image of Joanna PugsleyJoanna Pugsley

Clayton Utz Partner , Melbourne T +61 3 9286 6920

As a leading construction and major projects lawyer, Joanna Pugsley has advised on a range of construction, social infrastructure, engineering, maintenance and operation agreements in large projects including PPPs, ECIs, Alliance and traditional construction procurement models.

Joanna has particular expertise in advising governments on construction and service procurement and contracts. She has advised governments across Australia on major construction projects. She is well known and highly regarded for her ability to think outside of the square and is often called upon to develop innovative solutions to drive the required outcomes.

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Construction and Major Projects

New Royal Adelaide Hospital: Acting for State Governments on numerous hospital, rail and road collaborative contracting construction projects including: We were engaged by CSO to advise on all phases of this $1.85bn project to financial close. With CSO we drafted the EOI, RFT and other project documentation and led the negotiations with the successful bidder.

South Australian Prisons Project:  We advised SA Corrections and the CSO on this project which was to involve the delivery of multiple prisons.

Alternative procurement models including Early Contractor Involvement, Alliances, Managing Contractor, Collaborative, D&C: Acting for State Governments on numerous hospital, rail and road collaborative contracting construction projects including:

Alternative Quarantine Accommodation (Vic Govt): Lead partner advising DPC on the new purpose-built quarantine accommodation hub outside Melbourne’s CBD at Mickleham, the site of the existing animal quarantine facility, owned by the Australian Department of Agriculture. The first stage of the hub will provide 500 beds, with a second stage doubling capacity a short time later. It is also designed with the ability to increase to up to 3000 beds as part of a scalable build if a larger facility is determined to be required at any point. The project will be delivered by an MC model using modular construction.         

New Mental Health Beds (Vic Govt): Advising VHHSBA on the delivery of 144 mental health beds across 4 sites using a managing contractor procurement model including development and negotiation of contract documents, review of tenders, evaluation of offers.

Alcohol and Drug Health Facilities (Vic Govt): Jo is advising the VHHSBA on the construction of two new alcohol and drug health facilities on existing hospital sites using an ECI model and modular construction.

Social Housing Growth Fund (Vic Govt): Jo leads the legal team advising Homes Victoria and DTF to develop a bespoke state contribution and funding model, where the State makes payments to CHAs on an availability basis for newly built social housing dwellings owned or leased by the CHA. The program includes a build-to-rent development model and a build and operate model with capital contributions.

Canberra Hospital Extension Project (ACT Govt): Advised the ACT Government on the construction of an emergency and peri-operative hospital facility under a two stage ECI model. This is a brownfield project with the new centre being built in the grounds of Canberra Hospital.

Albany Health Campus (Albany Hospital) (WA Govt): Advised the Department of Health (Western Australia) on the design and construction of the Albany Hospital using a two stage ECI model.

Chisholm Road Prison and Youth Justice Centre Redevelopment (Vic Govt): Lead adviser to the Department of Justice and Community Safety (Victoria) on the MC procurement of a new maximum security male prison at Chisholm Road Prison in outer-Geelong and the MC procurement of the Youth Justice Centre Redevelopment in Cherry Creek, which is currently in stage 1 of a two stage process.

Confidential transport infrastructure ECI Project (Cth Govt):
Advising on a dual ECI agreement with a D&C contract for a Cth procured brownfields transport project.

Confidential transport infrastructure ECI Project (Vic Govt): Advising on the development of the delivery model for numerous brownfield transport projects using a program based approach using ECI and collaborative D&C.

City Rail Link (NZ Govt): Advised the NZ government authority on their Alliance and maintenance contract for new metro tunnels and stations. The project was procured using a competitive TOC process. To entrench the whole of life solution, Jo developed a unique performance based maintenance model for the project, which entrenched the whole-of-life maintenance solution into the alliance.

PPP projects

Jo has acted as a key legal adviser to government on PPP projects over 15 years. These include:

Bendigo Hospital Redevelopment (Vic Govt): Lead adviser to the Department of Health (Victoria) on a $630 million greenfield project, which included a new acute hospital, a new mental health inpatient facility and a new integrated cancer centre with a brownfield operating hospital environment.

Ravenhall Prison (Vic Govt): Led the legal team advising the Department of Justice (Victoria) (as it was then) on the first fully outsourced PPP in Victoria. This was also the first prison to be constructed using modular cell construction. Jo advised on all contract structuring, settled the PPP Project Agreement and all project documents, and attended to contract and financial close. Jo continues to advise on contract management issues, including major modifications as they arise.

Cross River Rail (Qld Govt): Part of the team advising the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority in connection with the preparation and negotiation of tender and contract documents for the Cross River Rail project, a new 10.2km rail line through central Brisbane and under the Brisbane River and CBD and four new stations. The project comprises three main delivery packages (a rail, integration and systems alliance, a tunnel and stations PPP, and a European Train Control System Target Cost package).

ACT Light Rail (ACT Govt): Led the legal team advising Capital Metro Authority and the ACT Government on stage 1 of this PPP project involving the design, construction finance and operation of a light rail through Canberra. Jo is also leading the legal team on the negotiations with the operator for the delivery of stage 2 using a collaborative contracting model with the incumbent operator and construction contractor.

ACT Courts Facilities (ACT Govt): Led the legal team advising the ACT Government on this PPP for a courts facility on a brownfield site involving multiple stages of development and completion.

Partnerships Victoria DTF Standard Form Project Deed & Guidance Notes (Vic Govt): Lead legal adviser to the Department of Treasury and Finance on their standard form PPP Project Deed and procurement documents.

Jo has advised governments on numerous augmentations and renewals of PPP Projects including: light rail, hospitals and prison facilities and courts.

She has also advised private sector bidders on numerous PPP projects including: the High Capacity Metro Trains (Melbourne), West Stadium and extensions of various social infrastructure PPPs.

See Construction and Major Projects

Government Services

In addition to her construction work Jo has advised governments on the engagement of the private sector to deliver public services including:

  • Recycling and Waste Services (MWRRG)
  • Container Deposit Schemes (NSW Government)
  • Facilities maintenance services contracts for hospitals and prisons and other social infrastructure facilities including the Victorian, Queensland and Commonwealth governments.

See Government Services

Energy and Resources

Oman Fertiliser Plant EPC: Acting for the lenders in the negotiating of an EPC Contract for a USD$1bn fertiliser plant in Oman. The role included undertaking the due diligence on the construction documents, drafting and negotiating the Tripartite Agreement.

Kawasaki: Advising on the development of a pilot plant and supply chain for the production of hydrogen energy from brown coal sources in Victoria, to supply to Japan. The project involves carbon capture and sequestration aspects as well as unique shipping issues relating to the transportation of liquefied hydrogen to Japan.

Fortescue Metals Group (FMG): Jo has advised FMG for over 10 years on a number of its infrastructure projects in the Pilbara. Her work has included:

  • developing Fortescue’s standard form D&C, construct only, equipment supply, minor works and short form services agreements for its capital projects (including the Eliwana and Iron Bridge projects);
  • acting for Pilbara Energy Generation (a Fortescue subsidiary) for the new Solomon thermal power station, which forms part of the Pilbara Generation Project and includes 165 MW of gas-fired, 150MW of solar PV and 50MW of battery storage power generation;
  • providing strategic advice to FMG on the various work packages in relation to the Eliwana 30Mtpa iron ore project in the Pilbara;
  • assisting FMG in the project structuring and contracting strategy for the development of stage 2 of the Iron Bridge magnetite iron ore project in the Pilbara; and
  • acting for FMG in the development of the commercial arrangements with Caterpillar for the supply of an autonomous mining fleet at Solomon, and then across FMG’s various mining operations in the Pilbara.
  • advising on FMG's mining services contracts for the Solomon Project, including developing a completely bespoke contract with a robust risk/reward matrix.

Rio Tinto: Drafted and advised Rio Tinto on its standard form standing offer EPCM contracts for its coal, bauxite and uranium mines on the east coast of Australia.

Energy Australia: Advising on the renegotiation of the O&M Contract for Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm.

LGES Korea: Acting in a bid for the development of a battery storage facility at Kwinana, WA.

Wood Pellet Project: Advising Mitsui on construction of a proposed EPC wood pellet plant in Tasmania.

Whitehaven Autonomous Coal Mining: Advising Whitehaven Coal in its collaboration with Hitachi to design, deliver and commission an Autonomous Haulage System at the Maules Creek mine in NSW.

Oz Minerals: Advised Oxiana on the construction of processing plants at Prominent Hill. The project has been procured using an EPCM model and Jo drafted the original contract documents and acted for Oz Minerals in the negotiations with Fluor.

Project Sakhalin: Advising Financiers on Project Sakhalin in connection with the US$22bn integrated oil and gas and LNG project in Russia. Project Sakhalin was the first offshore oil development in Russia and Russia's largest ever foreign investment and project financing. Jo was responsible for due diligence on various EPC contracts and negotiating all finance related tripartite arrangements.

See Energy and Resources


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