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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Cost Benefit Analysis Manual and CBA6


The parameters and some of the assumptions contained in the manual no longer represent
Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads' (the department) preferences and expectations and should not be used in cost-benefit analysis (CBA), conducted on behalf of the department, without prior discussion and approval.

In the past, the Cost-benefit Analysis (CBA) Manual was a practical reference tool for departmental staff and consultants evaluating the economic merits of transport and road projects.

The Theoretical Guide and some elements of the Technical Guide in the manual have since been superseded, primarily by the Australian Transport Assessment and Planning (ATAP) Guidelines, as well as several other supporting and complementary manuals, guides and frameworks (see below).

Practitioners should be aware that the departmental CBA manual's primary purpose, is to inform rural link-based CBAs and is not intended to be a reference for major projects - particularly in urban settings. While most of the parameters and assumptions have been superseded, the majority of the methodologies contained in the manual are still fit-for-purpose and represent the methodology applied in the departmental CBA models - unless specified by the department or in project-specific CBA reports.

Depending on the scale and complexity of the project/initiative, the relevant source(s) of information should be one or several of the following (not exhaustive):

For analysis conducted on behalf of the department, practitioners should, in consultation with Transport and Main Roads, use their professional judgement to propose methodologies suitable for the project. Where alternative methodologies, parameters or data not contained in the manual or the listed sources are recommended, the practitioner must consult with the Transport and Main Roads Project Evaluation Unit (PEU) Economics Team prior to commencing the analysis.

The department encourages innovation and the development of new and improved methodologies, which enhance the quality and rigour of economic analysis. Feedback regarding contemporary approaches and parameters relevant to transport economics are welcome. See Feedback section below.

By downloading the department's CBA manual you acknowledge the information and terms of use above.

Please note that the CBA6 tool is for internal Transport and Main Roads use only and it is not available to outside parties.

Cost-benefit Analysis Manual

Individual sections of the manual follow (to expedite downloading):


Feedback or questions regarding the manual should be directed to the Transport and Main Roads Project Evaluation Unit (PEU) Economics Team at


Last updated 28 October 2022