The unsolicited proposals framework should benefit
developers and investors wishing to engage the WA Government with
The Western Australian Government's debt reduction policy is
creating new opportunities for property investors and developers in
Australia's largest State.
The State Government has already identified a number of
State-owned land assets that are currently being marketed or being
prepared for sale through a public process under the Department of
Lands' land asset sales program.
In addition to this, the Government recently announced that it
is developing an unsolicited proposals (USP)
framework that will apply to other State-owned assets. The USP
framework will allow the private sector to submit proposals to the
Government outside of the usual tender process. The
Government's objective is to encourage the private sector to
submit unique proposals for the development of under-utilised
State-owned assets for the benefit of the WA economy.
It is expected that WA's USP framework will be announced in
the next few months, and will be based on USP frameworks set up in
other Australian States. A common feature of the USP frameworks is
that if certain criteria are satisfied, the Government can enter
into exclusive negotiations for a particular project with the
private sector proponent.
In determining whether a USP will be successful, a key
requirement of other States' frameworks is that the proposal
offer a unique advantage - that is, the Government will ask itself,
"What advantage is to be gained from the government entering
into exclusive negotiations with the proponent?".1
The experience of other States suggests that this can be a tough
hurdle to overcome, with proponents needing to establish a value
proposition that shows they are better placed than their
competitors to deliver the project.
We expect that when assessing a USP the WA Government will also
take into account the extent to which the proposal is consistent
with a strategic direction set out in the WA State Planning
Strategy 2050. In the comprehensive Strategy, the Government
identified five broad directions for the future development of the
State: economic development, physical infrastructure, social
infrastructure, the environment, and security. Of relevance to the
property industry, and perhaps urban regeneration projects in
particular, the Policy recognises opportunities for growth in
tourism, community infrastructure and affordable living.
The USP framework should benefit developers and investors
wishing to engage the WA Government with innovative ideas, as the
framework is expected to provide clarity on key issues such as how
those ideas should be pitched, the circumstances in which
Government is likely to enter into exclusive negotiations, and
protection of the proponent's IP.
1Government of South Australia, Guidelines
for Assessment of Unsolicited Proposals, November 2014, p
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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