Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sparke Helmore on the Hunter for infrastructure work

One of them is Sparke Helmore, which has recently bolstered its Newcastle-based construction, projects and infrastructure team with the appointment of ex-Clayton Utz lawyer Paul Tobin. He has previously worked in Taiwan and acted on the US$14bn (A$22bn) Taiwan High Speed Rail project

"Like many firms, we anticipate a lot of infrastructure work in the Hunter region, such as the expansion of existing coal mines, new mines in the Upper Hunter and Gunnedah basin, expansion of coal export facilities in the Port of Newcastle, expansion of the Hunter rail network by ARTC and the Intertrade development (A$120m). Capital expenditure in excess of A$1bn has reportedly been committed for rail infrastructure and coal facility projects," said partner Richard Anicich.

The firm is not only acting on mining and rail projects but also health projects, such as the proposed clinical research facility that has involved advising on funding arrangements, and the appointment of project managers and design consultants.

Anicich (pictured) believes established relationships in the Hunter gives his firm a distinct advantage over competitors. "We've been on the ground in the Hunter for 126 years, are accessible, and know the region, its significant participants and developments. We're also well placed to assist with the downstream work involving contractors and suppliers," he said.

Despite the global financial crisis the firm believes the long term outlook is optimistic, with upcoming projects expected to last for many years to come. Anicich pointed to National Australia Bank and Westpac that have recently opened new regional commercial banking offices in Newcastle. "It's a sign of confidence and strength in the region," he added.

This article has been taken from


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