Learning from International Experience
Edited by Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve
Chapter 16: Public-private partnerships: the Australasian experience with physical infrastructure
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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