Infrastructure initiatives

Government infrastructure and construction initiatives require a wide range of legal specialists to advise on areas such as contract negotiation and development, tendering, procurement, leasing and Commonwealth, State and Territory regulations.

This year AGS assisted the Government with a number of significant projects, including the Parliament House Briefing Room (PHBR) for the Attorney-General's Department, a new facility for the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), construction projects on Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands for the Territories Division of the Attorney-General's Department, and legal advice for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

Parliament House Briefing Room

Since March 2009, AGS has assisted the Attorney-General's Department in establishing and undertaking its market testing and contractual arrangements for the PHBR in Parliament House and the associated National Crisis Coordination Capability Programme.

To support the department, AGS applied a coordinated approach with a number of specialist commercial legal teams and a range of legal disciplines. Peter Kidd and John Scala worked on legal process and probity; Tony Beal, Joanna Piva and Grant Follett worked on information and communications technology; and Terry De Martin, Fiona Mackrell, Andrew Miles, Zoe Loughton, John Williams and Kurt Richards worked on property and construction.

As well as providing general probity, legal process and commercial advice in relation to the project, AGS also assisted the department to undertake requests for expressions of interest, requests for tenders and other market testing processes and developed contractual documentation for the design architect, construction contractor and audiovisual ICT supply and installation.

ARPANSA facility

AGS's Josephine Ziino and Robert Cole provided the legal framework for an important construction project at ARPANSA's facility in Yallambie, Victoria. The AGS team prepared the request for tender documentation, the construction contract and supporting documents including the guarantee document and undertook the legal negotiation and contract completion phase to achieve a successful outcome for ARPANSA.

Indian Ocean Territories projects

Throughout the year AGS assisted the Territories Division of the Attorney-General's Department in a number of its property, construction and infrastructure projects undertaken on Christmas Island and on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. On Christmas Island these included:

  • procurement and installation of new generator sets for the power station
  • urgent leasing and installation of temporary additional generating capacity
  • design and construction of an electrical workshop adjacent to the power station
  • design and installation of a point mooring system
  • research and design of solutions for proposed renewable energy targets
  • establishment of a new diving resort.
  • On the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, projects included:
  • urgent leasing and installation of temporary additional generating capacity
  • design and construction of the new port and freight facility
  • design and construction of a community centre.

Supporting the department in these projects involved a number of AGS specialist national commercial and property lawyers in our Canberra, Perth and Sydney offices. These included Peter Kidd, John Williams, Terry De Martin, Fiona Mackrell and Kurt Richards in Canberra, Scott Slater, Mieke Dixon and Simon Thackrah in Perth and Simon Konecny in Sydney.

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service National Detector Dog Facility

AGS provided legal services to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service for its new national detector dog facility in Melbourne. The core project team comprised Josephine Ziino and Robert Cole on the documentation preparation and advice components, with support from Kenneth Eagle on incidental tendering issues. AGS assisted the client with a tailored agreement to design, construct and lease, and a long-term lease based on the earlier precedent documents, and provided support through the contract negotiation and completion phase.

Australian National Maritime Museum

An AGS team including Simon Konecny and Mark Sheridan assisted the Australian National Maritime Museum on the design and construction of its multi-purpose education and public programs facility at Darling Harbour in Sydney. The team advised on tendering issues and special conditions as well as federal and State regulatory and approval considerations such the Public Works Committee requirements.

This is an extract from the 2009–10 AGS annual report