Court to be first PPP

THE wheels have been set in motion for what is to be the Western Australian Government’s first public-private partnership development venture.

The $127 million CBD Courts project will be the biggest court development in WA’s history involving the design and construction of a state-of-the-art District Court complex on the corner of Hay and Irwin Street, opposite the Central Law Courts.

Expressions of interest from construction and related industries including architects, builders, engineers, designers and facilities management companies have been called and short-listed parties will be announced in November or December.

Under the project guidelines, an efficient CBD Courts facility is to be transferred back to the State at an agreed price in a period of not less than 20 years.

Department of Justice executive director courts Gary Thompson said there were two main reasons why the CBD Courts Project was being progressed via a private public partnership.

Mr Thompson said PPP procurement enabled the State to contract with a single entity for a whole range of services that would traditionally be dealt with under a series of separate contracts.

“By dealing with one entity and internalising the numerous contract interfaces, there are real opportunities to improve justice services by improving efficiency and how the various services work together,” he said.

Mr Thompson said the PPP also involved a payment mechanism, which resulted in a more effective risk transfer and placed financial incentives on the contractor to manage all aspects of the contract services. 

He said past governments within Australia and around the world had not accounted for this risk correctly. 

“The PPP model places the responsibility onto the private sector to ensure the facility operates well for not less than 20 years and provides the incentives to make sure that happens,” Mr Thompson said. 

He said the second reason why the project was being conducted as a PPP was that a significant component of operational services was included in the proposed scope of works.

He said a PPP project enabled the skills of the private sector to be brought forward into the early stages of the project so that innovation and value capture was maximised.

The project brief will be released in early 2004 and the closing date for responses to the project brief will be mid-2004.  

The final decision on which entity will partner with the Government in this project will be made late in 2004.

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