Program 2.2—Surface Transport


In 2010–11, $98.5 million in assistance was delivered under the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme, and $36.5 million under the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme (BSPVES). From 1 July 2010, the rebates payable under the BSPVES were increased in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.

The Department is progressing Australian Government reforms, which are scheduled to come into effect from 1 July 2012, to support long-term growth of a viable Australian shipping industry. The reforms include:

  • changing the regulations governing access to the coastal trade to increase the participation of Australian registered vessels
  • establishing an Australian International Shipping Register to encourage Australian participation in the international shipping trade
  • introducing financial incentives to remove barriers to investment and operation in Australian shipping, and
  • encouraging improved workforce training outcomes and an increased Australian maritime skills base.

The Minister announced the detail of this reform package on 9 September 2011. The Department worked with states and territories on the implementation by 1 January 2013 of three national regulators for heavy vehicles, rail and maritime. Transport ministers agreed to forward each of these Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) to COAG for signature. COAG signed these historic IGAs in August 2011. These important reforms will provide significant efficiencies and benefits to these industries.

The Department progressed work on the implementation of Euro 5/6 emissions standards for light vehicles, and the new standards were announced in June 2011. The new standards will be implemented from late 2013.

The Department played a key oversight role and provided input into COAG Road Reform Plan's (CRRP) stage 2 and 3 reports to COAG.

The Department oversaw the release of the Australian Government's response to the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport review in June 2011.


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

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 2010–11 Portfolio Budget Statements (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 to enable single national systems of 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. 10–11 Achieved 09–10 Achieved
The Department has worked collaboratively with state and territory governments to develop an Intergovernmental Agreement that sets out principles and processes to deliver a national system for domestic commercial vessels. This agreement was considered and signed by COAG at its August 2011 meeting.

A draft of the Maritime Safety National Law Bill, which will give effect to the national system for the regulation of domestic commercial vessels and establish a National Maritime Safety Regulator, was provided to the Parliamentary Counsel's Committee and jurisdictions for comment.

Work progressed with the implementation of the rail and heavy vehicle reforms, including the development of Intergovernmental Agreements. The Department worked closely with the National Transport Commission (NTC) and jurisdictions to progress the drafting of national laws for rail safety and heavy vehicle regulation. This includes the finalisation and release of the Heavy Vehicle Regulation Impact Statement and draft Heavy Vehicle National Law for public consultation.
Ensure the competitiveness and sustainability of Australian coastal shipping. Completion of advice to Government on response to House of Representatives Standing Committee recommendations in accordance with Government timeframes. The Department has worked closely with key industry players to develop regulatory, fiscal and workforce skills responses to issues raised in the Standing Committee's report. A new Coastal Trading Bill that will support a competitive and sustainable coastal shipping industry is expected to be introduced into Parliament in the latter part of 2011.
Policy advice is influential in COAG consideration to improve the environmental performance of the Australian new vehicle fleet. COAG consideration of vehicle fuel efficiency measures designed to move Australia towards international best practice. The Australian Government's election commitment of 24 July 2010 to introduce mandatory CO2 emissions standards for light vehicles from 2015 gives effect to the COAG target.

Results Key

Achieved All targets for 2010–11 were met or exceeded
Not achieved None or minimal progress was made against targets in 2010–11
Partially achieved Some targets were met, and any issues are being managed
Substantially achieved Targets were mostly met, and any issues are being managed
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 May 2011, transport ministers agreed to forward the Intergovernmental Agreement for the national maritime safety regulator to COAG for signature. It was also agreed that work be undertaken to establish ‘no blame’ investigation arrangements as part of the national maritime regulatory system.

The Maritime Safety National Law Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament in the 2011 spring sittings and enacted in early 2012.

In implementing ATC and COAG decisions, the Department has worked closely with AMSA, ATSB and all jurisdictions on the framework for the national maritime regulatory system.

ATC agreed at its May 2011 meeting on the content of Intergovernmental Agreements on national rail and heavy vehicle regulatory reform. Ministers agreed that the Intergovernmental Agreements be forwarded to COAG for signature at its next meeting.

The Department worked closely with:
  • the ATSB and jurisdictions in expanding the ATSB's role as the national rail safety investigator, and
  • states and territories, the NTC and rail and heavy vehicle project offices in developing advice on key policy elements of national rail safety and national heavy vehicle laws.
Provision of policy input to the Road Reform Plan Feasibility Study into more direct heavy vehicle charging. COAG agreed milestones towards delivery of the Feasibility Study met and advice prepared for ATC and COAG consideration. The Department continues to provide policy input to the development of the CRRP Feasibility Study into options for heavy vehicle charging and funding reform, which is due to COAG in December 2011.
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 as appropriate. The Department has worked closely with key industry players to develop regulatory, fiscal and workforce skills responses to issues raised in the Standing Committee's report. A resulting Coastal Trading Bill that will support a competitive and sustainable coastal shipping industry is expected to be introduced to Parliament in the latter part of 2011.
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. Consultation has begun on the development of a new ratings system to recognise manufacturer improvements in vehicle air pollution and greenhouse emissions, and to maintain the Green Vehicle Guide (GVG) as the principal place for consumers to compare the relative environmental performance of new vehicles.
COAG agreed measures on vehicle fuel efficiency and low emission vehicles are implemented in consultation with the States, Territories and key stakeholders. Develop and implement agreed COAG actions within agreed timeframes. The Australian Government commitment to introduce mandatory CO2 emission standards has overtaken COAG agreed measures. Consultation has begun on including fuel consumption information in vehicle advertising. States are taking the lead on eco-driving and information tools for light and heavy-duty fleets.
Deliver COAG agreed outcomes of the independent review of the National Transport Commission (NTC) and associated recommendations are implemented. Update Commonwealth Legislation. Legislation began on 1 July 2011.
Government endorsed actions in response to the Review of Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport are implemented. Implement agreed Government actions in consultation with key stakeholders. Meet Government timeframes and guidelines. The Review and Australian Government response were released on 3 June 2011. Work on an implementation plan has begun, including the re-convening of the Australian Public Transport Jurisdictional Committee of transport agency officials.
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.
Two Bills to implement amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships were introduced into Parliament on 30 September 2010 and 25 May 2011.
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 performance-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 the 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 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 committees and subcommittees of the IMO.
Interstate Road Transport Fees. Revenue collected by the states and territories from heavy vehicle registration charges for 2010–11 totalled $76.4 million. At December 2010, there were 19,765 heavy vehicles and trailers operating under the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme. All revenue collected is paid to the Australian Government 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 Australian Government operational funding for the NTC in 2010–11 was $2.9 million.
National Transport Reform. Work progressed with the implementation of the rail and heavy vehicle reforms including the development of Intergovernmental Agreements to be considered by COAG in mid-2011. The Department worked closely with the NTC and jurisdictions to progress the drafting of national laws. The Australian Government contribution toward the National Rail Safety Regulator Project Office and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Project Office in 2010–11 was $2.2 million.
OECD Road Transport contribution. Australia participated in the International Transport Forum (25–27 May, Leipzig, Germany) and highlighted Australia's approach to improving road safety.

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) managed the participation of several Australian research groups in the OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre. In 2010–11, Australian researchers contributed to working groups on the effectiveness of road safety measures, cycling safety, and motorcyclist safety and mobility.
Oil Pollution Compensation Fund. The Department efficiently managed Australia's obligations under the Fund, which provides 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 eligible businesses shipping eligible goods to and from Tasmania-was achieved.
Tasmanian Wheat Freight Scheme. No claims were submitted under the scheme in 2010–11.

The budget and actual expenditure for each administered item is listed in appendix A.

Prev. Index Next


Last Updated: 29 October, 2014