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The practice of implementing infrastructure projects through a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement is widely employed around the world with successful outcomes. However, this practice is not without challenges related to cost, time and quality variations, which the public is forced to bear. This study aims to explore factors influencing the termination of the East West Link project in Melbourne and present time and cost variation challenges facing the Sydney Light Rail project. This paper utilizes literature, investigating the critical success factors (CSF) for PPP infrastructure projects in an international context, and other readily available data sources such as Australian government publications, the case projects’ reports, news articles, and websites as the sources of data. The data gathered from these sources was then analysed to understand the project challenges and to investigate the relationship between CSF and the challenges. Four challenges were identified, including insufficiency of the business case, political interference, non-independence of implementing organizations and insufficient risk profile identification. The findings can assist to cover the loopholes that might cause similar failures in project planning, risk management, and policy and guideline frameworks. However, efforts should be made in improving the existing policies to accommodate political interests as part of risk measures under the national PPP guidelines.
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