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By Pat McCormack, Category Manager

Operational since July 2019, our BUS270 Road, Water, Sewerage and Civil Works Arrangement required a different approach because of the range of project types and sizes, from minor works up to multi-million-dollar projects.  A suite of seven contracts ranging from Minor Works – Low Risk up to Australian Standards Major Construction documents, with D&C provisions, were provided for in this Arrangement due to the variation of size and complexity of projects undertaken through the Arrangement. 

Over the years of operation, it became apparent that the Arrangement needed to evolve to meet the complex requirements of Queensland Councils and that the provision of separate Arrangements for water/sewerage and roads that aligned with council structure was required. 

Local Buy’s BUS270 Road, Water, Sewerage and Civil Works Arrangement will expire on 30th June 2024.

This highly successful arrangement has been used by 102 purchasing organisations, including 70 Queensland Councils.

Working with stakeholders to find solutions

1. Feedback and Analysis

Over time, feedback and analysis from external stakeholders showed that some councils were confused by the range of BUS270 contracts, and when purchasing took place there was a failure to nominate the correct contract.  Other Councils preferred to use construction contracts that they had developed themselves.  

Local Buy was seeking the optimal contract solution for our new civil construction Arrangements for Roads, Water & Sewerage Infrastructure, Commercial Buildings and Residential Buildings which will become operational in mid 2024.

2. Solution

Engagement with a wide range of stakeholders including councils, engineering consultants experienced in managing council projects and construction law experts allowed us to gather feedback to determine options for a solution.  This feedback identified that we needed to provide a simplified contract suite that was completely suitable for Queensland Councils, and also allowed the option for councils to use their own construction contracts where necessary.

3. Outcome

Local Buy engaged Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF), a global law firm highly experienced in the preparation and interpretation of construction contracts for Queensland Local Governments, to develop a bespoke suite of construction contracts, incorporating Minor Works, Medium Works, and Major Works.

There is a similar style across the three new contracts, allowing councils to develop familiarity with the documents and confidence in their use.  Documents share clauses, with additional content for the larger contracts.  There are additional bolt-on provisions for design and construct applications.

A review panel of council officers and engineering consultants, highly experienced in council work, assisted with the development of these contracts, and described the new draft documents as “logical, versatile and robust”. Like all Local Buy purchaser contracts, they are developed from the perspective of the council purchaser, however our requirements included the equitable share of risk to not discourage suppliers from submitting project quotes.

New Arrangements

Local Buy’s BUS270 Road, Water, Sewerage and Civil Works Arrangement will expire on 30th June 2024. 

 New arrangements, designed through this consultative process, are currently open for tender and will close on March 13:

  • LB313 Road and General Civil Construction
  • LB314 Water, Sewerage and Stormwater Infrastructure

In response to Council feedback, road construction has been separated from water and sewerage infrastructure work to align the Local Buy Arrangements with the setup of most council structures and projects.

Local Buy also has new building and construction Arrangements currently open for tender :

  • LB329 Building and Construction -  Commercial Construction & Fit Out (including Asbestos Demolition)
  • LB331 Building and Construction - Residential

These Arrangements include a suite of three bespoke construction contracts that will be available to Purchasers utilising the new Arrangements:

  • Minor Works
  • Medium Works
  • Major Works

Local Buy is confident that the new construction contract suite will be a valuable resource for Queensland Councils well into the future. We look forward to working with the appointed suppliers and Queensland Councils to help deliver vital infrastructure projects

Other new Arrangements currently open for tender include:

  • LB316 Water, Sewerage & Stormwater Products
  • LB334 Recruitment: Temporary and Labour Hire
WEBINAR: Roads, civil construction, water, sewerage & stormwater infrastructure (LB313 and LB 314)