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The National Transport Commission (NTC) will examine new ways to boost the productivity of Australia’s transport networks as part of its new work program released by NTC today. The new work program was approved by the Council of Transport and Infrastructure Ministers on 23 May 2014.

NTC to focus on delivering better productivity for Australian transport

27 June 2014

The National Transport Commission (NTC) will examine new ways to boost the productivity of Australia’s transport networks as part of its new work program released by NTC today. The new work program was approved by the Council of Transport and Infrastructure Ministers on 23 May 2014.

CEO of the NTC Paul Retter said the NTC had already started work on many of the projects outlined in the first year of the program following a thorough analysis by the NTC, governments and industry of the highest priority issues to be examined to help improve the performance of Australia’s heavy vehicle, rail and intermodal transport systems.

“You can’t have a more productive economy without more productive transport systems. This new work program will look at new ways to ensure transport operators can get goods to market more quickly and at a better price. Ultimately more efficient freight means lower prices for consumers and helps businesses create more jobs,” Mr Retter said.

“For example we will investigate the feasibility of allowing 6 and 7-axle truck trailer combinations at Performance Based Standards (PBS) mass limits without having to apply for PBS.” Under the PBS scheme, 6 and 7-axle truck-trailer combinations can operate with up to 20 per cent higher payloads than their non-PBS equivalents.

“Over the past 18 months, PBS applications and vehicle approval numbers for this combination have doubled. The benefits of this combination have been proven through the PBS scheme and making them more accessible would allow for more operators to take advantage of these benefits, if it proves feasible.”

The NTC’s role in maintaining and reviewing current relevant laws and regulations such as the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Rail Safety National Law will continue.

“We are conscious of the importance of regular reviews in consultation with our stakeholders to ensure regulations are meeting best practice, can be complied with by industry and are achieving desired outcomes,” Mr Retter said.

“More than ever before we are tapping into the ‘on the ground’ experience of transport operators to make sure these projects identify the current concerns of industry and deliver sensible regulatory solutions that will give our transport networks a timely boost without diminishing safety outcomes.”

The new NTC work program also identifies some longer-term reform directions identified in consultation with governments and industry, including:

  • exploring how Australia can best prepare for the introduction of autonomous road and rail vehicles
  • collecting better data about freight and passenger movements to inform future planning, investment and access decisions by governments, and
  • exploring how to collect better data about the impact of heavy vehicle driver fatigue and to better understand the costs of complying with regulation for the land transport industry.

The NTC also released its Strategic Plan today which outlines the broad priorities for the commission during the next three years.

Last Updated: 18/11/2016