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Client Service and Consultation

Client Service Charter

Our Client Service Charter provides an overview of the services and service standards provided by the Department. It also provides our clients with insight into their rights and responsibilities, and information on ways to have departmental decisions reviewed, provision of feedback, ways to raise complaints with the Ombudsman, contact details and ways to find more information about the Department.

The Client Service Charter will be reviewed in 200203 in line with the development of our new corporate plan.

A copy of the Client Service Charter is available on our web site at http://www.dotars.gov.au/department/dotars/charter.aspx or on written request from:

Client Service Officer
Department of Transport and Regional Services
GPO Box 594
Canberra ACT 2601

The following describes how the Department has strived, in keeping with the APS and departmental values, to ensure it delivers services fairly, effectively, impartially and courteously to the Australian public and is sensitive to the diverse needs of all of the clients it serves, through feedback and consultation.

Client information and feedback options

The Department has actively sought input from our clients and stakeholders through our many formal forums (as listed in Tables 3 and 4) and as part of all programme delivery and policy development processes. We have ensured our clients may easily access information regarding our services through:

  • the availability of freecall lines and information on the Internet
  • our Government policy communication strategies
  • our inter-agency service agreements and memorandums of understanding
  • the provision of contact details on our correspondence
  • our people.

We ensured that our clients diverse information access needs were met by providing both hard copy and electronic forms of information, and the opportunity to give feedback, compliments or complaints through:

  • our Client Service Feedback freecall linephone 1800 075 001
  • our online Client Service Feedback form www.dotars.gov.au/dept/charter/charterform.aspx
  • a detachable, postage free performance feedback form included with the hard copy Client Service Charter
  • our Client Service Feedback email addressclientservice@dotars.gov.au
  • our postal address.

The Departments Service Charter does not include the services or programmes delivered by the Administrations of Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Norfolk Island and Jervis Bay. The Administrators have their own charters and may contacted at the following numbers and addresses:

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

The Department also offers a general inquiries linephone (02) 6274 7111and an email address, PublicAffairs@dotars.gov.au. There are also a number of dedicated call centres, freecall numbers and direct Internet addresses for our high demand and emergency services, including the following:

  • For applications, information queries and feedback on vehicle safety standards and imports freecall 1800 815 272 or email rvcs@dotars.gov.au.
  • The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has a number of freecall lines
    • for general inquiries freecall 1800 621 372
    • for safety information freecall 1800 020 616
    • for reporting of aviation, maritime or rail accidentsfreecall 1800 011 034 (open 24 hours per day)
    • for confidential aviation reporting freecall 1800 020 505.
  • Various Internet addresses are also available from the Bureaus web page at www.atsb.gov.au/contact.aspx.
  • For reporting of aviation security emergencies phone call (02) 6257 5777 (open 24 hours per day). Various Internet addresses are available at website http://www.dotars.gov.au/transport/security/aviation/index.aspx.
  • For information regarding the Governments services to regional Australia freecall 1800 026 222. Commonwealth Regional Information Directory publication is also available through 1800 026 222. Further information on these services and publications can be obtained via the website www.regionalaustralia.gov.au/.

Consultation with clients and stakeholders

The Department actively consulted with, and sought participation from, a wide range of organisations, groups and individuals, regarding policy formulation and the administration of our portfolio programmes during 2001-02. The insight gained through consultation and feedback assisted the Department in its provision of well balanced and informed advice to the Government.

A few examples are given below of how client feedback was sought and taken into account in the development, implementation and review of policy, and of the way we administered programmes in 2001-02 to achieve the Departments outcome:

A better transport system for Australia; and greater recognition and opportunities for local, regional and Territory communities.

Table 1: Transport consultation examples

Feedback type Feedback use
Consultation with State and Territory road agencies and councils

Consultation with State and Territory road agencies and councils is a key feature of the administration of the Commonwealth's roads programmes. Recent examples include:

  • changes to operational procedures for the Roads to Recovery Programme
  • suggestions provided by clients were incorporated into the revised Notes on Administration for the National Highways and Roads of Importance Programme.
Aviation stakeholders addressing issues of importance in aviation and related industries The Aviation Stakeholders Conference is held twice yearly. These conferences are designed to provide a forum of information exchange for aviation stakeholders-including, but not limited to, airlines, airports, inbound tourism interests, freight forwarders, and Federal, State and local governments. The forum discusses issues of importance to international, domestic and regional aviation and related industries. It allows the opportunity for us to engage targeted clients and stakeholders that provide constructive feedback to existing policies and encourage a partnership approach to issue resolution.
Consultation bringing together those involved in the export chain
The Department attended and continues to attend the Australian Freight Council Network (AFCN) meetings. The AFCN comprises Executive Officers from each of the State and Territory Air and Sea Freight Export Councils. The objective of these Councils is to bring together all the players in the export chain-from growers to shippers/airlines-in order to improve the efficiency and quality of the transport and logistics chain. Involvement in this forum enables us to gauge Government policy effectiveness with a user group and to gain awareness of emerging issues.

Table 2: Regional Development consultatiin examples

Feedback type Feedback use
Locally-based Advisory Committees forge partnerships with government to identify development options for their regions

Eight locally-based Advisory Committees have been established under the Sustainable Regions Programme. A number of the Advisory Committees have conducted community consultations within the regions to determine regional priorities and increase community awareness of the programme. The Department assists locally-based Advisory Communities to:

  • formulate and test future development options for their regions
  • identify and support specific activities to promote sustainable development
  • support community leadership in the development of local solutions
  • foster new ideas, community energy, drive and self-reliance
  • forge partnerships between the private sector and all three spheres of government.
Community and business leaders develop initiatives to address challenges in their regions The New England and North West New South Wales Regional Forum was held in Tamworth on two days in September 2001. Over 150 community and business leaders attended the Forum to discuss and workshop six themes: infrastructure; communications; health and human services; education, training and employment; investment and partnerships; and community capability. Participants in the Forum developed 28 key initiatives to address the challenges identified in the six workshops. These initiatives will be taken forward under the coordination of the Northern Inland Regional Alliance.
The Departments communication campaign raises awareness of the Commonwealth Regional Information Service Feedback from the 1999 Regional Australia Summit resulted in widespread recognition that many people in regional Australia were not aware of the services available to them. To address this concern, a communication campaign for the Commonwealth Regional Information Service was designed to identify ways country Australians can access useful information about the comprehensive range of programmes and services offered by the Commonwealth Government. The campaign will be launched by Minister Anderson in August 2002.

Formal consultation forums

Detailed below is a list of formal forums in which the Department had significant involvement during 2001-02. These forums have assisted in our development, review and implementation of policy and advice to government. Like the previous list, this has been divided into two parts each addressing a core aspect of our portfolio outcomeeither a better transport system or greater recognition and opportunities for local, regional and territory communities. The list identifies the divisions that represent the Department in these forums.

It should be noted that there are many other formal forums in which the Department participates but for which other parties have primary responsibility. Our involvement in these has further contributed to the Departments ability to enhance the quality of its advice to the Government through its provision of well researched information on issues that takes into account client and stakeholder views.

Our participation in formal forums across the board has assisted in providing the Department with the opportunity of meeting the Australian communitys client and stakeholder needs to a high degree and has contributed to making our contribution to whole of government issues successful through information sharing.

Table 3: Transport formal consultation forums

Forum Description
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia Ltd
The Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia coordinates a common approach to issues affecting aerial agricultural industry.

Australasia Traffic Policy Forum The Australasia Traffic Policy Forum coordinates development of best practice approaches to traffic policing.

Australian Coroners' Society Inc The Australian Coroners' Society Inc coordinates a common approach to issues affecting coroners in Australia and New Zealand.

Flag State Implementation Subcommittee of the International Maritime Organisation

This sub-committee shares international safety information (including on enhancements in techniques) and provides tutorials.

Flight Safety Forums The Flight Safety Forums promote aviation industry safety awareness.

Flight Safety Foundation The Flight Safety Foundation shares international safety information (including on enhancements in techniques) and provides tutorials.
Human Factors Advisory Group The Human Factors Advisory Group shares information on human-factors activities in the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the Defence Science Technology Organisation, Airservices Australia and academia.

International Society of Air Safety Investigators The International Society of Air Safety Investigators shares international safety information (including on enhancements in techniques) and provides tutorials.

Marine Accident Investigators' International Forum The Marine Accident Investigators' International Forum fosters international cooperation and knowledge sharing among national marine investigators.

Motorcycle Safety Consultative Committee The Motorcycle Safety Consultative Committee consults on motorcycle safety issues.

National Road Safety Strategy Panel The National Road Safety Strategy Panel advises the Australian Transport Council on progress of the National Road Safety Strategy and the formulation of national action plans; shares information about best practice in road safety; and identifies emerging priorities.

Research Coordination Advisory Group The Research Coordination Advisory Group coordinates road safety research strategies of the Commonwealth, States and Territories and advises Austroads on safety research priorities.

The Australian Research Council Key Centre for Human Factors and Applied Cognitive Psychology

The Australian Research Council Key Centre for Human Factors and applied Cognitive Psychology provides presentations on human-factors research initiatives.
Aviation and Airports Policy Division
Aviation Stakeholders Forum Aviation Stakeholders Forum conferences are held twice yearly-usually, one in the Australian Capital Territory and the other in a State or a different Territory. They are designed to provide a forum for aviation stakeholders, including but not limited to the airlines, airports, inbound tourism interests, freight forwarders and the Federal, State and local governments, to discuss issues of importance to international, domestic and regional aviation and related industries.

Aviation Working Group The Aviation Working Group is a forum for Commonwealth and State/Territory aviation officials to pursue policy issues of common interest and to provide advice to the Standing Committee on Transport and the Australian Transport Council.

Aviation Security Industry Consultative Group The Aviation Security Industry Consultative Group provides a forum for Government and the aviation industry to discuss the effectiveness of the national aviation security measures and procedures in place and ensure coordination amongst those organisations responsible for implementing Australia's national aviation security programme. The group, which meets on average three times per year, comprises senior representatives of the Department, major Australian airports, major domestic airlines, the Australian Airports Association, the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia and the Regional Aviation Association of Australia. Additional members are invited on an ad hoc, as necessary basis.

International Civil Aviation Organization The International Civil Aviation Organization discusses standards and recommended practices of accident investigation.

National Advisory Facilitation Committee (NatFAL) Formed in accordance with Annex 9 of the Chicago Convention, NatFAL brings together airports and airlines with Commonwealth regulatory agencies, under the chair of the Department, to pursue improvements in the facilitation of passengers and freight through Australia's international airports.

Economic Research and Portfolio Policy Division
Motor Vehicle Environment Committee The Motor Vehicle Environment Committee was established to provide policy advice to Federal and State Governments on measures to reduce the environmental impacts of motor vehicles.

Transport and Infrastructure Policy Division
Australian Bicycle Council TIP provides the Secretariat for the Australian Bicycle Council, which is a national body-representing Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions- established in June 1999 to implement 'Australia Cycling', a national strategy which aims to double cycling by the year 2004. Implementation of the national cycling strategy will provide social and health benefits by combating the high levels of obesity and physical inactivity in the Australian community.

Australian Freight Council Network (AFCN) The AFCN comprises Executive Officers from each of the State and Territory Air and Sea Freight Export Councils. The objective of these Councils is to bring together all the players in the export chain-from growers to shippers/airlines-in order to improve the efficiency and quality of the transport and logistics chain. Involvement in this forum enables us to gauge government policy effectiveness with a user group and to gain awareness of emerging issues.

Australian Global Navigation Satellite System Coordination Committee The Australian Global Navigation Satellite System Coordination Committee's purpose is to coordinate implementation of satellite navigation systems in Australia and to provide advice to Government.

Maritime Security Working Group (MSWG) The MSWG was established to consider security issues as they relate to the shipping, sea ports and offshore facility sectors. The MSWG acts as an industry and government forum which advises the Australian Government position on the International Maritime Organisation's proposed raft of maritime security measures.

Standing Committee on Transport (SCOT) SCOT is the senior coordinating body supporting the Australian Transport Council, and provides advice on a range of policy and technical matters. It is also responsible for developing the agenda for the Australian Transport Council.

SCOT Rail Group The SCOT Rail Group is a sub-committee of SCOT- consisting of senior Federal, State and Territory rail officials-to assist, advise and support the implementation of national rail policy decisions. The SCOT Rail Group aims to work collaboratively across jurisdictions, acting as a link between Government and the rail industry, encouraging a national focus by SCOT and the Australian Transport Council on rail issues of national importance.

Supermarket to Asia Council, Transport and Logistics Working Group The Transport and Logistics Working Group (TLWG) was established under the Supermarket to Asia initiative in recognition of the key role transport plays in ensuring food products arrive at export markets in good quality. The members of the Transport and Logistics Working Group include key industry leaders in the Transport Logistics field.

The Integrated Logistics Network The Integrated Logistics Network was established as a means of developing a national approach to the efficient movement of goods both within Australia and for export. It consists of senior Government transport logistics officials from each State and Territory and the Commonwealth.

Transport Programmes Division
Australian Local Government Association The Department and the Australian Local Government Association meet as needed to discuss issues such as Roads to Recovery.

Austroads Inc Austroads is the association of Australian and New Zealand road transport and traffic authorities. It is responsible for researching and preparing technical standards and policy advice on a range of topics
including road safety, road related costs, vehicle and road engineering standards and performance measurement. The ATSB also participates in this Forum.

Road Safety Black Spot Programme consultative panels

A consultative panel has been established in each State and comprises representatives from State and local government, and independent representatives of interest groups. Each panel is chaired by a Federal Parliamentarian appointed by the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Regional Services.

The role of each panel is to represent its particular constituencies and comment on all proposals for black spot funding within its State.

State and Territory road authorities Forums with State and Territory road authorities address issues related to delivery of National Highway and Roads of National Importance programmes.

Transport Regulation Division
Sydney Airport Community Forum (SACF)

The Federal Government established the SACF in July 1996 as part of its commitment to addressing the noise impacts from Sydney Airport in consultation with affected residents.

SACF is the main body for consultation on the Sydney Airport Long Term Operating Plan. SACF is also an avenue for conveying information between the community and the aviation authorities on the airport's operations. The Forum includes representatives from the community, local councils, industry, and State and Federal Parliaments.

Airport Environment Consultative Committees These committees are run by the airport operator, so that all stakeholders, including members of the public, can contribute to discussions on issues relating to aircraft noise.

Long Term Operating Plan Implementation Monitoring Committee

This Committee assists the achievement of the integrity, intent and targets of the Sydney Airport Long Term Operating Plan.

It is chaired by Airservices Australia and the Department attends as a member. The SACF has nominated two community members to attend the meetings to convey community concerns and to report on issues at SACF meetings.

Committee to Advise on Recall and Safety The Committee provides for notification and discussion of issues related to motor vehicle recalls and safety with State, Territory, industry and consumer stakeholders.

Advisory Committee on the Transport of Dangerous Goods The Advisory Committee is the national forum for technical discussion and debate relating to all aspects of dangerous goods road and rail transport operations. It facilitates the development and revision of nationally uniform and internationally harmonised Australian requirements for the transport of dangerous goods.

Advisory Committee to the Australian Rail Operations Unit This Committee provides advice to the Australian Rail Operations Unit on the development and implementation of the Code of Practice for the Defined Interstate Rail Network.

Rail Code Management Committee This Committee provides advice on the longer-term management and future ownership of the Code of Practice for the Defined Interstate Rail Network.

Accessible Transport Standards Consultative Committee

This Committee provides technical advice on the draft Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport.
Technical Liaison Group The Technical Liaison Group is responsible for the development of national vehicle safety standards.

Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board The Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board is responsible for the collection and dissemination of information from and to the States and Territories regarding vehicle certification and registration issues.

Table 4: Regional Development formal consultation forums

Forum
Description
Regional Policy Division
Regional Business Development Analysis Panel Panel members were appointed in June 2002. The Panel members and Reference Group inaugural meeting is scheduled for July 2002. The Regional Business Development Analysis will identify drivers of growth and the range of impediments to growth in regional areas, assess the effectiveness of current Federal Government assistance and identify strategies for development and growth to achieve further improvements for business in regional Australia. The Panel is to report back to the Government with an action plan in April 2003.
Regional Women's Advisory Council

The Regional Women's Advisory Council was appointed by the Minister for Transport and Regional Services in September 1999 to provide a women's perspective on regional, rural and remote issues. The terms of reference are to:

  • provide advice to the Federal Government through the Minister for Transport and Regional Services
  • through liaison and consultation, act as a channel for information flows between the Federal Government and regional, rural and remote communities
  • assist with input into, and implementation of, major Federal Government initiatives for regional and rural communities.
Standing Committee on Regional Development (SCORD) SCORD is the Committee of senior officers that supports the Regional Development Council. SCORD supports the Council in providing leadership to all areas of Government, industry and the community in working collaboratively to enhance regional development; and provides a forum for Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments and local government to consider and facilitate national strategic approaches to sustainable regional development.
Regional Programmes Division
Dairy Regional Assistance Programme advisory committees The Dairy Regional Assistance Programme advisory committees seek comment on Dairy Regional Assistance Programme project proposals from key industry people and other interested parties who can provide specialist, independent advice on the project proposals.

Investment and Trade in Regional Australia Steering Group This Steering Group provides advice on the development and implementation of the Investment and Trade in Regional Australia Package, a partnership with the Australian Local Government Association.

Prime Minister's Task Force on Newcastle The Task Force was established by the Prime Minister advise him on matters affecting Newcastle, New South Wales. The Prime Minister has instructed the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government to seek advice from the Task Force on funding proposals.

Regional Solutions Programme Advisory Committee This Committee considers applications for funding through the Regional Solutions Programme and makes recommendations to the Minister on grants funding.

Rural Transaction Centres Programme Advisory Committee The RTC Programme Advisory Committee assesses project applications and makes recommendations on funding of projects to the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government.

South-West Forests Adjustment Package Advisory Committee This Committee provides advice to the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government on the South-West Forests Adjustment Package.

Steering Committee for a forum in the New England and North- West New South Wales region (no longer operational) The Steering Committee was set up to host a forum to discuss six themes: infrastructure; communications; health and human services; education, training and employment; investment and partnership; and community capability. Participants at the Forum developed 28 key initiatives to address the challenges identified in the six workshops. These initiatives will be taken forward under the coordination of the Northern Inland Regional Alliance.

Sustainable Regions Programme advisory committees

Various forums are held in each of the eight designated regions under the Sustainable Regions Programme to plan and discuss operational aspects of the local advisory committees' work plans, to:

  • formulate and test future development options for the region
  • identify and support specific activities to promote sustainable development
  • support community leadership in the development of local solutions
  • foster new ideas, community energy, drive and self-reliance
  • forge partnerships between the private sector and all three spheres of government.

Wide Bay Burnett Structural Adjustment Programme Advisory Committee

This Committee provides advice to the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government on the Wide Bay Burnett Structural Adjustment Programme.
Territories and Local Government Division
Commonwealth/State Planning Officials Group The Planning Officials Group has a broad and ongoing agenda to review planning issues of national concern.

Development Assessment Forum The Development Assessment Forum brings together the development industry, professions and governments to reform, streamline and harmonise development assessment processes without sacrificing the quality of decision making.

Local Government Joint Officers Group (LOGJOG) LOGJOG is a high level officers' group from the State and Territory jurisdictions which supported the Local Government Ministers Conference and from which a range of task forces and working groups are drawn. From 2002 onward it will provide support to Ministers on local government matters in the newly-created Local Government and Planning Ministers' Council.