Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
On the 19th of May the Building Queensland Bill
2015 (Qld) (the Bill) was introduced in
response to the Queensland Government's election promise to
create a new statutory body that ensures that Queensland delivers
projects that provides the greatest value and community benefits to
the State. As many in the industry expected, the Bill sets out the
broad framework for the new entity, without giving much detail.
Explained in its second reading, the Bill provides for the
establishment of Building Queensland, an independent statutory body
to ensure a 'whole-of-government' perspective to major
infrastructure planning, prioritisation and investment.
In order to meet this objective, the Bill empowers Building
Queensland with seven key functions.
Provide independent expert advice to the Queensland
Government about infrastructure in Queensland
Building Queensland will independently assess and provide expert
advice on infrastructure projects through rigorous business case
development. It will advise the Government on:
current and future needs and priorities
policies, pricing and regulatory issues
impediments to the efficient use of infrastructure
options and reforms to make infrastructure more efficient
national and international emerging trends, including trends
about procurement and project finance
the needs of users
advice about the procurement or delivery of a project which may
include an evaluation of the delivery against any targets or
the delivery of a project.
The advice will be made with rigorous analysis taking into
forecast growth, economic, social and environmental
cost benefit analysis
community benefits, including social return on investment.
Building Queensland may also provide advice to stakeholders (eg
Develop a robust and transparent framework for assessing
costs and benefits of infrastructure process
Building Queensland must develop a framework to be used across
government to develop a consistent 'whole-of government'
approach to developing and progressing infrastructure proposals and
projects. While the details of this framework are not entirely
clear, the explanatory memorandum envisages that it will be
consistent with other infrastructure policies that are administered
by the State Government.
Evaluate proposals about infrastructure
Building Queensland is empowered to evaluate proposals for
investment in or enhancements to infrastructure. The Bill requires
Building Queensland, on a half yearly basis, to make and approve a
summary of each proposal and provide a summary to the Minister to
publish on the Building Queensland's website.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the Bill does not identify how the
proposals will be evaluated and from whom the proposals will
Prepare business cases for infrastructure
Building Queensland will be required to be involved in the
preparation of business cases for infrastructure projects. Its
degree of involvement will be dependent on the expected capital
cost of the infrastructure proposal, or the net present value
(NPV) of 'financial commitments' entered
by the State.
Expected capital cost of projects or
NPV of financial commitments
Building Queensland's preparation and involvement
costs of less than 50 million; or
financial commitments less than 50 million.
is silent - it is expected that relevant government agencies will
manage these projects unless otherwise directed by the
costs between 50 million and 100 million; or
financial commitments between 50 million and 100
Queensland will assist during
the preparation of business cases for infrastructure
proposals. What this assistance might look like is not
costs over 100 million; or
financial commitments over 100 million.
Queensland will lead the
preparation of the business case for infrastructure
proposals. It is not clear how it will deal with the relevant
line agencies however
Queensland will provide to the Minister the details of expected
productivity gains from the proposal, the time-frames for delivery
and a cost benefit analysis.
Prepare an infrastructure pipeline document
Building Queensland will prepare and maintain a document that
records proposals or projects that it considers should be a
priority that will deliver a productivity boost and/or economic
return to the State. The pipeline document will include the stage
of development of the proposal or project and an estimated cost to
deliver the proposal or project. Building Queensland must update
these documents and provide a copy to the Minister every 6
Lead the procurement or delivery of particular
If directed by the Minister (and it is not clear in what
circumstances this might occur), Building Queensland must lead the
procurement or delivery of a particular infrastructure project.
Where this happens, it will work co-operatively with a government
agency or a specified delivery area (eg Department of Transport and
Main Roads), drawing on the resources and expertise of these
relevant government agencies. Again, what this co-operation may
involve is not specified.
Publish information and promote public
Building Queensland will publish a summary of the cost benefit
analysis or any information relevant to its functions on its
This publication does not deal with every important topic or
change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute
for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's
specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of
interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice
relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named
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