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Section 1: Agency overview and resources

1.1: Strategic direction

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (the Department) contributes to the well-being of all Australians by delivering a range of outputs that support the following three Portfolio outcomes:

Outcome 1 Assisting the Government to provide, evaluate, plan and invest in infrastructure across industry sectors.
Outcome 2 Fostering an efficient, sustainable, competitive, safe and secure transport system.
Outcome 3 Assisting regions and local government to develop and manage their futures.

The output groups and outputs associated with each outcome are shown in Figure 2.1 and are described in more detail in the individual 'Contributions to Outcome' components of Section 2 of this document. For the Department, form generally follows function, with Figure 1.1, which sets out the Department's organisational structure and the senior staff responsible for each area as at 13 May 2008, broadly reflecting the output structure. An up-to-date version of the organisational structure can be found on the Department's website www.infrastructure.gov.au.

The Department is accountable to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Northern Australia, the Hon Gary Gray AO MP.

The Department consists of seven business divisions, including the Office of Transport Security and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, plus the Office of the Inspector of Transport Security, that in aggregate deliver the nine outputs. These are supported by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), and a Corporate Services division. The Department will also provide staff from 2008-09 to assist the Infrastructure Coordinator who supports Infrastructure Australia in the performance of its functions. It also provides staff who support the International Air Services Commission. In addition, on behalf of the Minister, the Department oversights the policy context in which the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) operate.

The Department will play a key role in assisting the Government to prepare Australia to face the challenges of the future. National challenges include the development of 21st century infrastructure, regional development, efficient transport, and ensuring transport security. These economic challenges exist in an environment of rapid change as, for example, transport systems adjust to growth in demand; climate change directly affects transport choices and international influences require us to adjust security settings.

In addressing these challenges and working towards achievement of its three outcomes, the Department will engage and partner with stakeholders, and the users of our services; and will support its program delivery and policy advice with targeted economic analysis, research and statistics including through that provided by the BITRE. The Department will also participate in the Government's broader climate change agenda.

Through its three outcomes, the Department is responsible for providing policy advice, for delivering programs and for regulation according to the following nine outputs:

  • Infrastructure investment policy and programs;

  • Infrastructure investment coordination;

  • Transport safety investigations;

  • Transport security policy, programs and regulation;

  • Surface transport policy, programs and regulation;

  • Road safety and vehicle policy, programs and regulation;

  • Aviation and airports policy, programs and regulation;

  • Regional development policy and programs; and

  • Local Government policy and programs.

Since the 2007-08 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS), and in accordance with the priorities of the new Government, the Department transferred responsibility for services to territories and natural disaster relief functions and associated administered programs to the Attorney-General's Department, and gained responsibility for major projects facilitation from the former Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources. The Department also assumed responsibility for the new role of infrastructure planning and coordination. As a consequence, the Portfolio now has a new outcome that addresses infrastructure and the Department's name was changed from the Department of Transport and Regional Services, as it appeared in the 2007-08 PBS, to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government to better reflect its responsibilities.

Key priorities for 2008-09 include:

  • finalising the establishment of Infrastructure Australia, and supporting it in its critical initial tasks of infrastructure auditing and prioritisation;

  • developing the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program (RLCIP) in consultation with key stakeholders;

  • working with other jurisdictions and stakeholders to progress the development of a National Transport Policy to support the operation of single national markets;

  • working with stakeholders to progress the development of a National Aviation Policy Statement (White Paper);

  • using the newly established BITRE Climate Change Taskforce to:

    • forge linkages between climate change policy and sectoral regulatory frameworks;
    • coordinate the Department's policy input; and
    • analyse the implications of carbon emissions trading for transport systems;

  • enhancing consultation with regional stakeholders through improved consultative networks and the establishment of the Office of Northern Australia;

  • maintaining emphasis on transport safety and security through focussed transport safety investigations, an informed risk based approach to security, and effective communication with the travelling public and stakeholders;

  • international engagement on safety, security and infrastructure issues across all modes, where it is in Australia's interests;

  • establishing the Council of Australian Local Governments and undertaking initial consultation for eventual constitutional recognition of local government;

  • delivering administered programs which reflect Government policy and priority; and

  • delivering the following new administered programs:

    • AusLink Heavy Vehicle Safety1

    • keys2drive

    • Fort Street High School - noise insulation

The Department will face a range of challenges in addressing these priorities, including:

  • recruiting, retaining, developing and managing skilled staff in a competitive employment market;

  • keeping abreast of rapidly changing safety, security and transport technologies;

  • ensuring that policy analysis and development reflects growth in transport demand and the need for efficient use of infrastructure;

  • managing existing commitments for major infrastructure projects, and industry's capacity to respond; and

  • managing expanding stakeholder relationships at a range of levels in an environment of greater consultation.

The Department manages a program of internal audits and reviews to measure and evaluate the quality of internal controls and processes as well as the impact of its activities on the broader community. For more information about evaluations and how the Department uses them to improve its processes and outcomes, please refer to the Department's annual report.

To assist with the delivery of administered programs associated with alleviating the transport disadvantages incurred by Tasmania, the Department has a purchaser-provider arrangement with Centrelink, an agency in the Human Services Portfolio. The Department also has purchaser-provider arrangements with CASA and AMSA to cover the provision of transport safety assistance to Indonesia. The Department's cost recovery arrangements are essentially unchanged from those reported in the 2005-06 PBS and are available on the Department's website www.infrastructure.gov.au.

Figure 1.1: Organisational structure as at 13 May 2008

Figure 1.1: Organisational structure as at 13 May 2008

(click on the image to view the larger version)

1.2: Agency resource statement

Table 1.1 shows the total resources from all origins. The table summarises how resources will be applied by outcome and by administered and departmental classification.

Table 1.1: Infrastructure resource statement - Budget estimates for 2008-09 as at Budget May 2008

Total appropriation and other receipts to be received by the Department in 2008-09 is $5 144.3m, comprising $4 814.1m from administered appropriation, $230.0m from departmental appropriation, $5.0m from departmental revenue from independent sources and $95.3m for payments to Portfolio CAC Act bodies. Details of these appropriations are provided at Table 1.1.

The Department's administered and departmental appropriations and other revenue in 2008-09 has increased by $383.3m from the estimated actual for 2007-08, primarily as a result of measures announced in, and preceding, the 2008-09 Budget, the movement of appropriations between years for administered programs, general changes in the funding profile of several administered programs and changed requirements for Portfolio CAC Act bodies regarding appropriations.

The Department's appropriation for 2008-09 for each portfolio outcome, and the allocation between departmental and administered, is reflected in the following charts.

Chart 1.1: Departmental appropriation by outcome, 2008-09

Chart 1.1: Departmental appropriation by outcome, 2008-09

(click on the image to view the larger version)

Chart 1.2: Administered appropriation by outcome, 2008-09

Chart 1.2: Administered appropriation by outcome, 2008-09

(click on the image to view the larger version)

1.3: Budget measures

Budget measures relating to the Department are detailed in Budget Paper No. 2. Table 1.2 provides a summary of 2008-09 Budget measures and identifies the relevant outcomes and outputs associated with each measure.

Table 1.2: Infrastructure 2008-09 Budget measures

1Funding is contingent on implementation of the Road User Charge Determination 2008 (No.1) made under the Fuel Tax Act 2006 and declared on 11 March 2008.

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Budget 2008-09