As part of the Queensland State Budget, the Palaszczuk
Government has introduced new market-led proposal guidelines
(MLP Guidelines), aimed at harnessing the
knowledge and expertise of the private sector in developing their
market-led proposals (MLP) through the provision
of a transparent and accountable methodology. The Government
intends that these MLP Guidelines will allow government to engage
more seamlessly with industry to secure new projects and
investment, by providing proponents with consistency and clarity
about the Government's assessment process.
The MLP Guidelines provide a similar process to the unsolicited,
or market-led, proposal regimes that have been updated in New South
Wales and Victoria in the last 18 months, both of which promote the
development of market-led proposals for private sector investment
in State infrastructure. Queensland's previous regime for
unsolicited proposals, or 'exclusive mandates', was brief,
set a high benchmark, and described a strong preference to maximise
competition to gain value for money, with 'exclusive
mandates' only to be considered in exceptional
Market-led Proposal Guidelines 2015
The MLP Guidelines set out a three stage process consisting
Detailed Proposal; and
Final Binding Offer.
The MLP Guidelines also make provision for an optional, but
strongly recommended, pre-submission review stage, where private
sector proponents can formally explore with Queensland Treasury as
to whether the proposal is likely to meet the Stage 1 assessment
criteria, having regard to key attributes, benefits, requirements
Stage 1 consists of a tiered evaluation, where the MLP must
satisfy the 'Stage 1A - Preliminary Assessment' criteria,
and may be progressed to 'Stage 1B - Strategic Assessment'
if additional information is required. During Stage 1, the MLP
Panel will form an assessment team, which will include consultation
with Building Queensland where the proposal relates to
infrastructure, to identify benefits to Government and determine
whether or not a recommendation will be made to Government.
Stage 2 of the MLP Guidelines requires the proponent to prepare
and submit a detailed proposal, as well as additional information
on request, which will be assessed and a recommendation will be
made to the MLP Panel, which will in turn make a recommendation to
Stage 3 will consist of the Proponent, Queensland Treasury and
the Line Agency negotiating legal and commercial terms (including
an 'exclusive mandate contract'). Queensland Treasury and
the Line Agency will then complete a comprehensive assessment of
the Final Binding Offer executable documentation, which will then
be prepared for consideration by Government.
The Government will have regard to the following criteria when
assessing a market-led proposal and considering whether to provide
an exclusive mandate:
community need / government priority;
value for money;
uniqueness and intellectual property;
benefit of proponent's preliminary investment;
risk / cost allocation;
capacity and capability of proponent;
public interest and benefits to the government; and
The MLP Guidelines specifically reserve Government's right
to subject any MLP to competitive processes, or not proceed at all,
if the proposal fails to meet any of the criteria to the
Government's satisfaction at any point during the assessment
As part of the new MLP Guidelines, an online portal will be
introduced, enabling proponents to put forward proposals for
priority consideration. This will be particularly important for
complex proposals, with interest from multiple government
departments. The portal is expected to go live this week.
These MLP Guidelines are particularly important for Queensland,
where an ever increasing need for public infrastructure and a
constrained fiscal environment highlight the importance of
encouraging private sector involvement in the investment in
infrastructure. The Government has opened the doors for private
sector investment in infrastructure, and in doing so, Queensland
will obtain the benefit of innovation and opportunities that MLPs
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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This decision has implications for Government authorities and corporations, and for private sector project proponents.
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