Government invests $4.5m to fast-track transport reforms

The Rudd Government will invest $4.5 million in regulatory impact statements on key transport reforms

By Brad Gardner

The Rudd Government will invest $4.5 million to fast-track key transport reforms to go in front of the Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) in October.

The money will be spent on regulatory impact statements to assess the implications of the Government's proposed changes to the transport industry.

This will involve looking at the move to a single registration system for the heavy vehicle industry as well as the feasibility of a single rail safety regulator and a single rail investigator.

There are currently seven regualtors and three investigators, which Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese says causes significant inefficiencies when trains cross borders.

"Commonsense dictates that in a country of just 21 million people, one consistent set of transport laws and regulations is the position we should be aspiring to," he says.

"When truckies cross state borders they are subject to different laws and have to put up with different frameworks for their vehicles' access to the roads."

The money will also be spent looking at a national system for heavy vehicle regulation for the maritime industry, which Albanese says is currently afflicted with 50 pieces of legislation and eight independent maritime safety agencies.

Albanese says the Australian Transport Council (ATC) will recommend CoAG give its in-principle support for a move to a single national transport system.

He says it is necessary to streamline regulations to boost productivity and reduce red-tape burden on industry.

According to Albanese, the Government will also focus on major cities to reduce urban congestion.

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