OnPoint by Keith Ng


Like a hole in the head

Hey Judith, about that $1.2b figure for your PPP prison. On page 2, it says:

This study assumes that the Prison is built using a traditional approach which means that Central Government are responsible for building and operating the Prison through the Department of Corrections. While the Government is exploring the implications for cost and operational efficiency of establishing a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to develop and run the Prison, it is not possible to build those implications into the economic impact assessment at this stage."

It explicitly treats it as if it *wasn't* a PPP. The whole point of a PPP is that they do it cheaper, which means spending less money, which means less regional economic spin-off. And if they don't spend less money, then why would you bother with a PPP?

And then there's the common sense part. If that's an economic case for building a new prison, it could also be an economic case for building a permanent hole digging and refilling facility.

After all, you need to hire hole diggers to dig holes and fill them back up (job creation!), they need to eat, be housed, and provided with shovels (generate income for local businesses!). All of those things, under this method of analysis, have positive flow-on economic effects. But at the end of the day, they're still just digging a hole and filling it back up.

This sure is some meaningless shit.

UPDATE: The impact assessment report is here.

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