Road Safety focus of new Governance Review

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack unveiled the Terms of Reference for the National Road Safety Governance Review on the Barton Highway today in Murrumbateman, New South Wales.

This Governance Review sees the start of important work and a renewed effort to reduce road trauma and boost safety nationally.

Mr McCormack is the Federal Minister with responsibility for road safety, which is shared across multiple agencies throughout various tiers of government in Australia.

Mr McCormack said the Review process is the next step forward in taking action on the 12 recommendations made by the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020 Inquiry that was tabled last year and instigated by the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government in 2017.

By releasing the Terms of Reference, he said the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government is demonstrating clear commitment to reducing road trauma and lifting safety standards.

The Governance Review will assess the necessary changes needed to improve Australia’s road safety governance structure, including comprehensive mapping of specific roles, responsibilities and accountabilities held across agencies and jurisdictions.

“Co-ordination across State, Territory and Local governments will be the cornerstone of improving the governance arrangements around road safety and this was reinforced at the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting in November 2018,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Review outcomes will also help to progress the Australian Government’s strategic infrastructure plan where $75 billion is being invested in projects big and small, over the next 10 years to improve transport infrastructure to help Australians and their families arrive at their destinations sooner and safer.”

The Review will involve stakeholder engagement including benchmarking with other countries recognised as international leaders in road safety – such as the United Kingdom and Sweden – to benchmark against local processes for management and accountability.

The process will be driven by the Road Safety Task Force within Mr McCormack’s Department and supported by the Road Safety Strategy Working Group consisting of senior officials and road safety experts from various jurisdictions, as well as independent experts.

A draft report will be released in March 2019 and peer reviewed by independent experts, with a final report then tabled at a Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting during the first half of 2019.

Recommendations from the Governance Review will help to inform the Federal Government’s position on whether a single national road safety entity is required, as recommended by the National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry.

The Review will also consider what steps are required for governments and stakeholders to lead the implementation of the “Vision Zero” goal of reducing road fatalities to zero, by 2050.

Mr McCormack said he supports a spirit of bipartisanship continuing on road safety and to help address the inquiry’s findings.

“Road safety is critically important and must remain above politics,” he said.

Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport Scott Buchholz said the Review showed the Federal Government’s ongoing commitment to road safety and achieving the ‘’Vision Zero” goal.

“Improving road safety remains a key priority of all our investment in road infrastructure across the country because better roads means saving lives,” Mr Buchholz said.

“On top of the Coalition Government’s record investment in major highways, we continue to support local councils to upgrade local roads through the Roads to Recovery, Bridges Renewal and Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity programs.

“The Federal Government is taking positive action and continuing along a diligent, responsible and strategic pathway to achieve real and lasting road safety improvements throughout the nation.”