Lonsdale Consortium, which includes Future Fund, Queensland Investment (QIC), Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), has entered into a deal to lease Port of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia for A$9.7bn ($7.3bn).
As part of the deal, Lonsdale Consortium will look after the commercial operations of the port for a period of 50 years.
The lease deal is expected to remove 50 of the country’s congested level crossings and will create thousands of jobs.
The government said that 10% of the lease proceeds, totalling more than A$970m ($726m), would be invested in regional and rural infrastructure projects.
State government treasurer Tim Pallas said: “The strength of this result underlines the continued high performance of the Victorian economy; the fastest growing in the country.”
“Leasing the port reinforces Victoria’s position as the freight and logistics capital of Australia and will make a great port even better.”
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Additionally, a new agriculture infrastructure and jobs fund, comprising a sum of A$200m ($149m), has also been formed to drive economic growth in the country.
The fund will also be used to increase exports and support local farmers from paddock to port.
During the lease period, the government will retain responsibility for the port’s harbour master, station pier, relevant safety and environmental regulation, waterside emergency management, and marine pollution response.
Throughout the lease term, Lonsdale will provide access to public walkways and bike paths for community use. However, commercial and recreational vessels’ access to the port will not be affected by the lease.