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Case Study

Darling Harbour Live

Aerial view of darling harbour sydney

A ‘once in a generation’ development that builds on the success of Darling Harbour, creating one of the world’s best areas to live, meet, network and be entertained.

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia 2017 Project of the Year

The situation

Darling Harbour Live is the largest social infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (PPP) procurement ($1 billion) in New South Wales - and one of the most complex.

It is a ‘once in a generation’ development that builds on the success of Darling Harbour, creating one of the world’s best areas to live, meet, network and be entertained.

To help set the project up for success, Infrastructure NSW (INSW) required a Transaction Manager to work within their project team. Advisian was engaged to provide the following services:

  • Develop a procurement strategy and deliver comprehensive transaction management services from expression of interests to contract close

  • Asset delivery services - independent strategic cost plan review of the reference design, management and facilitation of the risk management process and associated project management support


Embedded in the client’s office

We embedded a core team within INSW’s project office to manage all aspects of the procurement process through to the execution of all contracts. We developed a clear approach for procurement, taking into account likely issues that may arise, governance arrangements and the interface with key government stakeholders such as Treasury and the Cabinet Infrastructure Committee.

Developed a document roadmap

A document roadmap was developed, informing the structure of the Request for Proposal (RFT) documents that outlined INSW’s expectations of successful contractors. By reverse engineering the documents – starting with the final requirements and restrictions of the evaluation process and working backwards – we delivered a document structure that simplified the evaluation process, while ensuring contractors had the ability to demonstrate innovative approaches in their tenders.

Secured quality bids

To secure quality bids, INSW needed an efficient way of communicating with contractors throughout the procurement process. Our team structured a highly-effective ITP that made it easier and quicker to communicate with contractors and identify key issues requiring resolution or decision by Government, while complying with strict probity requirements.

Use of technology

Extensive use of online data management and storage facilities, cloud computing and iPad applications allowed INSW to streamline collaborative document creation and handling, and better manage the ‘Questions and Answers’ and ‘Request for Information’ processes during the procurement.

The use of technology reduced an otherwise manual workload and simplified communication between all participants, while enhancing the strict probity controls put in place.

Coordination of the bid evaluation process

Our consultants coordinated the preparation of the RFT documents, interactions with bidders and the bid evaluation process. In addition, we prepared the evaluation framework and negotiation plan and kept up an up-to-date, detailed timeline with key input deliverables.
The team maintained the ‘Deal Close Plan and Program’ through to contractual close. This allowed close coordination of the overall program and the management of arising issues to ensure all three contracts moved towards finalisation and contract close simultaneously.


The contracts for the project were closed on schedule in March 2012, providing the NSW Government time to meet its 2016 opening deadline.

Darling Harbour Live won Infrastructure Partnerships Australia 2017 Project of the Year.


1 the Partnerships Victoria Advisory Note on the Interactive Tender Process, as well as the Guidance Note by Her Majesty’s Treasury and Office of Government Commerce on the European Union Competitive Dialogue process