May 20, 2011

Communiqué: Australian Transport Council

Communiqué: Australian Transport Council

Post budget speech to the Property Council of Australia Alice Springs

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

20 May 2011

Transport Ministers from the Commonwealth, States and Territories, together with representatives from New Zealand and the Australian Local Government Association, met in Alice Springs today as the Australian Transport Council (ATC) to consider a range of national transport initiatives.

NATIONAL TRANSPORT REGULATION REFORMS

ATC took a major step forward today in implementing the national transport regulation reforms. ATC agreed to support forwarding to COAG for signature, at their next meeting scheduled for mid 2011, the Intergovernmental Agreements to establish the national maritime regulator, the national rail safety regulator and investigation system and the national heavy vehicle regulator. The new regulators will come into effect from 1 January 2013 with heavy vehicles mid 2012.

ATC also agreed to accept the recommendations of independent expert panels on the unresolved policy issues to be included in the national rail safety and heavy vehicle laws. Ministers identified a number of key areas of further work in settling the proposed rail safety and heavy vehicle regulatory requirements which will need to be worked through over the next six months as the national laws are finalised. Ministers agreed that work should be undertaken to establish ‘no blame’ investigation arrangements as part of the national maritime regulatory system.

NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY STRATEGY

ATC Ministers approved the release of the National Road Safety Strategy for 2011–2020. The new strategy sets out a path for national action to reduce road crash deaths and injuries. It acknowledges that any level of serious road trauma is unacceptable and that governments and the community must do more to create a genuinely safe road transport system. The target of the strategy is to reduce the annual numbers of both deaths and serious injuries on Australian roads by at least 30 per cent by 2020. This new strategy comes at a time of increased global focus on improving road safety, coinciding with the United Nations Decade for Action on Road Safety.

NATIONAL PORTS STRATEGY

ATC Ministers agreed to submit an updated National Ports Strategy to COAG subject to final consultation. Ministers also agreed that states and the Northern Territory would be represented on the panel and steering committee that will guide implementation of the strategy.

COAG ROAD REFORM PLAN

Work on the COAG Road Reform Plan (CRRP) continues to progress constructively and is on schedule. The CRRP Work Plan, agreed by COAG in December 2009, included a commitment to three progress milestones before the final December 2011 Feasibility Study report.

A significant body of work has been undertaken in the first half of 2011 to meet the third milestone for Phase II of the CRRP. The Stage Three Report summarises progress since the December 2010 Stage Two Report and details charging options and key issues to be included in the final Feasibility Study Report. Work has commenced on the development of a Feasibility Study Consultation Paper which will be used to canvass options and gauge industry and stakeholder reactions to preliminary findings and recommendations on heavy vehicle charging and funding reform. The final Feasibility Study will build upon the outcomes of this consultation process.

NATIONAL TRANSPORT COMMISSION

ATC Ministers agreed a new National Transport Commission (NTC) strategic plan and work programme for 2011-12 to 2013-14 within its new planning, budgeting and reporting processes noted at its previous meeting. The strategic plan is consistent with the response to the NTC review endorsed by COAG in December 2009, while the work program gives primary focus to COAG’s national transport regulators and road reform plan priorities plus appropriate support for the ports and freight network strategies. The work program also gives significant emphasis to NTC’s critical ongoing reform maintenance processes. Amendments contained in the Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Act 2010 coming into effect on 1 July 2011 will better align the NTC’s processes and budget parameters as a fully covered Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 entity.

MARITIME STANDARDS

Ministers endorsed the final draft of Edition 4 of the National Standard for the Australian Builders Plate for recreational Boats. LAST ATC

Today was the 33rd and last ATC. From 1 July 2011 the ATC will be replaced by the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure. ATC noted their thanks to past members of ATC.

PARTICIPATING MEMBERS

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP  –  Minister for Infrastructure and Transport (Commonwealth)

The Hon Catherine King MP  –  Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport (Commonwealth)

The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP  –  Minister for Transport (New South Wales)

The Hon Duncan Gay MLC  –  Minister for Roads and Ports (New South Wales)

The Hon Terry Mulder MP  –  Minister for Roads, Minister for Public Transport (Victoria)

The Hon Dr Denis Napthine MP  –  Minister for Ports (Victoria)

The Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP  –  Minister for Transport (Queensland)

The Hon Craig Wallace MP  –  Minister for Main Roads (Queensland)

The Hon Patrick Conlon MHA  –  Minister for Transport (South Australia)

The Hon Tom Kenyon MP  –  Minister for Road Safety (South Australia)

The Hon David O’Byrne MP  –  Minister for Infrastructure (Tasmania)

The Hon Gerald McCarthy MLA  –  Minister for Transport (Northern Territory)

The Hon Nathan Guy MP  –  Associate Minister for Transport (New Zealand)

Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis  –  For Cr Genia McCafferty, President (Australian Local Government  Association)