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Role of the Department

The Department of Transport and Regional Services provides policy advice to the portfolio Ministers and delivers a range of programs and services on behalf of the Commonwealth Government.

In order to help its Ministers achieve the desired outcome of Linking Australia through transport and regional services, the Department's main functions include:

  • ensuring that infrastructure at Australia's major airports is developed and operated in a commercially sustainable manner that minimises adverse environmental impacts;
  • developing and administering aviation security standards, including for the 2000 Olympics;
  • managing relationships between the Government and airlines, aviation safety organisations, and Australia's work in the International Civil Aviation Organisation;
  • the investigation of accidents and incidents involving civil aircraft operations in Australia;
  • economic research relevant to the portfolio, including international and domestic aviation, shipping and the waterfront, land transport, and regional services;
  • delivering services to Australia's Indian Ocean Territories and Jervis Bay;
  • administering non-self-governing Australian territories;
  • developing measures to reduce the incidence and severity of road crashes;
  • developing standards, policies and public education programs to improve road safety;
  • setting national standards for vehicle safety, emissions and noise;
  • promoting competitive and reliable road and rail services;
  • responsibility for the National Highway and Roads of National Importance programs;
  • administering regulations governing international liner and coastal shipping operations;
  • investigating marine incidents and casualties;
  • the promotion of efficient and effective local government;
  • developing a 'whole of government' approach to optimise the potential of Australia's regions;
  • delivering programs to regional, rural and remote Australia;
  • helping improve the availability of information to regional Australia; and
  • the oversight of portfolio agencies pursuing safety, planning, environmental regulatory tasks and service provision.