Qantas are following Virgin Australia's lead with the release of Bid Now Upgrades. These are an invitation only upgrade to make an offer on purchasing an upgrade using a combination of points and cash. Qantas have confirmed that Bid Now Upgrades will not affect the number of frequent flyer point upgrades and how those are processed on the day, however, we'll be interested to see the long term feedback in relation to point upgrade seats.
A minimum number of 3,000 points will be required for domestic and 5,000 for international along with an undetermined sum of cash. The invitation will be emailed directly to you 7 days before departure if offered. Whilst not mentioned by Qantas, we believe that the status credits and point earning of the original ticket would apply so purchasing business class to accrue status credits is still the better option when you need to earn to retain your status.