Jul 2, 2009

Transport regulations to be streamlined

Transport regulations to be streamlined

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

2 July 2009

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has today agreed to historic microeconomic reforms that will streamline the regulations applying to the nation’s $46 billion transport sector.

These long overdue reforms have the potential to boost national income by as much as $2.4 billion a year.

COAG has endorsed:

  • The establishment of a national heavy vehicle regulator with responsibility for regulating all vehicles over 4.5 gross tonnes, including inspection standards, safe driving hours, mass limits and registration;
  • The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) becoming the sole national regulator of all commercial vessels operating in Australian waters. At the moment ASMA only regulates interstate operations; and
  • The creation of a national rail safety regulatory system and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) becoming the preferred investigator of rail accidents. Currently Australia has seven rail safety regulators, three rail safety investigators and different rules in every state.

The governments of Australia are working together to put in place a seamless national economy – an outcome that will lift national productivity and allow transport operators to get products onto supermarkets shelves and our exports to market at the lowest cost.

For example, at the moment an interstate truck driver must comply with all the regulations that apply in each of the jurisdictions they drive through. Even small differences can create extra costs, red tape and confusion for the trucking industry, particularly for the many ‘mum and dad’ operators.

Agreement on these reforms followed the finalisation of Regulatory Impact Statements and a recommendation from the nation’s transport ministers.

It is proposed that all reforms will be fully implemented by 2013. Transitional arrangements will come into effect in 2011 for heavy vehicles, maritime, and rail.