Service Performance

Departmental Service Charter
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Cross-Modal & Maritime Transport
Economic Research and Environment
Land Transport
Regional Services, Development and Local Government
Territories and Regional Support
Island Administrations and Jervis Bay

Departmental Service Charter

The client service charter sets out the Departments commitment to providing a high level of service including treating clients fairly, courteously and professionally, and providing timely and accurate advice and information.

The charter was reviewed and updated in 2000. DOTARS has reinforced the client service message to staff by conducting training sessions and reviewing staff attitudes to the charter.

A copy of our client service charter is available on our website at:
Client Service Charter, or by contacting:
Client Service Officer
Department of Transport and Regional Services
GPO Box 594

A detachable reply-paid feedback card is included with our service charter. Feedback may also be forwarded by email to or by calling the toll-free number 1800 075 001. Clients may also provide feedback by writing to the client service officer at the above address.

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The Airports Division continued to deliver the Governments aircraft noise insulation programs to a high standard of satisfaction. All clients who have their homes insulated under the Sydney Airport Noise Amelioration Program are asked to complete a customer satisfaction survey after the work is completed. In 2000–01, 178 survey forms were returned, with 86 rating the service provided as excellent, 77 as very good and one as poor. Any complaints regarding the insulation work undertaken on properties are fully investigated by our Project Manager. In addition, an extended warranty arrangement has been negotiated to cover airconditioners installed under the program. Dispute resolution procedures are in place, including provision for review of administrative decisions by an independent arbitrator. No applications for review were received during the year.

Other than for noise programs, the level of service provided to key clients is measured primarily in terms of feedback from the general public on the exercise of statutory discretions. We received no complaints during the year about the way in which we handled requests for exercise of statutory discretions (airport curfew dispensations and permissions for operation of non-noise compliant aircraft).

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Australian Transport Safety Bureau

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau received 184 compliments for:

  • prompt dispatch and quality of research and investigation reports,

  • prompt and useful responses to requests for information,

  • the usefulness of our website, and

  • the professional and impartial conduct of investigations.

We received one complaint about the lack of an effective search engine on our website: a new search engine has been developed.

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During the year the Aviation Division considered 360 applications for approvals of international scheduled services. We issued 73 cabotage dispensations and approved 134 tariff applications. We carried out security inspections on all international and major domestic airlines and categorised airports with security programs. We also carried out security assessments at a number of regulated international cargo sites in 2000–01. Aviation Statistics produced 30 publications and acted on approximately 1400 hotline inquiries. During the year there were no serious breaches of the service charter parameters affecting airline operations.

We received nine compliments concerning our service and one complaint. The complaint, which related to the tender process for the Remote Air Service Subsidy (RASS) Program, was made to the Ombudsman who dismissed it on the basis of the Departments submission.

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Cross-Modal & Maritime Transport

Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme

DOTARS worked with Centrelink to administer three trials of an innovative project whereby suppliers provide Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) assistance as an up-front reduction in the freight cost of product sold to eligible customers. This saved time and out-of-pocket expense for many TFES customers including over 1000 drought-affected Tasmanian farmers. DOTARS processed a total of 5171 TFES assistance claims from 1427 shippers.

Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme

The Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme was extended in March 2001 to passengers travelling between King Island and the mainland to provide greater access for Bass Strait communities. A rebate is now available for passenger vehicles transported by sea between King Island and Victoria where the driver travels by commercial air service on or about the same day. Since the introduction of the scheme in 1996, passenger vehicles carried between the mainland and Tasmania have increased by over 100 per cent. A total of 127 040 eligible passenger vehicles was carried in 2000–01.

The Cross-Modal & Maritime Transport Division received no complaints during the year. But we did receive 10 compliments. These were for:

  • prompt processing of coasting trade permits,
  • implementation and consultation with industry regarding amendments to the Trade Practices Act,
  • development of the Australian Freight Councils Network website,
  • contribution to the Seafarers Welfare Forum,
  • involving industry in APEC Transportation Working Group and Australia/Indonesia bilateral transport talks, and
  • matters relating to the Stevedoring Industry Finance Committee.

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Economic Research and Environment

The Bureau of Transport Economics (BTE) received 53 compliments for the prompt dispatch and quality of its research reports, and for prompt and useful responses to requests for information and data.

BTE received Transport Colloquium feedback forms from 59 external participants, 93 per cent of whom made positive remarks. These remarks related to issues such as the quality of the program in terms of topics and structure, the networking opportunities allowed by such an event and the BTEs organisation of the event. Four participants considered that some aspects, such as the venue and the accessibility of papers prior to the Colloquium, were not satisfactory.

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Land Transport

During the year Land Transport Division issued 2371 vehicle compliance plate approvals. Of these, the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch completed 98 per cent of full-volume and trailer approvals, 95 per cent of low-volume trailer approvals and 53 per cent of low-volume vehicle approvals within its client service charter commitments.

We issued 25 001 vehicle import approvals, 76 per cent being completed within the Branchs 17-day service commitment and 95 per cent within the departmental 20-day service charter. We received 60 618 incoming phone calls relating to vehicle imports and actioned 80 per cent within the 24-hour commitment timeframe.

We received 12 written compliments about excellent service and two written complaints about delays in our processing of approvals.

In administering the Commonwealth Governments roads infrastructure program with States and Territories, DOTARS undertakes to process payments for approved projects within seven working days of receipt of the claim, where satisfactory claims are received by the 13th of each month. During 2000–01, we processed 68 per cent of satisfactory claims received by the 13th of the month within seven working days and the remainder within a further five working days.

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Regional Services, Development and Local Government

Regional Services, Development and Local Government received a considerable number of written compliments, and these mainly related to the high level of assistance provided by Divisional staff on such issues as advice on approval processes to grants applicants, the Countrylink service, and program delivery and information.

We also received very good feedback on the Northern Australia Forum: our smooth running of the event, the tangible outcomes and the work to bring together a collaborative approach across the North. The praise came from a wide range of participants, including regional community representatives, government officials and politicians.

The Commonwealth Regional Information Services (CRIS), a service for people living in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia, has continued to receive positive feedback from clients on the operation of its free-call telephone information and referral service.

The Service now has 360 community information stands throughout regional, rural and remote areas of Australia. These local information services are in a variety of locations including churches, community centres, neighbourhood houses, local councils and libraries. They provide booklets and pamphlets containing information on Commonwealth Government services and programs for the local community.

The Commonwealth Regional Information Service attended 42 shows and field days in regional, rural or remote Australia during 2000–01. This face-to-face service, known as CRISs shopfront, provides information and printed material on Commonwealth Government services and programs for people attending these events.

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Territories and Regional Support

A variety of mechanisms are in place to ensure that Territory communities are consulted on decisions that will affect services provided to them. These include Administrators' Advisory Committees, Community Consultative Committees, the Justice Issues Group, and more formal review mechanisms including recourse to the Commonwealth Ombudsman and Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Client service charters are maintained by the Territory Administration of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island, Jervis Bay Territory (revised 2001) and the Office of the Administrator of Norfolk Island. The charters detail the range of services provided, expected standards of service, rights and responsibilities of clients, and ways in which clients can provide feedback about the standard of service. All the service charters were developed in consultation with clients and include access to independent channels of complaint such as the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Reviews of the terms and effectiveness are being undertaken in consultation with clients.

During 2000–01 Territories and Regional Support Division received no formal complaints concerning the services provided by the Office of the Administrator of Norfolk Island. A complaint about house maintenance was made in relation to the Jervis Bay Administration. Seven complaints were received by the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Administration. Cocos (Keeling) Islands Administration has also received an unrecorded number of written and verbal complaints regarding the air services tender. Two written complaints were received by the Christmas Island Administration, one relating to housing and one relating to a job vacancy, and one oral complaint regarding health.

Formal complaints to Centrelink about decisions on Flood Assistance Package Business Grants are dealt with through the normal Centrelink process. Complaints lodged with Ministers are discussed with Centrelink and decided against the guidelines in accordance with normal Centrelink processes.

Table 1: Ministerial Service Performance Assessment Statistics 1 July 2000 30 June 2001

Division Satisfactory Unsatisfactory Not indicated Total Unsatisfactory (%)
Airports 1 072 14 232 1 318 1.06
Australian Transport Safety Bureau 320 4 46 370 1.08
Aviation 886 42 247 1 175 3.57
Corporate and Business Group 124 10 17 151 6.62
Economic Research & Environment 83 3 10 96 3.12
Executive Services Group 42 3 3 48 6.25
Executive 2 2 0.00
Land Transport 1 996 63 414 2 473 2.55
Regional Services, Development & Local Government 1 271 59 293 1 623 3.64
Territories & Regional Support 317 18 69 404 4.46
Cross-Modal & Maritime Transport 272 45 38 355 12.68
DEPARTMENTAL TOTAL 6 385 261 1 369 8 015 3.26

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Island Administrations and Jervis Bay

Similar client service charters are in place for the administrations of Cocos (Keeling), Norfolk and Christmas Islands, and the Jervis Bay Territory. They are also available on request from the following addresses:

Christmas Island Administration
Deputy Administrator
PO Box 868
Christmas Island WA 6798
Telephone: (08) 9164 7901
Facsimile: (08) 9164 8524
Cocos (Keeling) Islands Administration
Deputy Administrator
GPO Box 93
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Indian Ocean WA 6799
Telephone: (08) 9162 6615
Facsimile: (08) 9162 6697
Official Secretary or the Administrator
Office of the Administrator
Quality Row
Norfolk Island 2899
Telephone: (0011) 6723 22152
Facsimile: (0011) 6723 22681
Jervis Bay Territory Administration
Regional Director
Village Road
Jervis Bay NSW 2540
Telephone: (02) 4442 1217
Facsimile: (02) 4442 1036

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