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ATA calls on governments to close road data gaps

Peak body reiterates call for transparency and reform on funding


The glacial pace of gaining understanding of what the nation actually needs to be spending billions of infrastructure dollars on has the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) despondent.

Like the need to protect strategic freight routes, the need to build and maintain roads is well-understood in a transport and logistics (T&L) sector often left to lament the lack of government action.

But with trucking paying what it sees as often more than its fair share, it feels duty-bound to question whether many road infrastructure spending decisions have a footing in reality.

Ongoing doubts have gained added impetus from Austroads’ Data to Support the Heavy Vehicle Road Reform Part A report.

That report is part of industry road-charging reform.

Read about the Austroads report that cast doubt on road data collection, here

“The ATA is disappointed that despite seven years of work, governments and road managers still have significant data gaps about the road network and as a result do not understand the quality of many freight routes,” ATA transport and infrastructure adviser Sam Marks said.

“Infrastructure spending and road quality must be transparent, including the ability to compare data across jurisdictions. 

“Governments should prioritise the need to deliver better roads, transparently report on the quality of roads and reforming how roads are funded.

“The proposed new service level standards framework should be prioritised and introduced, with national metrics to measure the provision of rest areas, heavy vehicle access, road safety, road quality, mobile phone reception and refuelling and recharging infrastructure for zero emission vehicles.”

The Austroads report found inconsistency amongst road managers’ data approaches, such that assumptions and meanings were scrambled.

While efforts towards a solution were undertaken, this had been paused as the charging reform project moved to other issues.

Austroads reports there are plans to renew improved reporting under the new National Service Level Standards.


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