The launch of procurement follows last week's budget announcement by the state government that it would fully fund and deliver the project. Preliminary works will begin next year with the major construction through the PPP package scheduled to start in 2018.

The government says it would welcome a partnership with any future federal government, but insists the project simply cannot wait any longer. With the federal budget due to be announced on May 3, early media reports indicate that there will be a limited federal contribution to the project.

The closing date for the EOI process is Thursday June 9.