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This section provides guidance for assessing low cost, low risk improvement programmes within the Local Road Improvements, State Highway Improvements, Regional Improvements or Public Transport Improvements activity classes for improvement activities up to $1 million total cost per activity.


Prior requirements for assessment

The assessment under the Investment Assessment Framework considers business cases developed using Business Case Approach principles.

Prior to any assessment using the Investment Assessment Framework, the business case must first be assessed by the Transport Agency to provide assurance that a robust case has been developed under Business Case Approach principles.

Work categories

The low cost, low risk improvements are delivered under a number of work categories.


Links to planning

The Transport Agency expects minor improvement programmes to be well linked to activity management planning documents (e.g. Activity Management Plans, Road Safety Action Plans and Regional Land Transport Plans) as well as Long Term Plans.

Key principles

Key principles for low cost low risk programmes include:

  • The expectation is that the activities in these programmes will be optimised following a straightforward process to reflect the government’s priorities. Investment partners can apply their own assessment framework during their programme prioritisation, but there is a clear expectation they will assess an individual project’s alignment with the appropriate activity class results alignment criteria.
  • Walking and cycling activities that form part of an investment partner’s low cost, low risk programme should be cross-checked for alignment with activities out of the walking and cycling activity class.
  • It’s particularly important there is flexibility to adjust the programme over the three year NLTP period, particularly where parts of the programme are not well developed at the time the NLTP is adopted.
  • Projects within a low cost low risk programme will not need to calculate a BCR. They will need to identify the principal benefit that the project is seeking to achieve.

Results alignment

Generic rating

The assessment is made at the programme level. The generic rating for results alignment for low cost, low risk programmes is High. Results alignment for each activity in the programme is captured in the relevant low cost, low risk template and it is critical this is completed and kept current.  

A strong linkage to activity management planning documents should provide insight to the quality and value proposition of these programmes.  

Cost–benefit appraisal


The fundamental requirement of a fully completed low cost, low risk improvements programme is that the template is completed and uploaded into Transport Investment Online (TIO) and must be  kept current.

A value for money scan of the proposed activities in the programmes should be made to challenge, and remove from the programme any that are judged to be of low value based on supporting information such as that contained in the supplied template and any other information deemed necessary to demonstrate value for money.

 Generic rating

Provided the Transport Agency representative responsible for assessing the programme(s) is satisfied that it targets a medium or high rating and that the activities in the list represent reasonable value for money, a generic rating of Medium will apply to low cost, low risk improvement programmes.

Further information on cost–benefit appraisal is provided in the section on Developing an assessment profile.


Programme prioritisation

The Transport Agency will prioritise low cost, low risk programmes (based on the results alignment and cost–benefit appraisal ratings of the programme) against other improvement activities in the local road improvements, state highway improvements, regional improvements and public transport improvement activity classes.

If funding availability is an issue across or in any of the above mentioned activity classes, the scale of the low cost low risk programme may be adjusted based on its priority within the activity class. The allocation will also consider the quality of supporting business cases including activity management planning documents.

Activity prioritisation

Activities detailed on the low cost, low risk improvements template must be prioritised against each other as part of preparing and managing the information recorded on the template. The prioritisation framework is to be determined by the approved organisation and provided to the Transport Agency upon request.