20/01/2010 - 09:20

Four WA projects under PPP consideration

20/01/2010 - 09:20

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Treasurer Troy Buswell today confirmed that the state government was planning a number of infrastructure projects for delivery as public private partnerships, an arrangement that some oppose.

Treasurer Troy Buswell today confirmed that the state government was planning a number of infrastructure projects for delivery as public private partnerships, an arrangement that some oppose.

The confirmation comes as state Attorney General Christian Porter revealed a new 80-bed prison for young men will be operated by a private company.

Mr Porter said the management of the young adults prison would be based on the private operation model integrated at Acacia Prison.

Mr Porter also announced the government would spend $126 million to expand Acacia Prison while $232 million would be invested in the Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison, where a method of service delivery had yet to be determined.

Following Mr Porter's announcement, Mr Buswell said the prison projects were the first transactions in what would become a pipeline of PPPs in health, education, correctional services and utilities in WA.

"We will actively pursue PPPs when they offer value for money and are in the public interest," he said.

"This year, expressions of interest will be sought from industry for at least four PPPs in these important areas."

A spokesperson for Mr Buswell said the government would not name the four projects as the tender process was about to be implemented.

All general government infrastructure projects with a capital value of more than $50 million would be considered for potential delivery as a PPP.

Last week, the state opposition and the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU) expressed their concern that a PPP was being considered for the $360 million Midland Health Campus.

The opposition and union claimed that a PPP would cost jobs and jeopardise patient care.

Today, the LHMU expressed its concern that the government was jeopardising vital community services.

"Saying these are partnerships disguises that this is actually an orgy of privatisation on a massive scale," LHMU secretary Dave Kelly said.

"And guess who'll suffer? The everyday working people of Western Australia.

"The quality of service in schools and hospitals will only be made worse for taxpayers. And workers will be paid less and treated worse by private firms who are only looking to make a fat profit from their operations.

"This Liberal government was elected to improve the health sector not sell it off bit by bit."


 

Mr Buswell's announcement is below:

 

Treasurer Troy Buswell today confirmed the State Government was planning a significant number of infrastructure projects for delivery as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).

Mr Buswell said projects announced today by the Attorney General were the first transactions in what would become a pipeline of PPPs in health, education, correctional services and utilities in Western Australia.

"We will actively pursue PPPs when they offer value for money and are in the public interest," he said.

"This year, expressions of interest will be sought from industry for at least four PPPs in these important areas."

PPPs are significant long-term arrangements involving private sector delivery of infrastructure and related services in support of the Government's broader service responsibilities.

A number of other infrastructure projects will progress through planning stages and be released to the market during 2011.

PPPs are part of the State Government's push to bring forward infrastructure investment and maximise value with innovative delivery of infrastructure and services.

The Treasurer said moving beyond traditional 'construct only' contracting with the private sector towards engagement over the entire asset life cycle would allow the Government to benefit from innovation in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure and the State Government services they supported.

"Industry and the Government should work collaboratively to deliver important public infrastructure, service outcomes and value for money for the WA community," he said.

All general government infrastructure projects with a capital value of more than $50million would be considered for potential delivery as a PPP.

The State Government will appoint project teams and advisors to implement the process over the coming months.

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