MAJOR REPORTS | SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
1 April 2020
Report: Social Infrastructure PPPs
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia has released an independent research report investigating the operating performance of social infrastructure Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Australia and New Zealand.
The research report, commissioned by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and completed by the University of Melbourne, demonstrates that PPPs are delivering substantial benefits to providers and users of schools, hospitals, prisons, and other types of social infrastructure.
Australia has been at a global leader in the delivery of infrastructure through public-private partnerships. Since the early 1990s, Australian governments have used PPPs to deliver services more efficiently and improve value for money for taxpayers. Through PPPs in the social infrastructure sector – in particular, schools, hospitals and justice facilities – Australians have gained access to innovative and effective infrastructure services, delivered by leading global providers.
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia has played an important role in the history of Australia’s PPPs. As our name suggests, partnerships are in our DNA. Since our establishment in 2005, we have provided a forum for the public and private sectors to come together – outside the setting of a deal table – to address critical issues in the sector, and to find common ground on solutions. Through this paper, we are pleased to continue our focus on how the public and private sectors can partner effectively to the benefit of Australian infrastructure users and taxpayers.
After 25 years of PPPs in Australia, this represents an opportune moment to reflect on the performance of this approach to delivering social infrastructure. While many within the infrastructure sector recognise the benefits these PPPs have brought, many in the broader community may not see or understand the differences from regular service delivery.
That is why this research focuses on the experience of service providers and users. By using the data collected over these projects’ histories, and the views of the frontline staff and users of PPP facilities, this research aims to assess whether PPPs have lived up to their promise, and communicate these findings to a wider audience.
It is important for this research to be independent and objective. That is why Infrastructure Partnerships Australia commissioned the University of Melbourne to undertake this work. We are grateful to Professor Colin Duffield and Dr Ali Mohammed Saeed for their authorship of this paper, underpinned by objective analysis of projects across Australia and New Zealand, and made possible by those who participated in the study.
I would also like to thank our partners on this project for your support – the Treasuries of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and New Zealand. This generous support has not only enabled the research to happen, but also to make it a partnership that reflects the projects this research explores. With the support of the public sector, brought together with the private sector through Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and its membership, and filtered through academic objectivity of the University of Melbourne, this represents a truly collaborative effort.
The authors of this paper are responsible for its words, research and findings. However, the sector owns its outcomes by virtue of having delivered the projects. The findings reflected through this research are overwhelmingly a positive story about the success of social infrastructure PPPs. This success has been built on the foresight, hard work and commitment of infrastructure leaders across the public and private sectors who have developed and delivered these assets and services.
The sector should be rightly proud of its track record. I also encourage you to consider the recommendations of this paper, and how those developing and delivering the next 25 years of PPPs can take important lessons from past experience.
Chief Executive Officer
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