TAXPAYERS will compensate failed tenderers for the North West Rail Link up to $10 million for each bidder.
An industry briefing document for the operations, trains and systems contract, to be awarded in 2014, said the contribution would be offered to unsuccessful short-listed bidders — expected to be one or two.
The compensation will be capped at $10 million or one-third of the bid costs.
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the compensation promise was needed to restore confidence after cancelled projects under the former government.
‘‘It is in the interests of taxpayers that we make clear to industry that the government’s commitment to deliver the multibillion-dollar North West Rail Link is unwavering, and a capped contribution to bid costs of short-listed bidders is one way of doing that,’’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘‘It will be extremely beneficial that the government will now retain intellectual property contained in the unsuccessful tenders, which can be used to enhance the rapid transit service for customers.’’
The state government’s public private partnership policy states that under ‘‘normal circumstances’’ failed bidders are not eligible for compensation.
But the industry document indicates this project is unique due to its size and scale.
The winning contract will be responsible for operating and maintaining the track between Rouse Hill and Epping as well as the existing rail line between Epping and Chatswood.
The contract term is expected to be 15 years.
Critics, including Greens MP Cate Faehrmann, said the money could be spent on projects to reduce congestion.
‘‘Ten million dollars would go a long way to funding some of the relatively inexpensive projects which would be of enormous benefit to the community.’’