Buswell backs PPPs for infrastructure

16/06/2008 - 15:05

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State Liberal leader Troy Buswell has today released a proposed new way forward for the State to build much needed public infrastructure in a faster, more cost-effective way.

Buswell backs PPPs for infrastructure

State Liberal leader Troy Buswell has today released a proposed new way forward for the State to build much needed public infrastructure in a faster, more cost-effective way.

Mr Buswell released the Liberal plan for major infrastructure reform document outlining a thorough analysis and evaluation of infrastructure delivery methods from around Australia and from around the world, including Public Private Partnership (PPPs) arrangements.

Mr Buswell, who first pointed to the use of PPPs in an address and release of the Liberal's Building a Lasting Vision document in March, said the evaluation indicated PPPs were amongst the best ways forward to deliver state projects.

"The state government is experiencing massive demands for economic and social infrastructure associated with WA's current economic boom," Mr Buswell said.

"However, the Carpenter government has failed to deliver the necessary infrastructure on time or on budget. Examples include the massive blowouts in the Fiona Stanley Hospital, the Mandurah Railway and the Office of Shared Services.

"Consequently, Western Australians are paying through the nose for these blowouts and are now the highest taxed people in the country.

"The Liberal Party believes that private public partnerships offer an excellent opportunity and their use should form the basis of infrastructure reform in WA.

"Better value-for-money and reduced cost blowouts will allow the liberation of taxpayers funding for frontline services, such as putting more police on the streets, more nurses in hospitals and more teachers in classrooms.

"The Liberal Party recognises that benefits from PPPs are not automatic and require rigorous evaluation processes and the establishment of a number of safeguards.

"Therefore, a State Liberal Government will require all PPPs to undergo independent evaluation, probably through the Economic Regulation Authority.

"To realise value-for-money and other benefits a range of safeguards will be developed by a Liberal Government based on lessons learnt from around Australia and around the world.

"This will include the creation of a world's best contract management team to oversee the development and management of contracts over the life of the projects."

"Despite admitting the need for reform, the Carpenter Government has failed to address the infrastructure problem. We have produced this document to highlight the importance and urgency of infrastructure reform.

"This document is a thorough analysis and evaluation of infrastructure delivery methods from around Australia and from around the world. The conclusion is that private public partnerships have been embraced globally because PPPs can deliver superior value-for-money.

Mr Buswell said an elected Liberal party will:

1. Expand the use of private public partnerships for infrastructure projects to deliver greater value-for-money for Western Australians.

2. Develop a rigorous and independent tender evaluation process, probably through the Economic Regulation Authority, to ensure that a PPP is the best option for a given project.

3. Develop a world's best contract management team to manage and oversee PPP projects, probably in the Office of Strategic Projects, to ensure value-for-money over the life of a project.


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