May 22, 2009

New moves on national transport reforms

New moves on national transport reforms

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 22 2009

Today’s meeting of the nation’s transport ministers marks an historic step towards a truly national transport system, with agreement to reforms that will deliver single national transport regulators in maritime, heavy vehicles and rail.

Australian Transport Council (ATC) agreed to propose to COAG the establishment of a national heavy vehicle regulator with responsibility for regulating all vehicles over 4.5 gross tonnes.

In addition, it was agreed to propose to COAG that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) would become the national regulator of all commercial vessels operating in Australian waters.

Further, ATC agreed to recommend the creation of a national rail safety regulator, with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to become the preferred investigator of rail accidents.

Agreement on these reforms followed the finalisation of Regulatory Impact Statements which concluded they were in the nation’s long term economic interest.

In cooperation with the states and territories, we are putting in place a seamless national economy – an outcome that will lift national productivity and allow transport operators to get products onto supermarkets shelves and exports to market at the lowest cost.

The reforms will now be put to COAG, and if approved, implemented over the coming years, with full implementation by 2013.

Ministers also considered the final report from the Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Working Group which recommends a number of measures to improve the fuel efficiency of the vehicle fleet, including mandatory CO2 emission standards for all new light vehicles.

The proposals will now be forwarded to COAG for consideration.

Mandatory emission standards will be considered for introduction if a regulatory impact assessment – involving a rigorous assessment and consultation process – demonstrates a net public benefit of doing so.

These measures further demonstrate the Rudd Labor Government’s commitment to removing infrastructure bottlenecks and boosting productivity and jobs through both infrastructure investment and regulatory reform.