IN Brief: Buswell pushes infrastructure PPPs

WA Liberal leader Troy Buswell spent most of the past week fighting leadership disputes but more substantively he also launched a major infrastructure policy that advocates increased use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). Mr Buswell believes PPPs can offer better value for money and reduce the cost blowouts that have affected some of the state government’s major infrastructure projects. “The Liberal Party believes that private public partnerships offer an excellent opportunity and their use should form the basis of infrastructure reform in WA,” he said. Labor governments across Australia have used PPPs to deliver a wide range of economic and social infrastructure, ranging from toll roads and tunnels to hospitals and schools. The Carpenter government officially supports the use of PPPs but in practice has been lukewarm in its support. Ironically, Premier Alan Carpenter officially opened the state’s first major PPP project this month. The $190 million District Court building was developed by the Western Liberty consortium, which is led by banking group ABN AMRO. Western Liberty will maintain the court building until 2032 and provide key services including custodial, security and court transcription.

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