The National Transport Commission (NTC) will continue to focus on improving the productivity, safety and environmental performance of the Australian transport system in a new era that has seen the implementation of historic reforms to the regulatory environment and rapidly emerging technology, according to its latest Strategic Plan and Work Program released this week.
NTC Chief Executive George Konstandakos said supporting the new National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator remains a priority focus.
“We will continue to lead the development of regulatory policy related to the Rail Safety National Laws and Heavy Vehicle National Laws,” said Mr Konstandakos.
“Work is already underway on many of the legislative and policy items outlined in the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Forward Work Program such as developing further options to improve heavy vehicle access to road networks.
“A Rail Safety National Law maintenance group comprising industry and government representatives will also be established to ensure that the law continues to reflect best practice and delivers its intended outcomes,” he said.
Mr Konstandakos said another key deliverable of the work program was to develop a fairer heavy vehicle charging system.
“We will continue to work closely with industry and governments as we develop detailed options for how heavy vehicle charges are set, including making specific recommendations on what the charges should be.”
This follows Standing Council of Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) noting of the NTC’s Heavy Vehicle Charges Review Policy Paper (available at www.ntc.gov.au) on 10 May 2013 and agreement for the NTC to proceed with the development of a regulation impact statement based on the review paper. The introduction of a more comprehensive and transparent review process is another feature of the work program.
“We will build on our performance monitoring and evaluation review processes to ensure current reforms deliver on their promise of a more productive, safer and more sustainable transport system,” said Mr Konstandakos. “A key challenge we face is how to harness the productivity and safety benefits of emerging technology such as Electronic Work Diaries (EWD), which provide an alternative electronic recording system to improve fatigue management in the heavy vehicle sector. “EWD is a potentially ‘game-changing’ policy area and we will work collaboratively with our reform partners as we further develop regulatory reform options in this emerging area,” said Mr Konstandakos.
“We will also continue to work with governments and industry on facilitating implementation of the National Ports Strategy and will explore technology opportunities in port supply chains, productivity reforms and reporting on the strategy’s implementation progress.”