Improving life, travel and the economy in Queensland

KPMG is helping deliver Queensland’s largest transport infrastructure project which will improve quality of life, grow the economy, generate thousands of jobs, and activate urban development across the region.

Cross River Rail (CRR) is a new 10.2 kilometre rail line with 5.9km of twin tunnels running under the Brisbane River and CBD. It includes four new underground stations, eight upgraded stations, and a new world class signalling system.

CRR will allow more trains to be added to the network and unlock Brisbane’s inner-city bottleneck, providing capacity to increase train services as our population grows and helping to tackle urban congestion. The project is underway and includes two major packages of works:

  • Tunnel, Stations and Development (TSD) (delivered as a Public Private Partnership)
  • Rail, Integration and Systems (RIS) (delivered as an alliance).
Client: Queensland Government Cross River Rail Delivery Authority (CRRDA) Project: Cross River Rail Location: Brisbane, Queensland Sector: Transport Services: Commercial advice | Financial advice | Support services

What was needed

  • Highly experienced financial and commercial advice
  • Integration of multiple works packages under different contracting models
  • Expert navigation of large project complexities
  • Real-time solutions to inevitable, unforeseen challenges
  • Support the infrastructure launch to the public

Please refer to FAQs for full project requirements.

KPMG's role

KPMG’s Infrastructure, Assets & Places division has brought together the best of its national network of infrastructure experts to help deliver this once-in-a-generation project.

We’ve formed a long-term partnership with the State and its Cross River Rail Delivery Authority (CRRDA) – from the business case phase, through procurement and now delivery phases.

And soon to extend into the operations phase, when this critical infrastructure will go live for all Queenslanders.

What we delivered

  • Business case stage (completed): provided two best-practice project cases by evaluating a range of models and criteria.
  • Procurement phase (completed): ensured on-time procurement by maximising interest, developing robust commercial principles, and tailoring government contributions.
  • Construction/delivery phase (underway): supporting successful project delivery including helping manage change and development negotiations.
  • Operations phase (to come): helping launch CRR to Queensland residents.
  • Other advisory services: technical and tax advice, debt support, audit establishment and more. 

Please refer to the FAQs for a more detailed delivery breakdown.

KPMG brought learnings from other projects, including commercial frameworks for multi-package projects such as interface management and completion, and a strong working knowledge of market conditions, participants and expectations. In addition to providing a comprehensive commercial and financial transaction service, KPMG has been there at the critical times to support CRRDA and government at all levels, working collaboratively to address the challenges that arise on such a major project.

Graeme Newton
Chief Executive Officer
Cross River Rail Delivery Authority

Key contact


What were the detailed project requirements?

As Queensland’s largest and most complex infrastructure project, CRR required a highly experienced financial and commercial adviser with in-depth understanding of the risks and complexities associated with procuring multiple works packages under different contracting models and successfully bringing them together into one single integrated project. CRR not only needed advisers with the ability to navigate these known risks and complexities, but also the agility and expertise required to help solve (in real time) the unforeseen challenges that inevitably emerge on projects of this scale.

What services did KPMG provide in the business case phase?

We developed two comprehensive, best-practice detailed business cases for the CRR Project and its world class signalling system (ETCS). We assessed various packaging, staging and contracting models to ensure they were informed by project scale and complexity, market capacity, interface risk and project economics. Our services included:

  • detailed financial analysis, financial modelling and cost-benefit analysis
  • comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of the project on the Queensland economy
  • detailed delivery model analysis and associated packaging and delivery strategy development
  • leading market engagement, market sounding and articulation of key market considerations
  • development of the Public Sector Comparator model and associated affordability and value-for-money analysis
  • development of an implementation plan and procurement and transaction strategy.

What services did KPMG provide during the procurement phase?

As lead financial and commercial adviser for the procurement phase, we helped ensure on time, on budget procurement outcomes. Our strategic and detailed approach to all tender processes helped maximise domestic and international interest and maintain competitive tension. We then capitalised on strong quantitative skills and commercial intelligence to develop and contractualise robust commercial principles that serve Queensland’s interest while dealing fairly with the market. This included working with tenderers and their financiers to develop and agree on a tailored government contribution model for the TSD package. Our services included:

  • development of expression of interest and request for proposal documentation
  • leading industry briefings and market soundings
  • leading bilateral and multilateral bidder interactions and workshops
  • tender evaluation (including commercial, financial and value-for-money analysis of proposals, stakeholder engagement and decision support)
  • financial modelling, including for pricing and bid evaluation
  • negotiation facilitation, advice and analysis
  • facilitating development and negotiation of key commercial principles, including performance and abatement regimes, KPIs, payment arrangements, etc.
  • development of a wide range of contract schedules and returnables.

What services did KPMG provide in the construction/delivery phase?

As lead financial and commercial adviser for the delivery (construction) phase, we are working with CRRDA to support the successful delivery of the project, including helping manage negotiations with contractors in connection with major project changes and developments. Our services include:

  • contractualising minor and major modifications, including through Financial Model updates
  • assisting with the management of claims and disputes, including advising on negotiation strategy and value-for-money implications
  • ensuring the ETCS project aligns with the State’s new Rail Network Strategy, facilitating a major review and re-contracting process to transition the project to a bespoke collaborative contracting arrangement, developed under collaborative principles in consultation with the existing contractor
  • periodic assessments of the financial soundness and capacity of key contractors
  • operational readiness advice, including development of forecasting models and associated budget updates, invoicing models and payment and contract management manuals
  • detailed advice on whole of State funding and accounting considerations.

Were there any other services KPMG provided?

Other advisory services

  • technical advice on accounting treatments for the project
  • tax advice on securitisation structures and other key contractual terms
  • debt advisory support and benchmarking
  • establishment audits for multiple alliances
  • strategic social licensing advice
  • Over Station Development (OSD) property strategy and property related commercial advice
  • organisational structure advice and benchmarking.

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