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PPPs flowing in Queensland

PPPs flowing in Queensland

THE ALLIANCE between the private and public sectors has “enormous potential” for value and efficiency, according to a recent report by the NSW Auditor General into new schools public…

THE ALLIANCE between the private and public sectors has “enormous potential” for value and efficiency, according to a recent report by the NSW Auditor General into new schools public private partnerships (PPPs).

Meanwhile, further north, the Queensland Government announced recently that eight projects will be assessed for release as PPPs in the next year, worth a collective $5.6 billion.

“Premier Beattie’s announcement bodes extremely well for the delivery of critical infrastructure, and represents a fresh flow of potential deals to the Queensland PPP market,” said Jeremy Prentice, projects special counsel at Freehills.

Speaking at a recent conference in Brisbane, Prentice said this avowal of the public private relationship by the Beattie Government “heralds the start of the next phase of the infrastructure delivery process in Queensland with the next phase of projects that have been waiting in the wings”.

Freehills has been heavily involved in PPP-related work in the past few years. In NSW, the firm has advised on two large PPP schools transactions involving Axiom Education and the state education system, which have been lauded by the NSW Government as deserving “high marks”.

These deals foreshadowed the proposed $791 million Sunshine Coast and $315 Western Corridor schools projects, which many argue could benefit from the PPP recommendations identified by the NSW Auditor General.

For Prentice, this proves PPPs can be successful “in infrastructure delivery for the right types of projects, nationally and internationally”.

The “scheduling and sequencing of projects” is now the most important consideration for both government and private sector, in order to ensure a “steady flow of work so that supply markets can meet demand”, he said.

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