Gold Coast Light Rail information for subcontractors and suppliers

The Queensland Government through the Queensland Procurement Policy is committed to maximising benefits for Queenslanders by using procurement to support local jobs and businesses to drive economic, environmental and social outcomes. This includes ensuring quality, safe workplaces for people engaged on major state government projects, through the implementation of Best Practice Principles (BPPs), in accordance with guidance issued by the Department of Energy and Public Works and the Office of Industrial Relations.

An industry briefing providing:

  • an overview of the Queensland Government policy context and its application to major projects, including the including Queensland Procurement Policy, Best Practice Principles and best practice industrial relations
  • how the policies and government generally apply to TMR’s QTRIP program
  • how the Best Practice Industry Conditions may be considered for the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 project

has been recorded:

Gold Coast Light Rail Industry briefing

Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Deanne Hawkswood from the Department of Transport and Main Roads and I'm here today to talk to you about some policy changes that are going to come through and have an impact on the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 project.

But before I go into that, let's hear more about the project and then I'll come back to you shortly.

The current 20.3km Gold Coast Light Rail system operates between Helensvale and Broadbeach and consists of 19 stations and 18 trams.

Stage 1 opened in 2014 and connects Gold Coast University Hospital to Broadbeach.

Stage 2 opened in 2017 and now connects the Helensvale heavy rail station to the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Since this time more than 56 million passengers have travelled on the Gold Coast Light Rail system.

Before COVID-19, overall public transport use on the Gold Coast had increased by about 50 per cent.

Like stages one and two, the stage three project is funded by all three levels of government. The Queensland Government, the Australian Government and the City of Gold Coast. 

The system will be a 6.7km extension from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads and includes eight new stations. The light rail system will consist of Dual track in the centre of the Gold Coast Highway, Generally retaining two lanes of traffic on either side.

An additional five new trams will be procured as part of the project and will feature a range of accessibility improvements. 

During the planning of the project, the project team undertook extensive community engagement
Feedback received during this process included:

Nearly seven in ten people wanted more public transport services and preferring light rail over bus 

Eighty-six per cent support a stage three and want the extension to the Gold Coast Airport as soon as possible.

Seventy-two per cent of stage three corridor residents support future light rail extensions.

And eighty per cent of stage three corridor businesses support future light rail extensions and want it as soon as possible.

During 2020 the Department of Transport and Main Roads and GoldlinQ have undertaken a tender process for the design and construction of Stage three.

Late last year, a preferred tenderer was announced, that preferred tenderer is John Holland. 

Early works have now commenced with major construction anticipated to commence in late 2021.

I'm just going to give you an overview of what I'm going to take you through next.

So firstly, we're going to look at the Queensland Government Policy context Particularity as it relates to major projects. 

We are going to have a talk to you about what TMR is doing in terms of its implementation and some exciting work that's happening.

I'm also going to take you through the best practice industry conditions which is relevant for this project and then finally, where to access some further information that will be helpful for you.

Now we have a significant investment with QTRIP.

It's twenty-seven and a half billion dollars over the next four years and we've got additional future investment that will support the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

So we've got in essence we've got a ten year pipeline that's available to us.

That's really exciting. 

We've got an opportunity to use this spend to advance the Governments economic, environmental and social objectives, 
and support the long-term wellbeing of our community.

We're implementing government policy to enable these opportunities and I’ll give an update on some recent changes a little bit later. 

We need to work through our shared challenges by addressing the workforce security and quality jobs.

We want to build more capability and skills in our local workforce and ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of workers, particularly workers on our projects.

There's a lot of evidence that shows workers who have certainty, security and the skills they need, they feel valued and are more engaged in the quality and safety of the work environment.

And we can’t do this in isolation – we need to do this together with the sector and with other interested stakeholders.

So, I’m going to take you through quite quickly an overview of the policy structure. It might be boring, but it is important.

So, the Queensland Procurement Policy (QPP) is the overarching policy that applies to all buying done by the Queensland Government. 

It is also known as the Buy Queensland – and for good reason. It is the policy’s intent to encourage as much spend with quality local suppliers. 

The Queensland Government's commitment is to maximise benefits for all Queenslanders through its significant spend on goods and services to support local jobs and businesses, drive economic, environmental and social outcomes.

And the QPP applies to the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3.

The QPP or the Buy Queensland, it also includes making sure through the application of best practice principles, we can ensure quality, safe workplaces for people engaged on major state government projects.

The best practice principals or the BPPs because we all like to shorten everything to an acronym, apply on major projects of $100 million and above, or for projects that are declared as being subject to the Best Practice Principles.
So, the BPPs include, best practice work health and safety systems and standards, a best practice commitment to apprentices and trainees and best practice industrial relations.

As I said before, the best practice principles apply to Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 then we have the best practice industry conditions at the bottom there.

So, it’s a mechanism for what is considered best practice industrial relations and helps to achieve the intent of the BPP.

So, the BPIC as it is becoming well known, outlines the expectation for best practice employment conditions for workers on the major projects.

And it's relevant to the Principal Contractor and their supply chain which includes their sub-contractors. 

I will talk further about this later after I’ve given you an update on what TMR is up to. 

So, what is TMR doing? 

So, to support the implementation of the BPP or the best practice principals as I just talked about, which includes the Best Practice Industry Conditions, TMR have established a project focussed on better performance in civil construction.

And you can see that at the top of this slide here in that triangle, it's kind of like the roof of our house I suppose.

And what's sitting underneath that are the major pillars that are making this work happen.

So, the project and in those pillars, the project will deliver a new collaborative model for procurement and delivery, implementation of consistent key result areas (or KRAs) aligned to government priorities, 
and a strengthened focus on assurance and performance to make sure that performance matters.

And last, but not least, it's really important that we manage the engagement adoption and the change process so that all of this work leaves a lasting legacy.

So, starting from the left of the screen, I'll just take you through this. 

We have established a Collaborative Taskforce which has a balanced membership between TMR and industry membership. 

So, through the taskforce TMR and industry are completing a joint charter for collaboration, which we expect will apply to all projects and across the broader supply chain.

This piece of work is really important, and actually sets the expectations for the cultures and behaviours we want to see in our sector. 

It's pretty exciting stuff.

More recently, work also kicked off on a collaborative procurement and contracting model.

You can see that in the middle of that diagram there - it is early days but the joint TMR and Industry working group are really making fantastic progress.

There's really strong commitment to this work.

We've developed five KRAs – it's in the blue area there, and the KRAs themselves which are on the right hand side of the slide.

We're introducing these KRAs on our major projects over $100 million 

We're starting with the current Centenary Bridge Upgrade project. 

So, the KRAs will be structured to motivate contractors to aspire to providing more quality local jobs, safer workplaces, use of local suppliers and manufacturers, advancing infrastructure sustainability outcomes and optimising project delivery

Each KRA is going to be supported by performance measures, with enhanced reporting requirements and assurance processes to ensure the standards and outcomes expected are met and are delivered.

So, the first KRA, KRA 1 Quality Jobs will include the Best Practice Industry Conditions, or the BPIC as I said before, and it will outline the standard for best practice.

TMR will be ensuring that performance on its projects counts. 

So, I'm in this orange area now, A strengthened approach to performance and reporting is being stood up in TMR through a dedicated team who will measure and monitor contractor performance against these KRAs.

Performance matters for prequalification – and this information will feed into that process.

And last, but by certainly no means least, is the focus on making sure all of the work that TMR and industry are doing, leaves a legacy and leaves the sector in a better state than when we started.

So, this session is a small part of that actually. 

So, I'm reaching out to you to share information and give you an opportunity to provide feedback and ask us some questions.

So, change takes effort, we all know that. 

We're not comfortable in change and it also takes perseverance and we are all really focused on taking everybody with us as we work our way through it.

So, what does this mean for suppliers? 

In the previous slide I gave an overview of the Key Result Areas.

These will be included within a tender document for a major project. 

So, in the case of the first KRA – which was Quality Jobs you might remember, the tender will also include the BPIC.

So, where the best practice principals and the BPIC apply, as it does in this case, you may notice some changes 
and you may be asked to provide different or additional information which may related to
The KRAs, a commitment to use reputable suppliers and the provision of a supply chain engagement strategy
and information on the workforce profile for the project.

So, these are changes that TMR is putting through in their tender process and the information is helpful for TMR as we want to have better visibility of the suppliers and the workers 
on our major projects as well as the commitments to meeting or exceeding the measures in the KRAs.

TMR is an interested and active client and wants to be a more informed buyer. 

After all, there is a lot of investment and we want to make sure the benefits of these changes do create 
those social, economic and environmental benefits and that quality jobs and safe workplaces becomes the norm.

There is a BPIC applicable for the GCLR Stage 3 project 

This is relevant for everybody listening today. 

So, this BPIC is a guidance document. 

It reflects the Queensland Government’s standards and expectations to ensure that a workforce with optimal levels of skills and experience is attracted and retained for the life of the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 project’s delivery 
And ensure that relevant stakeholders can interact in a positive, collaborative and productive way through to successful project completion. 

The BPIC is used as a guide for assessment through the tender process. 

It is not mandatory.

Application of the BPIC is as a best endeavours approach.

It's not anticipated that tenderers will be able to meet all the conditions contained in the BPIC.

It does set a high standard. 

We recognise that there are various ways which reflect the BPIC intended outcomes.

We do not require any commitment that would breach any relevant law or code.

Providing an offer will not breach the code.

We're aware of concerns from industry about the BPIC and compliance with the building code

Recently, the ABCC assessed the tender package for the Centenary Bridge Upgrade Project and advised that it does not consider that the package, or the Transport BPIC, breaches the law or the code

Please check the advice on their website.  

So, what does this mean for you?

When tendering for work packages on Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 through the governments preferred D&C contractor

Your tender packs may include a copy of the Gold Coast Light Rail 3 BPIC and guidance material for consideration in your tender response.

You may be asked to demonstrate attributes of a reputable supplier, and I encourage you to remember your obligations under the Code.

Any questions about what I've taken you through today and particularly maybe about the BPIC. 

Please drop an email to that email address there and we will get back to you within a couple of days. 

The State Development regional offices have some really good tools and support to help you tender for government work

And the link is here as well.

And then any information regarding the Queensland Procurement Policy or the Best Practice Principles which I took you through earlier please have a look at the addresses on the For Gov site.

Thank you for your time and your attention. I hope the information that I've taken you through is helpful, and we really look forward to working with industry on the delivery of this really exciting project for the Gold Coast, thank you.

More information and resources

Interested construction sub-contractors and suppliers should visit

For questions about the Best Practice Industry Conditions for Transport Civil Construction Projects – Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 Project, email

For information and support in tendering for government work:

  • please contact your local State Development Regional Office
  • watch the State Development Why Choose Your Business webinar series. Modules covered include:
    1. Introduction
    2. Demonstrating Value
    3. Promoting Your Capability
    4. What is a Tender
    5. Fine-tuning Your Tender
    6. Key Learnings and Being Visible

Find out more on the Queensland Procurement Policy 2021.

For information on the Best Practice Principles, please visit the Department of Energy and Public Works website.

For Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) information on Queensland's Procurement Policy and the Best Practice Principles, visit the ABCC website.