Transport

Other transport programs

Program 2.2-Surface Transport

Highlights

The Department continued to implement the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) decisions to establish national regulatory systems for heavy vehicles, maritime safety and rail safety, including the development of National Partnership Agreements to underpin the national regulatory systems, in conjunction with the governments of the states and territories.

The Department's work towards establishing national regulatory systems also involved supporting the work of the Australian Transport Council (ATC) in deciding key elements of the national regulatory frameworks.

The Department played a key role in supporting the implementation of the ATC response to the 2009 National Transport Commission (NTC) Review recommendations, which was considered and endorsed by COAG on 7 December 2009. Amendments to the National Transport Commission Act 2003, that give effect to part of the ATC's response, were introduced into Parliament on 23 June 2010.

In June 2010, the Department released a discussion paper on the rewrite of the Navigation Act 1912.

Overview

Program 2.2 was delivered through the work of the Surface Transport Policy Division. The activities of Program 2.2 sought to improve the performance of the surface transport industry for the benefit of all Australians.

Program 2.2 included the following administered items:

  • Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme
  • International Maritime Organization-contribution
  • Interstate Road Transport Fees
  • National Transport Commission
  • OECD Road Transport-contribution
  • Oil Pollution Compensation Fund
  • Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme
  • Tasmanian Wheat Freight Scheme, and
  • Payments to CAC Act bodies-AMSA.

The budget and actual expenditure for each administered program is listed in Appendix A.

Summary of performance

Tables 4.4 and 4.5 summarise the Department's results in delivering Program 2.2 against the key performance indicators and deliverables and their targets published in the 2009–10 PBS.

Table 4.4 Summary of performance-Program 2.2 key performance indicators
Key performance indicator Target Result
Targeted transport regulatory reform initiatives are developed and progressed through COAG, including to enable single national systems of heavy vehicle registration and licensing regulation, maritime safety legislation and rail safety regulation and investigation. The COAG national reform agenda is actively progressed in conjunction with all state and territory governments. Achieved
On 2 July 2009, COAG agreed to establish national systems for heavy vehicle regulation and maritime safety. It also agreed that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will become the national regulator for all commercial vessels in Australian waters. On 7 December 2009, COAG agreed to establish a national rail safety regulator, to be hosted by South Australia, and agreed to establish a national rail safety investigator by expanding the role of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
Ensure the competitiveness and sustainability of Australian coastal shipping. Develop policy position in response to House of Representatives Standing Committee recommendations. Achieved
The Department progressed the development of options for a government response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government's report Rebuilding Australia's Coastal Shipping Industry.
Policy advice is influential in COAG consideration to improve the environmental performance of the Australian new vehicle fleet. COAG consideration of a package of vehicle fuel efficiency measures designed to move Australia towards international best practice. Achieved
COAG agreed relevant measures within the National Strategy on Energy Efficiency. The Department commenced action on COAG-endorsed measures to improve vehicle fuel efficiency.
Results Key  
Not achieved None or minimal progress was made against targets in 2009–10
Partially achieved Some targets were met, and any issues are being managed
Substantially achieved Targets were mostly met, and any issues are being managed
Achieved All targets for 2009–10 were met or exceeded
Table 4.5 Summary of performance-Program 2.2 deliverables
Deliverable Target Result
ATC and COAG decisions on developing and implementing national approaches to heavy vehicle regulation, maritime safety and rail safety regulation and investigation are progressed. Initiatives accurately reflect the views of jurisdictions and COAG decisions, and facilitate decision making by ATC Ministers. In conjunction with the jurisdictions, the Department facilitated decisions by the ATC that reflect COAG's agreement to implement national systems for heavy vehicle regulation, rail safety and maritime safety.

In collaboration with its counterparts in Queensland and South Australia, the Department established project offices to manage implementation of the heavy vehicle and rail safety reforms.

The Department worked closely with:
  • the AMSA, in expanding its role as the national maritime safety regulator
  • the ATSB, in expanding its role as the national rail safety investigator and
  • state and territory governments and the National Transport Commission (NTC), in developing advice on key policy elements of national rail safety and national heavy vehicle laws, to inform ATC decision making.
Provision of timely and robust advice on the development of the Government's response to the House of Representatives Review on Australia's coastal shipping policy and regulation. Develop policy options in response to committee recommendations. Implement agreed actions. The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government's report Rebuilding Australia's Coastal Shipping Industry raised a number of complex and contentious issues. The Department consulted with key stakeholders in the development of policy options aimed at revitalising the Australian shipping sector and provided advice to the Minister for consideration.
Maintain the Green Vehicle Guide (GVG) website as the principal place for information on the environmental performance of new light vehicles in the Australian market place. Positive email feedback. Increased web hits and citation of GVG ratings in elements of the media. The GVG was kept up to date and maintained its visitation rates. The GVG regularly receives feedback from the general public and most emails are positive or offer constructive comment.

The GVG was regularly quoted by the media in vehicle test reports and broader articles on environmental aspects of vehicles. GVG ratings were also used by many fleet managers as the measure of environmental performance in their purchasing criteria.
COAG agreed measures on vehicle fuel efficiency and low-emission vehicles are implemented in consultation with the states, territories and key stakeholders. Progress delivery of agreed reforms within agreed timeframes. The Department has commenced work on vehicle fuel efficiency measures in the National Strategy on Energy Efficiency, including well advanced preparations for a regulation impact statement on carbon dioxide emissions standards for light vehicles.
Advise COAG on the outcomes of the independent review of the National Transport Commission (NTC) and associated recommendations. Meet 2009 COAG timeframes and implement decisions. The Department played a lead role in facilitating the ATC's response to the 2009 Review of the NTC, which was endorsed by COAG on 7 December 2009, and in ensuring that appropriate action is taken to implement the ATC's response. Amendments to the National Transport Commission Act 2003 that give effect to part of the response were introduced into Parliament on 23 June 2010.

The ATC has identified the development of national legislation to underpin the national heavy vehicle and rail safety regulators, along with pricing reforms under the COAG Road Reform Plan, as the key priorities for the National Transport Commission's future work programs to 2011–12.
Government endorsed actions in response to the Review of Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport are implemented. Develop and implement agreed Government actions in consultation with key stakeholders. Meet Government timeframes and guidelines. The Department has accepted the independent consultant's final report on the review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport. The Government's response to the report is expected to be released in 2010–11.
Contribute to the development and implementation of international shipping conventions to protect the environment. Ongoing international and domestic stakeholder engagement.

Development and implementation of legislation and regulations in line with agreed government policy and international conventions.
Australia was re-elected to the IMO Council and the Minister addressed its 26th Assembly. Australia became a party to the Protocol of 2003 to the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage. The Department is a member of the management committee to the National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil and other Hazardous and Noxious Substances.
Efficient and effective management of administered items. Items are administered in accordance with relevant legislation, published guidelines and ANAO guidance. Administered items were administered in accordance with relevant legislation, published guidelines and ANAO guidance.

Table 4.6 provides a summary of the results achieved by each of the administered items under Program 2.2.

Table 4.6 Summary of perfomance—Program 2.2 administered items
Administered item Result
Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme The aim of the scheme-to alleviate the cost disadvantage associated with transporting eligible passenger vehicles across Bass Strait-was fully achieved and service operators were reimbursed in a timely manner.
International Maritime Organization-contribution The Department administered the payment of Australia's annual membership fee to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an agency of the United Nations, which promotes safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans. Membership allows Australian Government officers to promote Australia's interests by participating in meetings of IMO committees and subcommittees.
Interstate Road Transport Fees Revenue collected by the states and territories from heavy vehicle registration charges for 2009–10 totalled $61.9 million. Latest available data showing the number of heavy vehicles and trailers operating under the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme (FIRS) in 2008–09, the latest year in which data is available, was 20,516. All revenue collected is paid to the Commonwealth for redistribution to the states and territories for expenditure on road maintenance.
National Transport Commission Governments were assisted to increase transport productivity, efficiency, safety and sustainability through the NTC's work to develop consistent and effective national reforms for road, rail and intermodal transport. Total Commonwealth operational funding for the NTC in 2009–10 was $2.8 million.
OECD Road Transport-contribution Australia participated in the International Transport Forum (26–28 May, Leipzig, Germany) and highlighted Australian transport innovations.

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) provided quarterly and annual statistics to the OECD on transport and infrastructure and advice on international statistical standards.
Oil Pollution Compensation Fund The Department efficiently managed Australia's obligations under the Funds, which provide compensation to cover the damages resulting from an oil spill from an oil tanker if the costs exceed the tanker owner's liability or the owner's ability to pay. All persons (including oil companies) that received more than 150,000 tonnes of crude oil or heavy oil by sea made contributions in accordance with levies imposed by the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds.
Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme The aim of the scheme-to alleviate the sea freight cost disadvantage for businesses shipping eligible goods to and from Tasmania-was achieved, although claims processing performance was reduced in the first half of the year.
Tasmanian Wheat Freight Scheme The aim of the scheme-to alleviate the sea freight cost disadvantage for wheat shipments across the Bass Strait-was fully achieved and assistance was paid in a timely manner.

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Last Updated: 24 October, 2014