Infrastructure Australia comes to life

feThe twelve members of the recently established Infrastructure Australia advisory council have held their first meeting to develop a blueprint for the nation’s infrastructure.

The Infrastructure Australia Act 2008 came into effect in April this year, with $20 million allocated over the next four years to provide support for upgrading transport, water, energy and communications infrastructure.

Federal infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese said the government’s expectations of the council were to develop nationally consistent Public-Private Partnership guidelines by this October, finalise the National Audit by the end of the year, and compile and deliver to COAG the first National Priority List by March 2009.

Mr Albanese said the council would also consider environmentally sustainable strategies to develop and use infrastructure networks.

“We know that infrastructure has a long lifespan and can impact on efforts to tackle environmental challenges such as climate change. Accordingly, as well as social and economic factors, I’ve asked Infrastructure Australia to be mindful of our environmental responsibilities when conducting all its deliberations,” he said.

“Under the leadership of Sir Rod Eddington, this group has the capacity to cut through and identify the critical issues, as well as the proven abilities to find innovative solutions to the infrastructure challenges Australia faces.

“The Rudd Labor Government is serious about bringing national leadership and new thinking to the planning, financing and building of economic infrastructure.

“We are getting on with the job of nation building,” Mr Albanese said.

A new beginning for transport: National Road Safety Council

Australia’s transport ministers will meet on July 25, 2008, with a view to taking the first stage of the new transport policy framework to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in October 2008.

The agenda will include a proposal for a National Road Safety Council to drive national implementation of best practice road safety reform.

National Road Safety Council

On average, more than four people a day are killed on Australian roads. The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics estimate the cost of road fatalities and injuries at $17 billion a year.

In 2000, Australia’s transport ministers targeted a 40% reduction in the rate of road deaths over 10 years.

National Transport Commission (NTC) CEO Nick Dimopoulos said while considerable progress has been made, continued road safety gains are increasingly difficult to achieve.

”A new approach is needed to identify, share and implement proven safety initiatives, which we know will save lives and reduce injuries,” he said.

The National Road Safety Council will draw on road safety expertise from within governments, industry and academia to advise Ministers on road safety and to drive implementation of “best practice” road safety measures.

Mr Dimopoulos said NTC has already agreed to implement “best practice” speed management initiatives nationally. By sharing information on what works best, governments can reduce injuries and save more lives.

"The National Road Safety Council will further extend this road safety “best practice” approach to ensure all Australians benefit from the same high standards, wherever they live," he said.

The Safety & Security Working Group, led by Queensland, is working with all governments to develop the proposal for a National Road Safety Council. This collaborative approach to road safety will involve government, industry and the community.

For more information, see National Transport Plan and Policy Framework presented to ministers on 29 February 2008.  

©2019 All Rights Reserved. MHD Magazine is a registered trademark of Prime Creative Media.