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Cost Estimation Guidance

The department is in the process of developing a series of cost estimation guidance notes which, in aggregate, will constitute the Cost Estimation Guidance.

The Cost Estimation Guidance is referred to in Appendix B of the department's Notes on Administration (NOA) for Land Transport Infrastructure Projects for the 2014 to 2015 financial year to the 2018 to 2019 financial year.

Guidance notes

The Cost Estimation Guidance will provisionally comprise the following key components:

  • Overview
  • Guidance Note 1 — Project Scope
  • Guidance Note 2 — Base Cost Estimation
  • Guidance Note 3A and 3B — Probabilistic and Deterministic Contingency Estimation
  • Guidance Note 4 — Outturn (Escalation) Cost Estimation

It is not intended that the Cost Estimation Guidance be available as a printed bound document. Rather it will be published on the department's website in PDF form, both as individual components, as well as a single consolidated document, that can either be read online or downloaded for subsequent use.

The version date of each component of the Cost Estimation Guidance will be listed on the webpage and will also appear as Appendix A Current Component Version Status–Cost Estimation Guidance to the Cost Estimation Guidance Overview component.

The guidance will outline the principles that must be followed by proponents in preparing cost estimates accompanying Project Proposal Reports, submitted in accordance with the Notes on Administration (NOA), which seek Australian Government funding for road and rail infrastructure projects.

More information on the Notes on Administration (NOA) and the associated National Partnership Agreement can be found at Investment Road and Rail Program.

Published Guidance Notes

The following Guidance Notes have been published following a thorough consultation process and are available now for download:

  • Guidance Note 1 — Project Scope, Version 1.0, March 2017 PDF: 354 KB ReadSpeaker
  • Guidance Note 2 — Base Cost Estimation, Version 1.0, March 2017 PDF: 514 KB ReadSpeaker

Consultation process

As it progressively develops the Cost Estimation Guidance, the department will be undertaking a process of consultation with the aim of seeking feedback on each component prior to final publication.

Users should check this webpage periodically for the opportunity to view and comment on the Guidance Notes as they are developed. It is anticipated that the various components of the Cost Estimation Guidance will be available for review and comment via this webpage according to the following schedule:

  • Overview — mid-2018
  • Guidance Note 1 — Project Scope, Version 1.0, March 2017
  • Guidance Note 2 — Base Cost Estimation, Version 1.0, March 2017
  • Guidance Note 3A — Consultation period closed 18 August 2017, publication TBA
  • Guidance Note 3B — Consultation period closed 17 February 2017, publication TBA
  • Guidance Note 4 — mid-2018

Current consultation

The consultation period for Guidance Note 3A - Probabilistic Contingency Estimation closed on 18 August 2017. It is anticipated that Version 1.0 will be published by mid-2018. In the meantime the draft Guidance Note and accompanying Risk Factor approach model examples may still be accessed and downloaded.

It is the Department's intention that once the content of Guidance Note 3A has been finalised, an accompanying Quick Reference Guide will also be developed.

Register your interest

Submissions or registrations of interest to be kept informed about the progress of this work, can be made directly via email to or by using the form below. Items marked with an asterisk are mandatory fields.



Acceptable file types are txt, pdf, jpg, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, xls and xlsx. Multiple files can be attached before submitting. The upload button needs to be pressed before submitting the form.

(max 10MB)

Enquiries regarding the consultation process, or the published guidance notes, should be directed to:

Warren Fletcher
Director, Change and Project Review
Ph: 02 6274 8190

Ben Du Bois
Civil Engineer, Change and Project Review
Ph: 02 6274 6993

Australian Privacy Principle 5 Notice

Release of Draft Guidance Note 3A - Probabilistic Contingency Estimation for public and industry comment.

Your submission, including any personal information supplied, is being collected by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development for the purpose of seeking public and industry comment on the approach and content of its proposed cost estimation guidance, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act).

Your personal information will be stored securely by the Department. It may be used by the Department to make further contact with you about the consultation process. Your personal information will not be disclosed to any other third parties, except in the circumstances outlined below.

Submissions, in part or full, including the name of the author may be published on the Department's website or in the Government's response, unless the submission is confidential. Confidential submissions (including author name) will not be published. Private addresses and contact details will not be published or disclosed to any third parties unless required by law.

Submissions will only be treated as confidential if they are expressly stated to be confidential. Automatically generated confidentiality statements or disclaimers appended to an email do not suffice for this purpose. If you wish you make a confidential submission, you should indicate this by ensuring your submission is marked confidential.

Confidential submissions will be kept securely and will only be disclosed in the following circumstances:

  • in response to a request by a Commonwealth Minister;
  • where required by a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia; or where required by law.

The Department may also disclose confidential submissions within the Commonwealth of Australia, including with other Commonwealth agencies, where necessary in the public interest.

Please note that in order to protect the personal privacy of individuals in accordance with the Privacy Act any submissions containing sensitive information, personal information or information which may reasonably be used to identify a person or group of people may not be published, even if not marked as confidential.

The Department's privacy policy contains information regarding complaint handling processes and how to access and/or seek correction of personal information held by the Department. The Privacy Officer can be contacted on (02) 6274 6495.