Firstly, let me say I am by no means an expert in this field, rather someone who has been exposed to PPP’s (Public Private Partnerships) as an observer through contacts in the Corporate Advisory and Infrastructure space for some time now. Being based in Brisbane and having seen a number of changes in the Queensland economy over the past four years, such as the boom of mining projects to the slowdown of the same, a change of State Government and the subsequent knock on effect that has on services sectors, I’ve found that one thing still remains – the need for critical infrastructure such as Schools, Roads, Rail, Port Infrastructure, Hospitals and the list goes on. This is of course not exclusive to Queensland alone, as around the Country this growing nation has had to find a way to be able to balance the demand of a growing population, whilst managing to find a way in terms of funding in a globally challenging market.
Under a PPP Model, Governments are able to balance their own risk and funding requirements to support large scale projects from Schools, Hospitals, Rail etc., by engaging with the Private Sector and Consortium’s who can put together expert teams to bid for the work now and over the period of the agreement.
PPP’s have become more prevalent in Australia, and particularly we have seen examples of this in NSW and Queensland in terms of the development and delivery of Hospitals and motorways. Recently the Queensland Government embarked on their first public hospital PPP with the development of Sunshine Coast University Hospital by the Exemplar Health Consortium and will design, construct, finance and commission as well as maintain the facilities for 25 years.
Reading the news and keeping an eye on the Infrastructure Australia website which essentially advertises current and proposed projects, it does look like there is still more to come in terms of significant projects.
With a change of Government at Federal level, there doesn’t appear to be a change or shift in the PPP model, with only recently the new Treasurer Joe Hockey showing support for PPP’s whilst recently being in Indonesia for an APEC minister meeting. He mentioned his excitement by some of the initiatives spoken of during the meeting including the establishment of an Experts Advisory Panel on Public Private Partnerships and Centres. Whilst that may not mean that much at a glance, the talk of Infrastructure projects around the region will also be interesting to see how this is delivered.
It appears that moving forward, this will continue to be prevalent and play a vital part in delivering key infrastructure for the Country.
Tim Hooper – Senior Consultant