AustralAsia Rail Corporation

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The AustralAsia Railway Corporation was established in 1997 by the Government of the Northern Territory to build the Darwin - Alice Springs section of the Adelaide-Darwin Railway. 50% of its board positions and voting right are assigned to the South Australian Government. It owns some of the infrastructure of the Darwin - Alice Springs, Northern Territory railway and the lease of the Alice Springs - Tarcoola, South Australia railway from the Australian Government, and leased (or subleased) them to FreightLink. In 2000, it awarded the contract to build the Darwin - Alice Springs railway to the Asia Pacific Transport Consortium as a BOOT or Build Own Operate and Transfer operation. The lease period is 50 years. In Australia, for reasons primarily related to the borrowing powers of states, the transfer back obligation may sometimes be omitted.

The Australian Government contributed $165 million from the Centenary of Federation Fund, the Northern Territory Government contributed $165 million and the South Australian Government contributed $150 million to the AustralAsia Rail Corporation for the construction of assets by Asia Pacific Transport Consortium and FreightLink that were later leased for a peppercorn rental to FreightLink. In addition, the three Governments contributed about $26 million each, a total of $79 million in further funding to support the Asia Pacific Transport Consortium directly, by way of mezzanine debt financing (subordinated debt), equity and contingent equity.

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