The department’s cost estimation guidance outlines the principles that are expected to be followed by proponents in preparing cost estimates accompanying Project Proposal Reports, submitted in accordance with the Notes on Administration (NOA), for projects seeking Australian Government funding.

Guidance notes

The cost estimation guidance, published following a thorough public consultation process, comprises the following key components which are available for download:

  • Guidance Note — Overview, Version 2.0, November 2023 PDF: 672 KB
  • Guidance Note 1 — Project Scope, Version 2.0, November 2023 PDF: 697 KB 
  • Guidance Note 2 — Base Cost Estimation, Version 2.0, November 2023 PDF: 588 KB 
  • Guidance Note 3A — Probabilistic Cost Estimation, Version 2.0, November 2023 PDF: 1.5 MB
  • Supplementary Guidance Note 3A — Probabilistic Cost Estimation, Version 2.0, November 2023 PDF: 3.7 MB
  • Guidance Note 3B — Deterministic Contingency, Version 2.0, November 2023 PDF: 583 KB
  • Guidance Note 4 — Escalation, Version 3.0, November 2023 PDF: 751 KB

Upcoming guidance notes and future consultation

Whilst the department does not intend to expand its cost estimation guidance beyond the six key components at this stage, further notes on additional topics may be developed in future. The department will undertake a process of consultation with any future guidance note, prior to final publication.

Users should register below to ensure they are informed about future initiatives.

Register your interest

Enquiries regarding the guidance notes, should be directed to:

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.

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Australian Privacy Principle 5 Notice

Your submission, including any personal information supplied, is being collected by the department 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.