Surface Transport

Programme 2.2–Surface Transport

Highlights

A key achievement for the Department in 2013–14 was the commencement of the Heavy Vehicle National Law in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory from 10 February 2014. As a result of the Department's work with state and territory governments, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is now responsible for regulating the safety and productivity of heavy vehicles in those states and reducing the regulatory burden for heavy vehicle operators involved in transport across state and territory borders.

This significant national reform will assist in reducing red tape, improve national consistency in heavy vehicle regulation, productivity and safety outcomes, and provide a solid platform to pursue further reform and efficiencies in the heavy vehicle sector.

In April 2014 the Australian Government released an options paper on approaches to regulating coastal shipping in Australia. At the end of May 2014, the Department concluded a series of face-to-face consultations held around Australia with stakeholders, including shipping companies, ship owners, agents, shippers of raw material and agricultural products and industry and employee associations to develop further advice to the Australian Government on options for the regulation of shipping services on the Australian coast. The outcomes of the consultation will be considered by the Australian Government in the second half of 2014.

Overview

Programme 2.2 was delivered through the work of the Surface Transport Policy Division, with input from the Policy and Research Division. This programme contributes to Outcome 2 through activities which seek to improve the performance of the surface transport industry for the benefit of all Australians.

Did you know?

The latest data available shows that the Australian trading fleet consists of 96 vessels; 42 of these are Australian-registered.

Source: Yearbook 2014 (Forthcoming), Tables T 7.9 a.

Summary of Performance

Tables 4.4 and 4.5 summarise the Department's results in delivering Programme 2.2 against the key performance indicators and deliverables and their targets, published in the 2013–14 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.

Table 4.4 Summary of performance-Programme 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. Appropriate action taken by the Department and industry to mitigate new or emerging threats. 2013–14
Substantially
Achieved
2012–13
Partially
Achieved
2011–12
Substantially
Achieved
2010–11
Achieved

COAG national reform agenda was actively progressed in collaboration with all state and territory governments.

The Heavy Vehicle National Law took effect on 10 February 2014 in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Victoria implemented the Rail Safety National Law from May 2014 under the National Rail Safety Regulator.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority became the National Maritime Safety Regulator on 1 July 2013.

Ensure the competitiveness and sustainability of Australian coastal shipping. Ongoing provision of an effective coastal trading regulatory framework. 2013–14
Achieved
2012–13
Achieved
2011–12
Achieved
2010–11
Achieved
The Department continued to administer the online coastal trading licensing system launched in the previous financial year All applications lodged through the system were dealt with in statutory timeframes.
Policy advice is influential in COAG's consideration to improve the environmental performance of the Australian new vehicle fleet. Implement the Australian Government's commitment to introduce mandatory CO2 emission standards from 2015. 2013–14
Not Achieved
2012–13
Partially
Achieved
2011–12
Partially
Achieved
2010–11
Achieved

Mandatory CO2 emissions standards for light vehicles are no longer an Australian Government policy commitment.

The Department has continued to work with the Department of Industry and Department of the Environment to develop options which could be considered in the Australian Government's proposed Energy White Paper A departmental secondee has ensured close collaboration on transport sector energy production issues through the Energy White Paper process.

Result Key
Achieved All targets for 2013–14 were met or exceeded
Substantially achieved Targets were mostly met, and any issues are being managed
Partially achieved Some targets were met, and any issues are being managed
Not achieved None or minimal progress was made against targets in 2013–14

Table 4.5 Summary of performance-Programme 2.2 deliverables

Deliverable Target Result
COAG and the Council of Transport and Infrastructure (COTI) decisions on developing and implementing national approaches to heavy vehicle regulation, maritime safety, and rail safety regulation and investigation are progressed. COAG and COTI decisions are implemented within agreed timeframes and decision making by COTI ministers is facilitated. National approaches to heavy vehicle regulation, maritime safety and rail safety regulation and investigation were progressed in line with COTI and COAG decisions and timeframes.
Contribute to the development of a Regulation Impact Statement on implementation options for heavy vehicle charging, funding and investment reform. A Regulation Impact Statement prepared for consideration by COTI and subsequent delivery to COAG in the first half of 2014. The Strategic Directions Review of the Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment Reform, which met COAG regulatory impact assessment requirements, was provided to the Prime Minister, as chair of COAG on 4 December 2013.
Maintain the Green Vehicle Guide website as the principal place for information on the environmental performance of new light vehicles in the Australian market place. Green Vehicle Guide continues to provide up-to-date, relevant information to vehicle purchasers.

The Department continued to maintain and update the Green Vehicle Guide www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au, which provides individuals, governments, and business consumers with information about the environmental performance of new light vehicles.

Vehicle entries are updated as new vehicle models enter the Australian market.

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 Department continued to work with states and territories, disability sector organisations and peak public transport bodies towards implementing the Australian Government's response to the first review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002.

The Department also continued work on the second five-year review, which commenced in late 2012. 13 public consultation sessions were held around Australia from April to July 2013, with 95 written submissions received. The draft review report was subsequently released for public consultation on 9 May 2014. The public release of the final report and the Australian Government response to the review are anticipated in the second half of 2014.

Contribute to the development and implementation of international shipping conventions to protect the environment and ensure maritime safety.

Ongoing international and domestic stakeholder engagement.

Development and implementation of legislation and regulations in line with agreed government policy and international conventions.

The Department engaged with key stakeholders and participated in several meetings at the International Maritime Organization, as well as domestic meetings about marine environment protection and maritime safety.

The Department also ensured that agreed international standards and amendments to international maritime conventions and treaties are implemented in Australia's domestic legal framework.

Develop strong maritime policy agenda with particular focus on optimising the regulation of the coastal shipping sector. Coastal trading licence and shipping reform tax incentive applications are processed in accordance with legislative timeframes.

47 Temporary Licences and 22 General Licences were issued under the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012.

All were issued within statutory timeframes.

Eight tax incentive applications were received and all were processed within the legislative timeframe.

Efficient and effective management of administered items. Items are administered in accordance with relevant legislation, published guidelines and ANAO guidance. 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 Programme 2.2.

Table 4.6 Summary of performance-Programme 2.2 administered items

Administered Item Result
Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme $37.5 million was provided in 2013–14 to reduce the cost of crossing Bass Strait for eligible passengers by lowering the fare for their accompanying passenger vehicles.
International Maritime Organization -contribution The Department administered payment of Australia's annual membership contribution to the International Maritime Organization, an agency of the United Nations, which promotes safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans. Membership allows the Australian Government to promote Australia's interests in International Maritime Organization committees and sub-committees. The total contribution for 2013–14 was $0.3 million.
Interstate Road Transport Fees The state and territory governments collected $75.1 million in heavy vehicle registration charges on behalf of the Australian Government in 2013–14. In March 2014 there were 16,492 heavy vehicles and trailers operating under the Federal Interstate Registration Scheme. All revenue collected from the scheme is paid to the Australian Government for redistribution to the states and territories for road maintenance.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Road Transport—contribution The Department administered payment of Australia's annual contribution towards the OECD/International Transport Forum Joint Transport Research Centre, which organises longer-term research projects under the oversight of member countries' transport ministries and research agencies through the Joint Transport Research Committee Membership enables the Australian Government to influence the Joint Transport Research Centre's forward work programme and promote successful Australian transport policy initiatives, either through direct participation of Australian transport experts in Joint Transport Research Centre sponsored projects or representation of Australian senior executives at OECD/International Transport Forum events. Australia's contribution was $45,000 in 2013–14.
Oil Pollution Compensation Funds The Department managed Australia's obligations under the International Oil Pollution Fund, providing compensation to cover 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 or 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 Fund.
Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme $101.7 million in assistance was provided to eligible shippers under the scheme. The scheme is an uncapped and demand-driven programme.
Tasmanian Wheat Freight Scheme The scheme remained open to shippers of bulk wheat in 2013–14, however, there has been no uptake of the scheme for some time and it was closed on 30 June 2014 Containerised wheat shipments continued to be supported through the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme.

Note: The budget and actual expenditure for each administered item is listed in Appendix A.

Did you know?

Iron ore exports in the Pilbara region are underpinned by an extensive railway network with more than 2,295 route kilometres of private railways.

Source: Trainline 2 (Forthcoming).

CASE STUDY

Trends: Infrastructure and Transport to 2030

three honeycomb shaped photos showing railway, highway and bridge

Drawing on research by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics and other government and industry sources, Trends: Infrastructure and Transport to 2030 draws together analysis and forecasting to outline the most significant impacts on the infrastructure and transport sector through to 2030.

The publication's release marks the culmination of over 12 months work by the Policy Development Unit in collaboration with the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics as well as other divisions across the Department and other portfolios. The report examines:

  • economic conditions, trends in the global economy and the outlook for the Australian economy
  • infrastructure investment trends
  • Australia's transition including industry, demographic, and spatial changes
  • modal trends in the movement of goods and people
  • regulatory trends for the portfolio, and
  • other significant challenges and opportunities including energy efficiency, climate change and technological innovation.

A solid evidence base on the pressures affecting Australia's infrastructure needs is outlined. Among key findings, the publication reported that over the next two decades:

  • the number of trucks on Australian roads will increase by 50 per cent, rail freight by two-thirds and shipping containers through Australian ports will double
  • international and domestic travel through Australian capital city airports will almost double, and
  • technology will play a significant role in meeting the transport task, while also improving safety.

Following the release of Trends: Infrastructure and Transport to 2030, staff from the Department's Policy Development Unit are now using the report to renew conversations with other agencies and external bodies on the long-term issues impacting the infrastructure and transport sector. The publication is an important contribution to the evidence base for the Department's work and informs whole-of-government advice.

Detailed Report on Performance

The following report is against the components of Programme 2.2 in the 2013–14 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.

(a) National Heavy Vehicle Regulation

The Department worked collaboratively with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and states and territories to achieve passage of the Heavy Vehicle National Law in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator commenced regulating under the National Law from 10 February 2014.

(b) National Rail Safety Regulation

On 19 May 2013, Victoria enacted the rail safety national law, with regulation by the National Rail Safety Regulator. The National Rail Safety Law now applies in South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria. The Australian Capital Territory passed legislation in May 2014 to enact the National Rail Safety Law, with the legislation expected to be proclaimed in 2014–15.

(c) National Maritime Safety Regulation

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority became the National Marine Safety Regulator on 1 July 2013. The Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 came into force on 1 July 2013 replacing eight separate maritime safety regulatory frameworks with a single Australian Government system.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Department have continued to work with the states and the Northern Territory to facilitate the consistent implementation of the national laws and to streamline the current regulatory framework.

(d) Shipping Policy and Regulation

In April 2014, the Australian Government released an options paper on approaches to regulating coastal shipping in Australia. At the end of May 2014, the Department concluded a series of face-to-face consultations held around Australia with stakeholders, including shipping companies, ship owners, agents, shippers of raw material and agricultural products and industry and employee associations to develop further advice to the Australian Government on options for the regulation of shipping services on the Australian coast. The outcomes of the consultation will be considered by the Australian Government in the second half of 2014.

(e) Maritime Safety and Environment

International Maritime Organization

The International Maritime Organization is a specialised United Nations agency responsible for improving safety and security of international shipping and preventing marine pollution from ships. Officers of the Department attended the following International Maritime Organization meetings:

  • Marine Environment Protection Committee Meeting in March 2014
  • Maritime Safety Committee in May 2014, and
  • Council in June 2014.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority

The Department continued to discharge its governance functions for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, including briefing the Deputy Prime Minister on the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's Corporate Plan, Annual Report, board appointments and the new Chief Executive Officer. The Department and Australian Maritime Safety Authority continued to collaborate to support the Australian Government's maritime safety agenda, as well as prepare briefings and ministerial responses on Australian Maritime Safety Authority-related issues.

(f) Road Transport Policy

The Department continued to work closely with state and territory government road and transport agencies, the National Transport Commission and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to progress key national heavy vehicle transport reforms focused on improving road transport safety and productivity.

By moving more freight with fewer vehicles, new innovative high productivity heavy vehicles offer the potential to improve the efficient movement of freight on roads while reducing the community's overall exposure to heavy vehicle road accidents. The Department has worked to promote the use of these vehicles and to ensure appropriate access to roads is provided where it is safe to do so once their use has been approved.

In addition to high productivity vehicles, the Department is working with states and territories, the National Transport Commission and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to ensure the Heavy Vehicle National Law reflects regulatory best practice. Key recent areas of focus have included chain of responsibility (including executive officers of transport and other companies), fatigue management and 1-tonne mass transfer arrangements.

(g) Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment Reform

The Strategic Directions Review of the Heavy Vehicle Charging and Investment Reform was completed during the year, compliant with COAG regulatory impact assessment requirements, and was provided to the Prime Minister, as Chair of COAG, on 4 December 2013.

In May 2014 the Transport and Infrastructure Council agreed to: commence a new phase of heavy vehicle road reform work; implement some initial measures that will improve the services provided to heavy vehicle operators; and lay the groundwork for longer-term reforms.

(h) Tasmanian Transport Schemes

The $37.5 million provided under the Bass Strait Passenger and Vehicle Equalisation Scheme reduced the cost of crossing Bass Strait for eligible passengers by lowering the fare for their accompanying passenger vehicles. This was an increase of $3.0 million from the previous year.

$101.7 million in assistance was provided under the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme to eligible shippers; a reduction of $9.3 million from the previous year. This is a demand-driven scheme.

The Tasmanian Wheat Equalisation Scheme remained open to shippers of bulk wheat until the scheme closed on 30 June 2014, however, there were no claims made under this scheme in 2013–14. Containerised wheat shipments were supported through the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme.

(i) Transport Disability Standards

The Department worked with states and territories, through its role in chairing the Accessible Transport Jurisdictional Committee, to progress a number of recommendations of the first five-year review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport. Only a small number of recommendations that were agreed or supported in principle were able to be progressed due to either a lack of agreement between jurisdictions, transport providers and the disability sector on the adequacy or otherwise of existing services, the technical challenges posed by some of the transport standards and/or a lack of funding.

The Department also continued work on the second five-year review which commenced in late 2012. Thirteen public consultation sessions were held around Australia from April to July 2013, with 95 written submissions received. The draft review report was subsequently released for public consultation on 9 May 2014. The public release of the final report and the Australian Government response to the review are anticipated in the second half of 2014.

(j) Environmental Standards

The Department continued to maintain and update the Green Vehicle Guide www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au which provides individuals, governments, and business consumers with information about the environmental performance of new light vehicles.

The Department continued to work with the Department of Industry and the Department of the Environment to explore and develop possible options to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions in the context of the development of the Australian Government's proposed Energy White Paper.

(k) National Ports and Freight Initiatives

The Department continued to work with the states and territories and industry on an integrated national approach to address port and freight challenges. These national initiatives form the key themes of long term, integrated planning, better national freight and ports data and improved community engagement. In particular, substantial progress was made to map the key freight routes in Australia that connect the nationally significant places for freight. Maps of these routes are expected to be published in the first half of 2014–15.

Did you know?

Container vessels made 4,002 calls to the five major Australian ports in 2013 exchanging 4.27 million containers in total or 1,066 containers per visit.

Source: Waterline 54.

CASE STUDY

Freightline

three honeycomb shaped photos showing railway, truck and ship

In 2013–14 the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics released the first two issues of Freightline. The aim of the series is to fill a major gap in transport-related information in Australia-inter-regional freight movements-and to provide information to help support policy development and infrastructure investment decisions. Freightline 1 provided an overview of freight movements across Australia, with Freightline 2 focusing on iron ore freight transport. Future issues will focus on grains, coal, rice, cotton and other commodities.

The estimated freight flows reported in Freightline are based on modelled movements of commodities between sources of supply (for example mines) and demand (for example ports, domestic manufacturing plants), drawn entirely from publicly available information. This is currently the most cost effective approach to providing detailed freight movement information for major commodities whilst avoiding commercial confidentiality restrictions on publication. As far as practicable, the modelled movements incorporate commodity-specific supply chain characteristics (for example intermodal terminals, storage facilities), providing scope to not only estimate freight movements, but also simulate the impact of potential disruptions to critical infrastructure links or new network infrastructure proposals.

Key findings of the first two issues of the Freightline series are set out below.

  • In 2011–12 the domestic freight task totalled almost 600 billion tonnes. Rail transport accounted for approximately 49 per cent, road freight about 35 per cent and coastal sea freight 17 per cent of total freight. Air freight comprised less than 0.01 per cent of total freight by weight.
  • In the decade to 2011–12 the rail freight task almost doubled, while the road freight task grew by 42 per cent. Coastal sea freight, however, contracted slightly (almost 9 per cent), due principally to reduced domestic movements of crude oil and iron ore.
  • Australia's freight task is projected to continue to grow strongly over the next two decades, with total domestic freight projected to grow 80 per cent, between 2010 and 2030, underpinned by strong growth in domestic movements of bulk commodity exports, particularly iron ore and coal, and also by continuing growth in the road freight task.
  • Iron ore is Australia's largest export commodity by volume and value ($62.7 billion). In 2011–12 approximately 502 million tonnes of iron ore was exported from 15 Australian ports. It is also the largest single-commodity freight task-in 2011–12 the total domestic iron ore freight task measured approximately 198.7 billion tonne kilometres.

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Last Updated: 3 February, 2015