Introducing Sydney's new M5 tunnels and WestConnex interchange

Media Release


04 November 2014

Joint release with:

Tony Abbott MP

Prime Minister

Mike Baird MP

NSW Premier

Duncan Gay MLC

Minister for Roads and Freight

The Australian and NSW Governments are getting on with delivering world class infrastructure, today announcing the planning application has been lodged for the New M5 tunnels as part of WestConnex Stage 2.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, NSW Premier Mike Baird, Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs and NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay also announced the acquisition of a 16 hectare industrial site at St Peters as a key interchange for the world class motorway.

The New M5 will run via new 5.3 metre high tunnels from the existing M5 East corridor at Beverly Hills to an interchange at St Peters, which will provide improved access to the airport, Port Botany and south Sydney precincts.

The Australian and NSW Governments are moving ahead with delivering WestConnex Stage 2, lodging the planning application for higher, wider, flatter and future-proofed tunnels to end the daily battle on the M5 East.

The new tunnels will more than double capacity of the M5 East, with the New M5 tunnels built to accommodate three lanes in each direction and provide another route for traffic from the airport and port precinct to Western and South Western Sydney.

The current M5 East was arguably Sydney's worst tunnel project with design flaws that have created frustration for the 100,000 motorists who use the corridor every day.

After receiving five expressions of interest for the New M5, three consortia have been shortlisted to bid for design and construction:

  • Lend Lease Acciona Joint Venture
  • Leighton Dragados Samsung Joint Venture
  • TunneLink (consisting of Ferrovial Agroman, Ghella and McConnell Dowell Constructors)

We will be issuing a request for tender shortly, calling on shortlisted contractors to develop innovative designs which will limit the local impact on the surface.

A preferred design and preferred contractor for the New M5 will be selected mid-2015, followed by the exhibition of the environmental impact statement later that year.

Thanks to the Australian Government's concessional loan of up to $2 billion, Stage 2 has been fast-tracked by up to 18 months with work to start next year on the first section, the M5—King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade.

The New M5 will link to a major interchange to be built on a landfill site at St Peters which avoids the need for major residential acquisitions and limits impacts on green space.

The St Peters Interchange will provide access to key roads in the area, such as Euston Road and Campbell Street and the project will include widening these roads as well as a new bridge over Alexandra Canal to Bourke Road.

The St Peters Interchange will provide access to the Sydney Airport and Port Botany precincts from South Western and Western Sydney once WestConnex is completed.

No properties are expected to be impacted by the interchange however some properties in the reservation area, identified in 1951, will be affected by additional work to upgrade key arterial routes in the area.

Geotechnical investigations are continuing along the corridor to support the tender process, providing valuable information on the ground conditions along the route.

The Environmental Impact Statement for the M5—King Georges Road Interchange is currently on display.

The NSW Government is providing $1.8 billion worth of funding and the Australian Government $1.5 billion, in addition to its concessional loan.

WestConnex is expected to generate up to 10,000 jobs during construction, and deliver more than $20 billion in economic benefits to NSW.

Visit for more information, including in eight community languages; to have your say; or to register for project updates.