Aug 19, 2011

Agreement on historic transport reforms

The Gillard Labor Government will deliver the most important reforms for the transport sector since Federation after reaching agreement on Transport Regulators at today’s COAG meeting.

The agreement means there will be one regulator for maritime, rail and heavy vehicles, cutting the number of transport regulators across Australia from 23 to 3.

The changes will boost national income by up to $30 billion over the next 20 years, reducing the compliance burden on our transport industry by ending the need for mountains of paperwork and multiple fees.

It will see an end to 110 years of duplication and confusion caused by conflicting regulations and red tape that the nation’s truck drivers have been forced to comply with in the course of their daily business.

For railways it will mean getting rid of seven separate regulatory authorities and 46 pieces of state, territory and Commonwealth legislation.

Heavy vehicle operators will no longer have nine separate regulatory regimes to deal with.

It will see one maritime regulator and law replacing 50 pieces of maritime legislation and seven state and territory regulators.

The transport industry which has had to face different rules each time they cross a border knows this is a critical microeconomic reform.

These are reforms that are well past their time and the benefits to Australia’s $61 billion transport industry will be improved productivity, efficiency and safety.

These reforms are strongly supported by industry groups across all sectors and we will have a new national system in place from 2013 that will see long term benefits for business, workers and the economy.

Council of Australian Governments Meeting, Canberra 19 August 2011 – Communiqué [PDF: 261 KB]