Evaluation of the GP Super Clinics Program 2007-2008

7.2 The Establishment Aspect - Managing Funding for Construction Projects

Page last updated: 2012

The establishment aspect differed from other government construction programs such as the Building the Education Revolution (BER) Program where land acquisition and, for school projects in the various state and territory education systems, many Planning Authority or Council approvals were not required. Rather, the establishment of the GP Super Clinics is more akin to the processes required in commercial property developments. As a result, the capital component of the GP Super Clinics Program had to deal with the complexities of the land transfer and title, planning and zoning systems of states and territories, and the interweaving of citizen, business, and government regulatory relationships which occurs in these types of property developments.35

The Program provided significant funding for capital development of GP Super Clinics. This required robust contract and risk management. The establishment phase was also undertaken in the period of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). The GP Super Clinics developments were hence subject to the construction industry and economic challenges of those times. All but two of the 36 GP Super Clinics across 37 sites were completed, with the non-completions due to inability of the funding recipients to raise funds they required above and beyond those provided by the Australian Government. One of these is expected to be completed when negotiations regarding additional funding are finalised.

A number of the sites were located on land owned by an authority, for example a state-based health service, which was provided under a variety of lease arrangements to enable the building of the GP Super Clinics. In a number of instances these were in locations which may not have been the preferred site of the GP Super Clinic Directors or may not have been optimally accessible for patients. However, the provision of land under these arrangements represented a significant investment at those sites in the GP Super Clinics and, as such provided opportunities which could not be ignored. However, in at least one instance, because of less than ideal access for patients, this may present problems in the longer term.

35Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: Planning, Zoning and Development Assessments: Research Report. Canberra: Prodcutivity Commission 2011.