Corporate Plan 2017–18

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cover image of corporate plan 2017-2018

Corporate Plan 2017–18
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Secretary's introduction

This is the Department's primary planning document, explaining our purposes, outlining the environment in which we work and describing how we will measure our success. It focuses on what we are doing to support economic growth, access to safe, secure, and efficient transport and stronger communities. Making the right choices for infrastructure, transport and regional development is critical to ensuring that all Australians have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a strong and prosperous economy.

Between 2013–14 and 2020–21 we will oversee more than $70 billion in infrastructure investments across Australia. The 2017 Federal Budget set out a significant national investment agenda. Investments include an additional $8.4 billion toward ensuring the delivery of the Melbourne–Brisbane Inland Rail, $10 billion for the National Rail Program and $500 million for regional rail in Victoria. We will also deliver major road projects across Australia and continue to administer vehicle safety standards and road safety programs including the Bridges Renewal and Black Spots programs.

Aviation and maritime services also play a key role in our economy and in connecting Australians to businesses, markets and essential services. We facilitate safe and secure access for Australians and Australian businesses to aviation and maritime trade networks and aviation passenger services. We are also overseeing the development of Western Sydney Airport, which will be a major catalyst for jobs and economic growth in the region.

Our regional development activities continue to deliver vital infrastructure and funding to regions, enabling them to harness potential, prosper and grow. Our administration of the new Regional Growth Fund will provide $472.2 million over the forward years to support both large transformational projects and smaller community-building projects.

We also continue to administer the Building Better Regions Fund, the Regional Jobs and Investment Package and a range of regional programs. This dedicated regional funding, delivered in partnership with communities and state, territory, and local governments, will help grow regional communities which people want to live in and come back to for work. The Department is also dedicated to ensuring that communities in Australia's external territories and the Jervis Bay Territory maintain access to essential services, good governance and infrastructure.

As the Department works to implement this plan, we will continue to be guided by our strategic vision: having a view on the right outcome, driving policy reform, leading program and project delivery, regulating effectively, being a leading entity for investment strategy and planning, and fostering a high performing workforce.

Mike Mrdak AO
Secretary

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Purposes

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is responsible for the design and implementation of the Australian Government's infrastructure, transport and regional development policies, programs and regulations, to support the Government in achieving a strong economy and thriving communities now and for the future.

We deliver against six purposes through our eight Budget programs:

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Supporting economic growth through transport

Improving transport efficiency and sustainability to facilitate the movement of people and freight

Environment and risks

The Australian economy is in its 27th consecutive year of economic growth and is forecast to continue to grow. The nation's transport systems are a critical enabler of economic growth and their efficiency and sustainability directly affects both our economic and individual prosperity.

Meeting the changing transport and infrastructure needs across Australia poses an ongoing challenge for the Australian Government, particularly in a constrained fiscal environment. Working closely with state and territory governments, the Department plays a pivotal role in ensuring our transport systems are able to respond to growing freight and commuter needs, particularly as our cities and regional centres expand. By maximising the efficiency of our transport networks, particularly our freight routes, we can deliver productivity gains to transport users now and into the future.

To cater for Australia's growing markets and population targeted infrastructure investments are required, including major projects such as the Inland Rail and Western Sydney Airport. In overseeing these transformational projects, the Department will manage risks through sound investment strategy and planning expertise.

Failing to get the policy settings right to improve the long-term sustainability of our transport system is a critical risk. To mitigate this, the Department is focusing on improving the ways in which we invest in critical national transport links and systems, and improving the viability and sustainability of the transport network across all modes—road, rail, aviation and maritime.

An effective and efficient transport system is underpinned by the confidence of the travelling public and business in safe and secure movement of people and goods. The Australian Government's approach to transport security must carefully balance regulatory interventions targeted at securing transport modes against social and economic needs for efficient and unhindered movement of people and goods. With the right regulatory settings, a safe and secure transport system can positively contribute to economic growth by increasing business and passenger confidence.

The Australian Government is also working closely with state and territory governments to improve our planning approaches, strengthen investment decision-making and evaluation and reform the way we fund and invest in transport infrastructure so we can make the most of our shared investments. Ensuring the right pricing and regulatory incentives for increased public and private investment in infrastructure is essential, as is assessing advances in new technology and supporting a transition to more widespread use of low emission vehicles.

Delivery

Infrastructure Investment

The Infrastructure Investment program supports economic growth by increasing the efficiency of Australia's land transport infrastructure.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • deliver infrastructure projects, and advise on potential projects, which improve Australia's land transport network efficiency and productivity in partnership with state and territory governments
  • examine opportunities for alternative funding and financing approaches for the Australian Government's commitments to land transport projects under the Infrastructure Investment Program, to optimise the impact of public investment in infrastructure, and
  • work with state, territory and local governments to develop options to support longer-term institutional and governance reform of land transport market investment and charging arrangements to share the cost of transport projects between those who benefit and the broader Australian community.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Oversee and deliver initiatives and projects to improve Australia's rail networks such as:
    • the Melbourne–Brisbane Inland Rail project
    • development of urban rail plans for Australia's five largest cities and surrounding regions
    • development and delivery of the National Rail Program
    • upgrades to the regional rail network in Victoria and construction of Metronet in Perth
    • development of proposals for faster and higher-speed passenger rail services between cities and major regional centres, and
    • oversight of projects funded through the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the Moorebank Intermodal Company Limited.
  • Deliver major road infrastructure projects to improve transport efficiency and productivity, including:
    • the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, NorthConnex, WestConnex, Pacific Highway, Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, Bruce Highway, the Victorian Infrastructure Package, Northlink WA, the North-South Corridor in South Australia and Midland Highway in Tasmania.
  • Undertake cost estimate, assurance and compliance reviews to contribute to improved transport infrastructure decision-making and delivery through sound management in partnership with the jurisdictions.
Transport Security

The Transport Security program supports economic growth by ensuring the efficient and unhindered movement of people and freight.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • ensure a viable and sustainable transport security system through regulation, designed collaboratively with industry and government entities
  • review regulatory settings to ensure they effectively counter contemporary security risks, and
  • work with international partners to influence global standards and improve the transport security capability of our regional partners.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Develop a risk based, proportionate approach to airport and seaport security categorisation.
  •  Implement air cargo security reforms to embed the Known Consignor Scheme to secure the supply chain from its source and to maintain favourable trade status with the United States following switch over to piece-level screening.
  • Work with industry to encourage the retirement of legacy equipment and explore smarter ways to use existing technologies by changing processes to achieve equal or better security, improved passenger facilitation and reduced operational costs.
  • Work with government partners to align and streamline border regulation of air cargo.
Surface Transport

The Surface Transport program supports economic growth by undertaking activities to improve the performance of the surface transport sector.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • promote integrated surface transport (road, maritime and rail) reforms which support the operation of single national markets and build on effective relationships with key stakeholders, including other governments, unions, industry and regulators to deliver a more seamless and consistent regulatory environment
  • support the strategic work program of the Transport and Infrastructure Council to sustain national transport reform momentum with jurisdictions working together to implement longer-term reforms
  • identify and implement reforms that allow transition of Australia's vehicle fleet to autonomous and connected vehicles
  • consult regularly with government, industry and community stakeholders to ensure Commonwealth regulation is fit for purpose and proportionate to the risk being managed, and regulatory systems are continuously improved, and
  • maintain an effective regulatory framework for surface transport to ensure an efficient and environmentally sustainable transport system.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Undertake a major study into the way Australia funds and pays for its roads and work with state and territory governments and the Council on Federal Financial Relations to embed institutional changes to the way existing heavy vehicle charges operate, with a focus on efficiency, sustainability, independence, transparency and fairness.
  • Work to progress heavy vehicle road reform in consultation with jurisdictions and industry stakeholders including developing options for independent regulation of heavy vehicle charges and options to move to a forward-looking cost base.
  • Set the agenda for improving the environmental performance of vehicles including through implementing international emissions standards where appropriate.
  • Lead work with the state and territory governments to implement the National Policy Framework for Land Transport Technology to ensure that Australia is able to realise the full productivity and safety benefits of automated and connected vehicles and other emerging transport technologies.
  • Lead work with the state and territory governments to develop a national freight and supply chain strategy, for consideration by the Transport Infrastructure Council in 2018, to drive freight productivity improvements and lower costs of transport goods through our major national container ports, airports and intermodal terminals and along the routes connecting to them.
  • Design and implement coastal shipping reforms, utilising stakeholder submissions to the Coastal Shipping Discussion Paper and industry consultation, which simplify regulatory arrangements and reduce administrative burden on industry to increase use of coastal shipping as an efficient means of moving domestic freight.
  • Develop a National Data Collection and Dissemination Plan to ensure big data can be used to improve the productive capacity of both current and future transport networks
Air Transport

The Air Transport program supports economic growth by ensuring the aviation industry operates within a clear and robust safety, planning and environmental regulatory framework and that Australian businesses and consumers have access to competitive international and domestic air services.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • drive growth in international airline activity through strategic engagement with key markets
  • progress the consideration of modernised airspace protection arrangements to facilitate future airport growth and provide for better on-and-off airport planning
  • support economic growth through the implementation of aviation regulation, policies and administered items to effectively support future investment in safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible aviation infrastructure. This involves oversight of functions such as major aviation infrastructure developments, airport planning, non-aviation development and land use, airport insurance compliance, and airport environment and building control regulation
  • maintain active membership in international organisations, in particular the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and participate in international fora to uphold Australia's aviation interests and ensure Australian aviation policies align with international best practice, and
  • oversee the development of Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, to support jobs growth and provide the aviation capacity necessary to cater for Sydney's projected economic and population growth.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Seek and conduct air services negotiations with key international markets.
  • Progress development of Government policy response to the outcomes of the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) General Aviation Study.
  • Support practical measures taken by Australia's international aviation operators to reduce CO2 emissions including through technical and operational improvements and the use of sustainable alternative fuels, and participate in the development of ICAO's Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation including to oversee implementation of the scheme in Australia.
  • Ensure aviation regulation supports ongoing infrastructure investment at federally leased airports to ensure airports can meet projected growth and operate within a clear and robust regulatory framework.
  • Work closely with stakeholders to progress the necessary land acquisitions and manage broader implications of the Third Runway Project at Melbourne Airport.
  • Progress the Western Sydney Airport by:
    • establishing the arrangements to progress and refine the airport design, development, operations and financial and commercial strategy matters for the project that result in the best outcome for the Commonwealth and Western Sydney community
    • progressing preparatory and enabling activities and ongoing site management, and
    • managing environmental obligations and Airport Plan conditions under relevant legislation.

Success measures

What will be measured to indicate success?How will the Department influence this?Target results
2017–18
2018–19
2019–20
2020–21
1. Volume of freight The Department invests and promotes investment in infrastructure, and works with other agencies, including industry, state and territory governments and the national transport regulators, to reduce transport costs and travel times, and to remove barriers to efficient freight. Australia's freight task and volume of container traffic has increased proportional to the overall growth rate of the economy. Efficient transport networks are crucial to unlocking the productivity gains that will underpin Australia's future prosperity. Increased rolling average compared to previous 10 year period
2. Percentage of major road projects funded with a benefit cost ratio above 1.0 Through assessment and approval of road project proposals with a BCR greater than 1.0, the Department ensures major roads are providing a net benefit to the Australian economy. Projects with a benefit cost ratio (BCR) above 1.0 have greater benefits than costs. 100 per cent
3. Percentage of major airport projects funded with a benefit cost ratio above 1.0 The Department is overseeing the development of the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek. Infrastructure Australia has determined the airport has a BCR of over 1.8. As such, the project will provide a net long-term benefit to the Australian economy. 100 per cent
4. Travel time savings arising from major road projects and programs The Department is administering investment to projects that will deliver travel time savings. Travel time savings provide a more efficient movement of both people and freight, supporting economic growth. Reduced travel times
5. Transport CO 2 emissions The Department works to progress policy on reducing emissions by providing advice to the Australian Government and working within international forums to encourage the implementation of a range of technical, operational and economic measures including the development of global emissions reduction schemes. As transport modes adopt new low-emission technologies, implement additional fuel saving operational measures and increase their uptake of sustainable alternative fuels this, in turn, will facilitate sustained economic growth. Decreased rolling average compared to previous 10 year period
6. Proportion of Australia's roads included in the Transport and Infrastructure Council Asset Register The Department works with the state and territory governments to provide transparency about the services being delivered to the heavy vehicle industry, thereby ensuring greater scrutiny of costs (and ultimately prices charged) and ensuring heavy vehicle infrastructure is targeted where it is needed.

The Transport and Infrastructure Council Asset Register shows for the first time, to 100-metre segments, the quality of heavy vehicle infrastructure in our economy. The Asset Register grades roads, bridges, rest stops etc., according to rideability (pavement roughness), reliability (travel time), accessibility (regulatory or infrastructure barriers), and safety outcomes (road safety infrastructure). Aligned with Expenditure Plans, this allows public scrutiny of whether heavy vehicle road user charges are going towards the infrastructure that the industry needs to operate efficiently.
Increased proportion compared to previous year
7. Community understanding of road funding issues The Department will support a major study into the way Australia funds and pays for its roads, and opportunities to improve this with a focus on transparency, fairness, efficiency and sustainability.

Poor understanding in the community of how roads are funded is a major barrier to reforming the existing system to be fairer, more transparent, more efficient, and more sustainable.
Increase as demonstrated through periodic community surveys
(note: will not be measured every year)
8. Degree to which transport security regulations meet international standards for the secure movement of people and freight The Department reviews regulatory settings to ensure they effectively counter contemporary security risks while aligning with changing international standards.

ICAO audits are against current standards and provide for contemporary risk management practise.
95 per cent or more ICAO audit result
9. Changes to transport security regulations are proportionate to the risk being managed The Department improves transport security legislation to ensure it is proportionate to the risks. Practically, this will mean that regulation is directed at areas of highest assessed risk. Regulatory impact on industry is reduced
1 0. Passenger movements, aviation sector The Department is facilitating key airport infrastructure upgrades, aviation reforms, and reducing red tape. Growth in passenger movements in the aviation sector would be evidence that the Australian Government's policies to grow the aviation industry are succeeding. Increased rolling average compared to previous 10 year period

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Making travel safer

Minimising the number and severity of transport safety incidents

Environment and risks

Ensuring all Australians can reach their destinations safely each day is a critical priority for the Department. Road fatalities account for the highest number of deaths, at 5.1 annual deaths per 100,000 people. The Department strives to reduce the number and severity of safety incidents across all transport modes through our policy, regulatory settings and investments.

To minimise the risk of transport safety incidents, we focus on long-term improvements including development of vehicle design standards, fostering safety cultures within transport industries and investing in safer infrastructure. In doing so, domestically we work with each tier of government, transport engineers and manufacturers, freight industry participants and unions and internationally as part of forums which include the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

We also work with other Australian Government agencies with transport safety responsibilities—the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Airservices Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. The Department continues to work with state and territory agencies and other national entities, including the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, the National Maritime Safety Regulator and the National Transport Commission to harmonise regulatory requirements and improve transport safety.

Delivery

Infrastructure Investment

The Infrastructure Investment program increases the safety of Australia's land transport infrastructure. During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • administer a range of safety focused road and rail programs and projects, and advise the Government on potential projects for funding, in partnership with the state and territory governments.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Deliver the Black Spot, Bridges Renewal, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity, and Roads to Recovery programs.
Surface Transport

The Surface Transport program contributes to making travel safer by undertaking activities which seek to improve the performance of the surface transport sector.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • work with state and territory governments to encourage the trialling and adoption of emerging transport technologies which improve safety, including automated and connected vehicles
  • utilise the established and effective national regulators, and consider options for building on the infrastructure of the national regulators, to drive safety outcomes for the heavy vehicle, maritime and rail sectors, and
  • support the strategic work program of the Transport and Infrastructure Council to sustain national transport reform momentum, with jurisdictions working together to build on initial measures and implement longer-term reforms which improve safety.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Work closely with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to progress a range of heavy vehicle safety initiatives to improve safety outcomes for drivers and the communities they operate in.
  • Work with the AMSA as the national maritime safety regulator to progress full implementation of national regulator arrangements and to encourage improved safety outcomes through streamlined and consistent regulatory services for Australia's domestic commercial vessel industries.
  • Continue to work with the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator to bring about improved regulatory oversight for major rail projects, and more harmonised approaches to drug and alcohol regimes for drivers and workers.
  • Progress reform of coastal shipping to ensure that a safe coastal shipping system is an integral part of Australia's national transport system.
  • Continue to develop Australia's international maritime safety policy agenda and actively engage through the International Maritime Organization.
  • Implement international maritime agreements, treaties and conventions on safety.
Road Safety

The Road Safety program coordinates a national strategic approach to improving road safety and works to make vehicles safer for all road users.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • coordinate ongoing delivery arrangements for the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–20 and National Road Safety Action Plan 2015–17 to inform and improve road safety for all road users, and
  • develop and implement safety standards and reforms, and undertake compliance and safety investigation activities, which are fit for purpose, risk based and deliver both safety and environmental outcomes consistent with international approaches.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Collect road safety data and progress reporting as part of coordinating delivery for the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–20.
  • Implement reforms to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 to reduce regulatory costs and provide consumers with a choice of road vehicles in the Australian market that meet the safety, environmental, energy saving and anti-theft expectations of the community. This will be done in consultation with vehicle manufacturers, registered automotive workshops, state and territory vehicle registration authorities and the broader automotive sector.
  • Participate in the development of international vehicle standards and assess them for implementation in Australia consistent with international timetables.
  • Maintain a risk based policy approach to ensure Commonwealth regulation and regulatory policy relating to vehicle safety systems and road safety is fit for purpose and proportionate to the risks managed.
  • Conduct audits, inspections, information seminars and other compliance activities effectively, and address identified issues to raise industry and consumer awareness of vehicle compliance issues and to measure and improve industry performance.
Air Transport

The Air Transport program contributes to making travel safer through ensuring the aviation industry operates within a clear and robust safety, planning and environmental regulatory framework.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • engage with the National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group (NASAG) to progress key elements of the National Airports Safeguarding Framework to ensure the safety of aviation operations and of communities in the vicinity of airports
  • progress the consideration of modernised airspace protection arrangements to improve safety and efficiency of airport operations and provide for better on-and-off airport planning.
  • progress the approval of regulations, proportionate to the risks being regulated, to enhance aviation safety, and
  • maintain legislative governance and reporting requirements for Government aviation safety agencies to facilitate effective aviation safety accountability.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Lead the NASAG to develop and implement a nationally consistent risk-based approach to Public Safety Zone guidance for airports.
  • Work with NASAG members to develop new guidance to protect strategically important Helicopter Landing Sites and update Guideline B (Managing the Risk of Building Generated Windshear and Turbulence at Airports) to better reflect world's best practice.
  • Lead the development of modernised airspace protection arrangements for our major airports, communications, navigation and surveillance facilities and for aircraft operations beyond aerodromes.
  • Implement the agreed outcomes of the policy reviews of aviation rescue and firefighting services.
  • Lead preparations for a 2017 ICAO audit on assessing Australia's compliance with ICAO standards.
  • Work with the federally leased airports and Airservices Australia and contribute to the Whole of Government response in relation to the management of Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).
  • Monitor and advise on emerging and potential aviation safety issues including Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Civil/Military Aviation Harmonisation and Satellite Based Augmentation Systems.
  • Work with CASA on the progression of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations relating to activities such as flight crew licensing, flying training and flight operations.

Success Measures

What will be measured to indicate success?How will the Department influence this?Target results
2017–18
2018–19
2019–20
2020–21
11. Number of road fatalities The Department's delivery of transport programs develop a safer road transport system by making vehicles and occupants safer, and drivers more informed. The Department's road infrastructure projects, road safety strategies, and mandate of new vehicle design standards all contribute to this outcome of increasing road safety. On track to achieve the target in the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–20, to reduce road deaths by at least 30 per cent on 2008–10 figures by 2020
12. Serious injuries due to road crashes By 2019–20: Have source data and establish a baseline to monitor progress and inform targets.
13. Number of rail fatalities The Department works with state and territory government on rail safety legislation and regulation. This involves promoting a safety culture for rail, ensuring rail entity governance arrangements operate effectively, and supporting regulated entities in meeting their obligations. Decreased rolling average compared to previous 10 year period
14. Number of maritime fatalities The Department is responsible for administering maritime safety legislation and regulation. This involves promoting a safety culture for maritime, ensuring maritime entity governance arrangements operate effectively, and supporting regulated entities in meeting their obligations. Decreased rolling average compared to previous 10 year period
15. Percentage of road vehicle standards that are harmonised with international standards The Department participates in the development of international vehicle standards and assessing standards for implementation in Australia, consistent with international timetables. Regulation that is based on internationally agreed standards provides consumers with access to the safest vehicles from the global market at the lowest possible cost. Increased compared to previous year
16. Number of aviation fatalities The Department is responsible for administering aviation safety legislation and regulation. This involves promoting a safety culture for aviation, ensuring aviation entity governance arrangements operate effectively, and supporting regulated entities in meeting their obligations. Decreased rolling average compared to previous 10 year period

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Increasing transport access

Connecting people, communities, businesses and markets

Environment and risks

Transport infrastructure and services connect people with their jobs, communities and essential services. The Department facilitates increased access across all transport modes—road, rail, maritime and air—working with all levels of government, industry groups, private entities and through domestic and international forums.

For most Australians, driving is the preferred means of transport, accounting for 64 per cent of travel. A key risk for increasing road access is failure to manage rising congestion costs in our cities, which are forecast to grow to $30 billion by 2030. Road access is also critical to our rural and regional communities, to enable access to important services such as health and education and underpinning efficient market access for businesses. The Australian Government's road investments—including major projects such as the Pacific Highway, WestConnex and the Bruce Highway are designed to improve access, which will reduce travel times for commuters and transit costs for Australian businesses.

Air travel is also forecast to grow strongly to 2030, with domestic and international passenger movements through capital cities almost doubling. Domestically, it is particularly important that the Australian Government continues to support regional flight services which afford regional and remote communities access to essential services.

Australia's national land freight task is expected to increase significantly, by almost 75 per cent between 2011 and 2031. For international trade, maritime is Australia's dominant transport mode. Over the past decade, trade through Australian ports has more than doubled to 1,447 million tonnes in 2014–15. Demand for air freight also continues to grow, as demand for just-in-time delivery increases, for items such as high value manufacturing and mining products, perishables and urgent medical products.

A key risk is that Australia's infrastructure fails to provide the necessary capacity as our population and economy grows. The Department is mitigating this risk through progressing major infrastructure projects including the Western Sydney Airport and Inland Rail. Through forecasting, analysis and scenario planning, we are also working to optimise individual transport modes and share the freight task across all transport modes to ensure regional and remote communities are connected to key freight networks.

Vehicle efficiency is improving through new and innovative transport technologies. This will lead to a decline in the revenues (from fuel excise and state-based charges) which currently fund our roads and may lead to some sectors of the community paying a disproportionate share of road costs. The Department is responding by working with state and territory governments and the private sector to explore options to fund our roads more sustainably and fairly.

Delivery

Infrastructure Investment

The Infrastructure Investment program increases transport access by improving land transport infrastructure across Australia.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • deliver infrastructure projects, and advise on potential projects, that improve Australia's road and rail network connectivity, accessibility and capacity for freight and passenger transport, in partnership with state and territory governments.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Oversee and deliver initiatives and projects to improve Australia's rail networks such as:
    • the Melbourne–Brisbane Inland Rail projectƒ
    • development of urban rail plans for Australia's five largest cities and surrounding regions
    • development and delivery of the National Rail Programƒ
    • upgrades to the regional rail network in Victoria and construction of Metronet in Perth development of proposals for faster and higher-speed passenger rail services between cities and major regional centres, and
    • oversight of projects funded through the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the Moorebank Intermodal Company Limited.
  • Deliver road projects to improve connectivity including the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, NorthConnex, WestConnex, Pacific Highway, Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, Bruce Highway, the Victorian Infrastructure Package, Northlink WA, the North-South Corridor in South Australia and Midland Highway in Tasmania.
  • Deliver initiatives from the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia including the Northern Australia Roads and Beef Roads programs to improve connectivity in Northern Australia.
  • Work with state and territory governments to advise the Government on potential projects to be funded under the Infrastructure Investment Program to continue to improve Australia's land transport network.
  • Undertake cost estimate, assurance and compliance reviews to contribute to improved transport infrastructure decision-making and delivery through sound management in partnership with the jurisdictions.
  • Work to support heavy vehicle road reform, including developing approaches to community service obligations for roads.
Surface Transport

The Surface Transport program contributes to increasing transport access by undertaking activities which seek to improve the performance of the surface transport sector.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • facilitate increased access to public transport for people with disability through the Department's administration of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002, made under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • promote integrated surface transport (road and rail) reforms that support the operation of single national markets and build on effective relationships with key stakeholders, including other governments, unions, industry and regulators to deliver a more seamless and consistent regulatory environment,
  • maintain an effective regulatory framework for shipping, including coastal freight, and transport schemes to ensure a maritime transport system that is accessible for Australian business, and
  • maintain Tasmanian transport schemes to promote sea travel and trade between Tasmania and mainland Australia.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Work with the National Accessible Public Transport Advisory Committee to modernise the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and develop accessibility guidelines for a whole of journey approach to public transport, to better facilitate the transport needs of people with a disability.
  • Continue to administer the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme to reduce the cost of seagoing travel for passengers wishing to travel with their vehicle between Tasmania and mainland Australia, and the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme to provide Tasmanian businesses with support to compete with mainland businesses.
  • Regulate international liner cargo shipping travelling to or from Australia under Part X of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to ensure that exporters and importers have continued access to shipping services that are internationally competitive.
  • Progress and monitor the implementation of the Harper Review recommendations for the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to ensure shipping industry stakeholders are informed and the impact on liner shipping services to Australia are limited.
  • Design and implement effective coastal shipping reforms, utilising stakeholder submissions and industry consultations to the Coastal Shipping Discussion Paper.
  • Continue to develop Australia's international maritime transport policy agenda and actively engage through the International Maritime Organization to ensure Australia's interests are protected.
  • Undertake a major study into the way Australia funds and pays for its roads and work with state and territory governments and the Council on Federal Financial Relations to embed institutional changes to the way existing heavy vehicle charges operate, with a focus on independence, transparency, fairness, efficiency and sustainability.
  • Develop a national freight and supply chain strategy, for consideration by the Transport Infrastructure Council in 2018, to drive freight productivity improvements and lower costs of transporting goods through our major national container ports (and airports), intermodal terminals and along the routes connecting to them.
Air Transport

The Air Transport program ensures that Australian businesses and consumers have access to competitive international and domestic air services and increases access to remote areas.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • ensure businesses and consumers have access to competitive international and domestic air services in line with market requirements
  • oversee the development of Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, to provide the aviation capacity necessary to cater for Sydney's projected economic and population growth
  • manage the sunsetting of aviation related legislative instruments to ensure the aviation industry operates within a clear and robust regulatory framework that promotes competiveness and balances the interests of relevant stakeholders
  • continue to provide targeted support for aerodrome infrastructure and air services to remote areas where they are not commercially viable, and
  • provide policy advice to the Australian Government on current and emerging aviation policy issues to enhance the competiveness and sustainability of the Australian aviation industry.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Engage in air services talks with key countries.
  • Progress Western Sydney Airport, by:
    • establishing arrangements to progress and refine the airport design, development, operations and financial and commercial strategy matters for the project that result in the best outcome for the Commonwealth and western Sydney community
    • ensuring surface transport connections to the airport site are based on well-informed advice and deliver the right outcomes, and
    • managing environmental obligations and Airport Plan conditions under relevant legislation.
  • Progress the remaking of legislative instruments associated with carriers liability and insurance while reviewing other sunsetting parts of the broader aviation economic regulatory framework as appropriate.
  • Continue to administer funding via the Regional Aviation Access Program (RAAP) for remote airstrip upgrades, remote aerodrome inspections and subsidies for essential weekly air services to remote communities.
  • Provide rebates to eligible aeromedical providers and commercial airlines providing services to regional Australia under the Airservices Australia Enroute Charges Payment Scheme.
  • Continue to provide informed and considered policy advice to the Australian Government on access to the Australian domestic and international aviation markets and options to increase transport connectivity in this context.

Success measures

What will be measured to indicate success?How will the Department influence this?Target results
2017–18
2018–19
2019–20
2020–21
17. Travel time savings arising from major road projects and programs The Department is administering investment to projects that will deliver travel time savings. Travel time savings provides a more efficient movement of both people and freight, and supporting economic growth. Reduced travel times
18. Level of capacity for the rail network The Department delivers infrastructure projects, and advises on potential projects, that improve Australia's rail network connectivity, accessibility and capacity for freight and passenger transport, in partnership with state and territory governments. Increased
19. Level of capacity for coastal freight The Department regulates to ensure an efficient, safe and environmentally sustainable maritime transport system. This involves undertaking coastal shipping reform to address industry concerns and encourage an increased level of capacity for coastal freight. Increased
20. Level of capacity at major city airports The Department implements aviation regulation, policies and administered items that effectively support future investment in safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible aviation infrastructure. This involves oversight of functions such as airport planning, development and land use; airport insurance compliance; and airport environment and building control regulation. Increased compared to rolling strategic 20 year planning period
21. Level of available capacity in international aviation markets The Department provides policy advice in response to current and emerging international aviation industry issues. This involves engaging in air services talks with key countries to ensure businesses and consumers have access to competitive international and domestic air services and Australian airlines have opportunities in international aviation markets. Increased compared to previous year
22. Opportunities available to Australian airlines in international aviation markets Increased compared to previous year
23. Level of aviation services to remote communities The Department provides targeted support for aerodrome infrastructure and air services to remote areas where they are not commercially viable. This is achieved through the administration of funding arrangements to reduce air travel costs and upgrade airstrips. Maintained or increased compared to previous year

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Keeping transport secure

Preventing security incidents in aviation, maritime and offshore oil and gas sectors

Environment and risks

It is important that the Department and industry continue to respond to changes in the transport and security environment. Australian passenger air transport, air freight services and volumes, cruise ship passenger numbers and liquefied natural gas exports are all growing. Travel and cargo patterns are also changing as growing affluence in some regions and technology present new opportunities.

The security environment is also continuing to evolve and the threat posed to transport systems by terrorism is likely to adapt and endure. Terrorist organisations such as alQaida, ISIL and other affiliated groups have identified Australia as a target for extremist Islamic-based terrorism. Foreign fighters returning from conflict zones and radicalised individuals pose significant threat to Australia's security. Terrorist groups continue to favour low capability attack methodologies that can result in mass casualties, significant economic impacts and cause public fear. Publicly accessible areas of transport infrastructure are credible targets as they confine large numbers of people within a space at predictable times. Attempts to defeat security measures will continue for the foreseeable future with terrorists adapting their approach as security measures evolve.

Delivery

Transport security

The Transport Security program ensures a viable and sustainable transport security system in Australia through regulation and initiatives designed collaboratively with industry and government entities.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • embed a stronger enforcement capability to ensure regulated industry participants comply with their obligations
  • deliver identity security reforms to strengthen key regulatory settings and improve transport security legislation to ensure it is proportionate to the risks being regulated
  • review regulatory settings to ensure they effectively counter contemporary security risks, and
  • work with international partners to influence global standards and improve the transport security capability of our regional partners.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Deliver compliance activities within the National Compliance Plan.
  • Deliver identity security reforms to strengthen key regulatory settings, including the introduction of a biometrically enabled Aviation Security Identity Card.
  • Implement a new model to strengthen airside security at Australia's nine major airports.
  • Improve screening processes through implementing an aviation screening improvement strategy and imbedding contemporary systems testing programs at Australia's regulated airports.
  • Implement the recommendations of the Inspector of Transport Security's report on security education and training in the aviation and maritime sectors.
  • Work to build capacity in high priority partner countries to enhance local transport security frameworks and practice.
  • Lead the Government's response to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee's Report into Aviation and Airport Security.

Success Measures

What will be measured to indicate success?How will the Department influence this?Target results
2017–18
2018–19
2019–20
2020–21
24. Changes to transport security regulations are focused on the highest risk

The Department:

  • maintains strong links with the Australian intelligence community to support early identification of changes in the security environment
  • reviews regulatory settings to ensure that they effectively counter contemporary security risks, and
  • delivers identity security reforms to strengthen key regulatory settings.
Where there is a change in the security environment, all regulatory changes are focused on addressing the highest risk.
25. Regulated industry participants' understanding of security risk to their operations and their obligations under the transport security regulatory regime

The Department:

  • informs industry about their regulatory obligations and contemporary security threats and risks, and
  • is establishing a guidance centre for industry participants lodging regulatory documents for assessment.
By 2017–18: Have source data and establish a baseline to monitor progress and inform targets.
26. Compliance by regulated industry participants with their transport security obligations The Department delivers compliance activities as set out in the National Compliance Plan to ensure regulated industry participants comply with their obligations. 100 per cent of compliance activities set out in the National Compliance Plan completed. By 2017–18: Have source data and establish a baseline to monitor progress and inform future targets.
27. The extent to which international standards are influenced and the transport security capability of our regional partners improved. The Department works with international partners to influence global standards and improve the transport security capability of our regional partners. Observed improvements

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Supporting regional development and local communities

Delivering jobs and economic growth for regional Australia and improving standards of living through influencing policy,investing in infrastructure and building community capability

Environment and risks

The Australian economy is, to a significant degree, driven by its regions. For example, our agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining industries—located across Australia's diverse regions—make up approximately 60 per cent of national merchandise exports. The Productivity Commission's initial report on transitioning regional economies outlines that the majority of regions continue to grow, with about 80 per cent of regions having experienced positive employment growth over the past five years.

Australia's regions are diverse and changes in the national economy can affect individual regions differently. It is important for regions to maximise their natural and comparative strengths to harness growth opportunities and respond to challenges. It will also remain important to work with communities to foster local leaders who can facilitate regional growth opportunities that are tailored to regional circumstances.

Additionally, local councils across the country, in both regional and urban areas, have varying abilities to provide essential services to their communities. To address this inconsistency we provide financial assistance, more where it is needed most, to local councils to ensure equitable levels of local government services across Australia. This funding assists councils to deliver infrastructure, health, recreation, environmental and employment projects to their local communities.

Delivery

Infrastructure Investment

The Infrastructure Investment program supports regional development and local communities through delivery of infrastructure projects across Australia.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • deliver road and rail projects which support the economic growth, viability and liveability of regions.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Oversee and deliver initiatives and projects to improve Australia's regional rail networks such as:
    • the Melbourne–Brisbane Inland Rail project
    • development and delivery of the National Rail Program
    • upgrades to the regional rail network in Victoria, and
    • development of proposals for faster and higher-speed passenger rail services between cities and major regional centres.
  • Deliver a range of road projects under the Infrastructure Investment Program which benefit regional and local communities such as those funded under the Northern Australia Roads Program as well as the Cape York Region Package in Queensland and the Echuca Moama Bridge in Victoria.
Regional Development

The Regional Development program supports regional development and local communities by undertaking a range of regionally focused stakeholder consultation and engagement, research, policy development and program delivery activities to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • influence policy and programs that deliver high-impact outcomes in favour of regional Australia and drive regional development policy which builds more resilient local economies, and enables regional communities to drive their own futures, and
  • manage regional and local government programs to support the economic growth and liveability of regions.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Deliver regional and local government programs, including the Building Better Regions Fund, National Stronger Regions Fund, Community Development Grants Program, Stronger Communities Program, Regional Jobs and Investment Packages Program, and Drought Communities Program.
  • Establish and implement the Regional Growth Fund.
  • Maintain a regional evidence base that tracks trends and issues relevant to the development of Australia's regions, including through the annual updates of the Progress in Australian Regions series, to inform communities and influence regional policy decisions.
  • Deliver Regional Ministerial Budget Statements in accordance with Budget requirements, to outline the Australian Government's investment in the growth of our regions, to deliver the foundations for a strong and dynamic economy for all Australians.
  • Implement the Australian Government's response to an independent review of the Regional Development Australia program.
  • Design any future road pricing and investment reforms to consider the provision of roads as a community service as well as an economic service to all parts of Australia.
  • Develop a process for the structured decentralisation of Australian Government entities outside of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
Local Government

The Local Government program supports regional development and local communities by providing policy advice to the Australian Government and financial assistance to local governments.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • provide financial assistance to local councils to support equitable levels of local government services, and
  • administer the National Awards for Local Government.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Deliver and manage the Financial Assistance Grant program in accordance with the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 to provide financial assistance which supports equitable levels of local government services delivery.
  • Administer the National Awards for Local Government to recognise, reward and promote the innovative work of local governments across Australia.
  • Extend the Transport and Infrastructure Council's asset registers to include roads managed in selected local government areas.
Air Transport

The Air Transport program supports regional development and the Western Sydney community through delivery of the Western Sydney Airport project.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • oversee the development of Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, to support jobs growth and provide the aviation capacity necessary to cater for Sydney's projected economic and population growth, and
  • continue to provide targeted support for aerodrome infrastructure and air services to remote areas where they are not commercially viable.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Progress the Western Sydney Airport by:
    • continuing to engage with key stakeholders to build the wider community's confidence in the Government's decisions and inform of the employment and travel opportunities that will result from the airport project, and
    • engaging with the Western Sydney Cities Deal to promote good long-term planning for the region and its economy.
  • Continue to administer funding via the Regional Aviation Access Program (RAAP) for remote airstrip upgrades, remote aerodrome inspections and subsidies for essential weekly air services to remote communities.
  • Provide rebates to eligible aeromedical providers and commercial airlines providing services to regional Australia under the Airservices Australia Enroute Charges Payment Scheme.
What will be measured to indicate success?How will the Department influence this?Target results
2017–18
2018–19
2019–20
2020–21
28. Number of employed persons outside capital cities The Department works in partnership with regional, rural, remote and Indigenous communities to design and deliver investment packages which assist regional communities to maintain or increase their number of employed persons. Increased compared to previous year
29. Disposable household income for low and middle incomes outside capital cities The Department works in partnership with regional, rural, remote and Indigenous communities to design and deliver investment packages which assist regional communities to grow the income capacity of residents. Increased over time
30. Financial assistance is provided to support equitable levels of services by local government bodies The Department manages the Financial Assistance Grant program, which provides untied funds to local government. The grant strengthens local government capacity and supports equitable levels of local government services to communities. Financial assistance is provided in accordance with the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995
31. Jobs supported by infrastructure investment and regional program investments The Department contributes to the prosperity of the economy and the wellbeing of all Australians by assisting regions to realise their potential and manage their own futures. We do this through the delivery of regional infrastructure and transport infrastructure projects which support regional economic growth. Demonstrated through the delivery of Australian Government funded projects
32. Jobs supported by Western Sydney Airport project The Department will oversee the development of Western Sydney Airport throughout the design and construction phase.

In the peak year of construction, the airport is expected to support over
3,000 direct and indirect jobs. Once operational, the airport is expected to further support around 20,000 direct and indirect jobs by the early 2030s. As the airport grows over time, more jobs will be generated.
Construction commenced in 2018–19
33. Level of aviation services to remote communities The Department provides targeted support for aerodrome infrastructure and air services to remote areas where they are not commercially viable. This is achieved through the administration of funding arrangements to reduce air travel costs and upgrade airstrips. Maintained or increased compared to previous year

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Providing good governance in the territories

Delivering services, legislative frameworks and infrastructure

Environment and risks

We undertake a breadth of work across Australia's territories including provision of essential infrastructure and services to residents of Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Jervis Bay Territory (JBT). We also administer the Ashmore and Cartier Islands and the Coral Sea Islands territories as well as manage national interests in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory (NT). Additionally, we ensure appropriate and effective legislation is in place to allow the sound operation of the territories. The diversity of the territories we work with brings a range of relevant environmental factors and risks for us to consider, and requires consultation with a range of key stakeholders including communities, state and local governments and service providers.

Norfolk Island, located about 1,600 kilometres northeast of Sydney, is one of Australia's most isolated communities and oldest territories. Christmas Island is located in the Indian Ocean, about 2,650 kilometres northwest of Perth, while the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are located about 985 kilometres to the southwest of Christmas Island. These islands are rich in heritage and natural attractions. They face unique economic factors which impact the services available to local populations, posing health, safety and development challenges.

Increased connectivity for local businesses can provide a boost to local economies and National Broadband Network services are now available on Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Additionally, natural disaster risk places an ongoing importance on assuring emergency management arrangements on the islands.

Across all the territories including the JBT, ACT and NT the effective management of waste, asbestos, ageing infrastructure assets, biosecurity and water is also required. This will mitigate associated risks, promote well-being for local populations and maintain Australia's national interests in these territories.

Delivery

Services to Territories

The Services to Territories Program provides good governance in the territories by improving the quality of services provided to residents of the external territories and the JBT and providing targeted support to ACT and NT through economic and social sustainability initiatives, delivery of services and managing the Australian Government's interests in the territories.

During 2017–18 and the forward years, the Department will:

  • deliver essential infrastructure, services and legal frameworks to the external territories and JBT to support the provision of a comparable level of services and protections to similar communities
  • progress financial and governance reform for Norfolk Island through constructive community partnerships and increase the range and quality of federal and state level services to a consistent level provided to similar sized communities in the rest of Australia
  • manage the world heritage Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area on Norfolk Island:
  • ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and agreements to sustainably protect heritage values, and
  • develop the potential of the site to provide a positive contribution to the social and economic well-being of the community, and
  • provide advice to the Australian Government to effectively administer the Australian Government's interest in the ACT and NT.
Key activities in 2017–18
  • Negotiate and manage agreements to ensure service delivery arrangements and contracts for the external territories and JBT to deliver appropriate levels of services comparable to similar communities.
  • Deliver essential infrastructure and capital works programs to provide infrastructure to the external territories and JBT comparable to those within similar communities.
  • Improve the governance and financial sustainability of the National Capital Authority.
  • Deliver legal frameworks to the external territories and JBT to provide comparable rights and protections to citizens as the rest of Australia.
  • Deliver initiatives to support economic development and sustainability in the external territories, with a particular focus on the management of Crown land.
  • Administer the Australian Government's loan to the ACT Government to implement its Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Scheme.

Success measures

What will be measured to indicate success?How will the Department influence this?Target results
2017–18
2018–19
2019–20
2020–21
34. Communities in the external territories and JBT have comparable services and essential infrastructure to similar communities The Department engages service providers to deliver services and essential infrastructure to the external territories and JBT. We aim to ensure these arrangements meet the needs of these communities. Service delivery arrangements and contracts deliver comparable services and essential infrastructure to similar communities
35. Legal and governance frameworks in the external territories and JBT are appropriate for the protection and well-being of the communities The Department is responsible for maintaining the legal frameworks in the external territories and JBT. We aim to ensure these frameworks provide comparable rights and protections to citizens as the rest of Australia. Legal and governance frameworks comparable to similar communities

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Capability

To support the delivery of our diverse portfolio, we aim to foster departmental capability across the six areas articulated in our Strategic Vision: having a view on the right outcome, driving policy reform, leading program and project delivery, leading effective regulation, leading Australian investment strategy and planning, and fostering a high-performing workforce. Supplementing the Strategic Vision is our Planning and Reporting Framework and departmental strategies for Workforce Capability, ICT and Evaluation and Review.

Strategic Vision

Having a view on the right outcome

  • Identify new and emerging policy, regulatory and other key environmental challenges which will influence the portfolio's future directions and strategically consider the long-term implications.
  • Undertake research and analysis to provide an evidence base for policy.
  • Engage internationally to understand strategic drivers and address identified issues.
  • Build on long-term strategic relationships with jurisdictions and industry.
  • Engage in national conversations on infrastructure and regional development issues, focused on planning, economic development, sustainability, community development, economic regulation, safety and investment.

Driving policy reform

  • Provide informed policy advice on infrastructure investment, regional development and financing reforms.
  • Facilitate a renewed microeconomic reform agenda which delivers more efficient provision and use of infrastructure and transport.
  • Identify and introduce new and improved transport technologies as they become available.
  • Develop policy advice and legislation to maintain effective governance and service delivery in Australia's non-self-governing territories.
  • Develop policies that address emerging issues, support existing Australian Government policies and are based on a strong understanding of available evidence, jurisdictional positions, industry perspectives and international trends.
  • Engage with other agencies on policy issues, including increased interaction with other portfolios on trade, bilateral and regional international issues.
  • Link strategic infrastructure planning and investment outcomes with more effective planning and efficient and sustainable energy use.

Leading program and project delivery

  • Ensure evidence-based policy advice and rationale underpins program design and delivery.
  • Understand the risk environment through effective domestic and international engagement, research and assessment while considering innovative solutions.
  • Assess our performance through continuous monitoring and evaluation.
  • Facilitate a safer transport system through encouraging innovation and implementing fit for purpose safety measures.
  • Assist economic and social development by funding improved land transport infrastructure.
  • Ensure appropriate consultation with both domestic and international stakeholders, including all levels of government, industry and experts.

Leading effective regulation

  • Foster a transparent, responsive and dynamic national regulatory environment which affords the right balance of flexibility and certainty for the transport industry.
  • Support economic and productivity growth through the development of efficient and effective legislation, regulation and policy.
  • Provide clear and consistent best-practice regulation to the transport industry, taking into account Australia's international agreements.
  • Contribute to improving environmental outcomes by managing and monitoring the environmental effects of transport.
  • Promote security and safety across the transport system for the benefit of all Australian individuals and businesses.
  • Seek regulatory solutions that reduce the burden of compliance costs on industry and the community.

Leading Australian investment strategy and planning

  • Provide advice to the Australian Government on issues of policy, planning, funding and financing to support infrastructure decisions.
  • Consider means of making better use of existing infrastructure.
  • Target funding to deliver high benefit infrastructure projects with sound governance.
  • Know the critically important growth corridors to ensure the right infrastructure can be delivered at the right time.
  • Emphasise productivity, sustainability and liveability in investment strategy and planning.
  • Guide policy and investments in urban and regional Australia.
  • Provide for independent, expert assessment and prioritisation of projects based on a national strategic view of infrastructure and appropriate criteria.
  • Utilise quality infrastructure demand and capacity forecasting informed by a transparent asset management reporting system.
  • Strengthen the sustainability, capacity and diversity of regional economies through facilitation of local partnerships between all levels of government and local communities, and providing grants and financial assistance.
  • Seek innovative ways to engage with the private sector to deliver a wide range of financing support for infrastructure projects.

Fostering a high-performing workforce

  • Commit to workforce planning through the implementation of a three-year workforce strategy.
  • Recognise and foster high performance through developing our people to deliver the strategic goals and priorities for the future.
  • Focus on optimising performance of all our people, including through managers improving and extending their capabilities to optimise team performance.

Planning and Reporting Framework

Our internal and external planning and reporting activities provide information on our resourcing, operations and performance which support the achievement of our outcomes and purposes. The relationship between these activities is illustrated in the planning and reporting framework. The framework allows us to set out what we plan to do at the beginning of the year and what we have achieved by the end of the year.

Workforce Planning

We are committed to continuing to build workforce capability so that we provide quality services to our key stakeholders and deliver on Australian Government priorities. We aim to be well-positioned to anticipate and adapt to future challenges, and to be regarded as a public-sector employer that is professional, engaged, has integrity and is a rewarding place to work.

Our Workforce Strategy 2016–19 identifies our key strengths and challenges over the coming years. It recognises that the workforce challenges are many and varied, largely due to rapid advances in the development and adoption of new technologies, shifting demographic profiles and new preferences for ways of working. Our strategy aims to ensure that we are able to respond to these challenges.

The Department's leaders work collegiately to drive key actions from the workforce strategy, with mutual responsibility and contribution for building and extending workforce capability.

Our workforce strategy establishes a three-year outlook in which we:

  • identify our strategic workforce priorities over the medium to long term
  • invest in strengthening critical professional capabilities for the work of the Department now, as well as the future
  • are equipped with strong leadership to successfully deliver the strategic goals and priorities for the future
  • are well placed to attract talented people who align with our needs
  • ensure that we maintain our existing talent, and develop people to lead in the future, and
  • align our approaches to recruitment, development, performance and retention, so that we can ensure our workforce is well positioned for future challenges.

ICT Capability

Our Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategic Plan aligns ICT investments and deliverables to meet our capability needs. The ICT Strategic Plan describes how other environmental factors such as whole-of-Government, security, fit for purpose and cost effective initiatives focus our ICT services and define our major ICT priorities. It also seeks to identify and anticipate emerging trends, in part to ensure the Department has the capabilities to meet future challenges.

Evaluation and Review

To achieve our purposes we must systematically and objectively evaluate and review our activities.

The departmental evaluation strategy is now in its seventh year. The strategy aims to embed a culture of reflective and evaluative thinking to ensure we get the best results from the policies, programs and regulatory activities we implement.

We offer our employees a range of training, mentoring and information about evaluation. This includes developing policy, program and regulatory logics and monitoring and evaluation strategies.

The departmental evaluation schedule, approved annually by the Secretary, lists our priority and planned evaluation activities. The Evaluation Strategy 2016–21 and Evaluation Resource Booklet 2016–21 is online at: infrastructure.gov.au/department/publications/evaluation-capability-building.aspx.

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Risk Management

Risk management in the Department identifies and addresses the uncertainty in achieving our purposes, ideally before commencing an activity. The outcome of good risk management is to appropriately mitigate risk and assist with identifying opportunities, thereby enhancing our ability to provide the Australian Government with good policy, program and regulatory options.

Success depends upon developing our people, strengthening and adapting systems, and forging strong relationships with stakeholders. By carefully applying appropriate risk management principles that are fit for purpose, we will maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of planning, decision-making, managing uncertainty and our use of resources to obtain desired outcomes.

Our risk framework is designed to:

  • ensure risk management supports our purposes
  • support a culture which encourages people to report incidents and take ownership of problems
  • ensure risk management thinking is embedded in all activities; enabling the achievement of better outcomes
  • ensure stakeholders are consulted to enable the consideration of a broader perspective
  • identify and manage both Department-wide thematic risks and program-specific risks
  • promote sharing of risk information and experiences within the Department and across the Australian Government to develop more consistent approaches to managing risk, and
  • align with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and the Australian Government's expectations as described in the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy, available at: finance.gov.au/comcover/risk-management/.

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Values

We are committed to the Australian Public Service (APS) Values set out in the Public Service Act 1999.

Impartial

The APS is apolitical and provides the Government with advice that is frank, honest, timely and based on the best available evidence.

Committed to service

The APS is professional, objective, innovative and efficient, and works collaboratively to achieve the best results for the Australian community and the Government.

Accountable

The APS is open and accountable to the Australian community under the law and within the framework of ministerial responsibility.

Respectful

The APS respects all people, including their rights and their heritage.

Ethical

The APS demonstrates leadership, is trustworthy, and acts with integrity in all that it does.

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Last Updated: 21 August, 2017