NSW government selling off remaining WestConnex stake

The NSW government is planning to sell off its remaining stake in the multi-billion-dollar WestConnex motorway, with at least one company already indicating it might take part in the bidding.

The government will offer up its 49 per cent stake of the 33km motorway for sale, hoping to be able to reinvest the proceeds into an infrastructure fund.

The government sold a 51 per cent stake to the Sydney Transport Partners consortium in 2018 for $9.26 billion.

One of that consortium’s major partners, Transurban, is expected to be interested in bidding on the new offering.

“We will use any future proceeds to continue our infrastructure revolution, boost the economy and invest billions back into the state’s future,” state Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said in a statement.

Labor slammed the move as a rushed “fire sale” and raised questions whether the government would get a favourable deal given the ongoing recession.

The opposition party also called for the release of the scoping plan, something the Treasurer has indicated will be done.

The selling off of public assets has emerged as a key part of the government’s plan to raise cash for new projects during the COVID-19 recession.

When a reporter asked the NSW Treasurer about that strategy during a press conference on Thursday, the Premier who stood beside him interjected cheerfully: “Good!”

“Pre-COVID, the NSW government had a very strong record on being able to recycle assets in our balance sheet and then turn it into a productive business structure, and I think the community is used to that concept,” the Premier said.

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