Table of Contents

International Handbook on Public–Private Partnerships

International Handbook on Public–Private Partnerships

Elgar original reference

Edited by Graeme A. Hodge, Carsten Greve and Anthony E. Boardman

In this timely Handbook, leading scholars from around the world explore the challenges presented by infrastructure PPPs, and contemplate what lies ahead as governments balance the need to provide innovative new infrastructure against the requirement for good public governance. This Handbook builds on a range of exciting theoretical lenses that span several disciplinary boundaries. It presents innovative insights and informed perspectives from an international base of empirical evidence.

Chapter 17: The Australian PPP Experience: Observations and Reflections

Graeme A. Hodge and Colin F. Duffield

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

Extract

Graeme A. Hodge and Colin F. Duffield Australia has, over the past four decades, been a keen reformer of public sector activities. The introduction of public–private partnerships (PPPs) as an alternative infrastructure delivery method has been no exception, and long-term infrastructure arrangements between governments and private businesses have become increasingly popular. Today’s PPPs operate with sophisticated and far-reaching contracts, and promise better efficiency and strengthened monitoring and accountability as well as a host of other benefits. In the midst of an increasing amount of international evidence now available on the extent to which these promises are being met, debate remains both loud and determined. Some interpret the introduction of this reform as a sensible evolutionary step in the professional delivery of large infrastructure projects. PPP to these people is simply a sophisticated way to deliver modern professionalized public sector services. Others, though, see the infrastructure PPP movement as a triumph of the interests of bankers and professional consultants over the interests of citizens, whose needs should be represented through the parliament. This chapter looks at some of the recent Australian experience of PPPs. It discusses first the national historical context and notes that the desire for government to marry up its own capacities with the private sector is in fact not new. This has been achieved over the past two centuries through a variety of public–private mix arrangements at federal and state level. Second, we review the more recent foundations upon which Australian governments have then built reforms...

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