Expenditure Plans and Asset Registers for Key Freight Routes
29 January 2016
In a first, the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council today released a set of national expenditure plans and asset registers for Australia's key freight routes.
In announcing the launch, the Chair of the Council, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, noted that this is a major milestone in heavy vehicle road reform.
“The ultimate aim of heavy vehicle road reform is to provide heavy vehicle infrastructure as an economic service, with clear links between the needs of users, the charges they pay and the services they receive,” Mr Truss said.
“The two products released today provide a baseline of information needed to transition to a market orientated system of heavy vehicle service provision over the longer term.”
The expenditure plans profile maintenance expenditure and capital investments planned by all levels of government on each key freight road over the next four years.
The asset registers provide ratings for each of the key freight roads according to heavy vehicle access, safety characteristics and ride quality. This information is provided in a format that can be viewed on mapping applications like Google Maps.
“This level of transparency is critical in ensuring that the roads heavy vehicles use and pay for through user charges best and most efficiently meet their needs,” Mr Truss said.
“It is true that reform to date has been challenging and it has taken some time to get to this point.
“While direct user charging is needed to fully close the loop between the needs of users and the services they receive, governments recognise there is much that can be done to improve these links within the current charging system.
“This first step towards implementation, together with COAG's decision to support the Australian Government's response to the Harper Review, provide a solid basis for governments to accelerate reform and implement independent price regulation for heavy vehicle charges by 2017–18.”
The asset registers and expenditure plans will be updated on an annual basis and governments will shortly undertake industry consultation with a view to refining future editions to ensure they best meet the needs of industry. The first editions of the asset registers and expenditure plans can be downloaded from the Council's website at www.transportinfrastructurecouncil.gov.au.