The Challenge of Public–Private Partnerships

The Challenge of Public–Private Partnerships

Learning from International Experience

Edited by Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve

The aim of the book is to investigate how PPP reforms function in comparison to the more traditional methods of providing public sector services and infrastructure and who typically experiences the successes and failures of these reforms.

Chapter 16: Public-private partnerships: the Australasian experience with physical infrastructure

Graeme Hodge

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, politics and public policy, public policy

Extract

16. Public–private partnerships: the Australasian experience with physical infrastructure Graeme Hodge Long term government relationships with private business and not-forprofit partners are increasingly popular. Today’s public–private partnerships operate with sophisticated and far-reaching contracts and promise better efficiency, improved services and strengthened monitoring and accountability, along with stronger business and investor confidence. Whilst there is some international evidence that these promises are being met, debate in this area remains fierce. As well as the potential for these benefits, there may also be tradeoffs, with revenue guarantees, compensation for future policy changes by governments and reduced flexibility under longer term contracts for the crown to make decisions in the public interest. This chapter looks at the Australasian experience of public–private partnerships. First, it discusses the historical basis of recent moves towards such partnerships, and notes that the desire for government to marry up its own capacities productively with the private sector through a variety of public–private mix arrangements is not new. Second, it documents the range of modern-day PPPs undertaken to date and comments on the increasing policy support currently being enjoyed by this technique. Finally, the paper reviews the performance outcomes published to date for recent Australasian PPP projects, and compares these achievements against the promises made. INTRODUCTION AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT Australasia comprises Australia, New Zealand and the neighbouring islands of the South Pacific Ocean. In this chapter, a picture is painted of the experience with PPPs across this region and we...

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