STC is guided by an internal set of values. The values help to define how we will behave when delivering our business, engaging with our colleagues and supporting our stakeholders. They underpin our purpose and priorities, reflect the beliefs and behaviours that are most important to our staff, and shape our culture.

Our values are:

  • collaboration
  • honesty
  • innovation
  • respect.

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.

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
  • A Toll Collection Capability (TCC) 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 Intelligent Transport Systems (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
  • conducting incident management services and a specified set of other operational activities in adjacent sections of the road network outside the Project 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 the 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 autonomous from Government
  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 toll way (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 toll way and the operation and maintenance of the NEL road
  • Engage in activities in relation to the delivery of the NEL road
  • Engage in other activities connected with the NEL road, and charge fees for those activities.

STC will work collaboratively with the Government, including DTP, the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) and the North East Link Program (NELP) (a division of the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA)), in carrying out its roles and responsibilities for the NEL. This includes optimising the value of the toll revenue (within prevailing Government road pricing policy) through applying commercial principles in managing the toll revenue risk.

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