Bill introduced to reform 'dysfunctional' bureaucracy

NSW roads minister introduces Bill to significantly overhaul the state’s “dysfunctional” transport bureaucracy

By Brad Gardner | August 24, 2011

Efforts to overhaul the structure of the NSW transport bureaucracy have begun, with the state’s government introducing a Bill to create a new authority and streamline services.

Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay introduced the Transport Legislation Amendment Bill in Parliament yesterday to create a super bureaucracy, Transport for NSW.

The new department will take on the key policy and planning roles of all existing transport bureaucracies and be responsible for co-ordinating services across all transport modes.

The NSW Maritime, the Transport Construction Authority and the Country Rail Infrastructure Authority departments will all be absorbed into Transport for NSW, with the government also abolishing the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA).

A new department called the Roads and Maritime Services will be created, which Gay says will be responsible for frontline tasks such as road construction and maintenance, licensing, registration and road safety programs.

"The bill will abolish a dysfunctional structure which includes duplication and poor communications and replace it with a streamlined agency which plans and delivers for all transport modes," he says.

"Rather than operating in isolation the bill will introduce an integrated system that ensures planning for our future transport systems will be strategic and multimodal."

Six new divisions, including one dedicated to freight and regional development, will be created under Transport for NSW. Other divisions include customer service, planning and programs, transport services, transport projects, and policy and regulation.

Gay says the reforms, which will house policy planning experts from all agencies under the one roof, will promote coherence and integration and improve transport services.

Industry has supported the changes, with Tourism and Transport Forum CEO John Lee saying transport services for too long have been planned independently.

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia CEO Brendan Lyon says bringing freight planning together will begin to resolve bottlenecks throughout the supply chain.

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