Infrastructure and Transport Ministers’ Meeting Summary

The latest Infrastructure and Transport Ministers’ Meeting (ITMM) has taken place in Hobart with a communique available online. The meeting marks the first gathering of Ministers following the appointment of Jacinta Allan as Victorian Premier, with Danny Pearson now representing the state as its new Minister for Transport and Infrastructure.

Roads Australia (RA) has compiled a communique summary, including how this aligns with the ongoing policy work and priorities of RA, broken down into key themes.

Road Safety

Ministers noted concern at the increasing national road toll and have made a commitment to engage with state-based Police Ministers to hold a National Road Safety Conference next year. This conference will have a remit to report short-term actions to ITMM that support curbing the rising road toll.

RA welcomes this approach, bringing together the expertise of Ministers overseeing enforcement and road safety education on our roads with those responsible for ongoing investment in transport infrastructure and network management.

This commitment sits alongside the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to increase Black Spot and Roads to Recovery funding following the Commonwealth’s Independent Strategic Review of the Infrastructure Investment Program (IIP Review). This decision supports recommendations made by RA in its submission to the House of Representatives’ road resilience inquiry earlier this year.

Market capacity constraints

Infrastructure Australia made a presentation to ITMM on the current market capacity constraints and provided information on how to monitor ongoing capacity pressures across the infrastructure sector.

RA has previously called for a nationally coordinated pipeline as part of its Procurement Reform Report Update and welcomes the greater clarity provided by the Commonwealth Government’s Infrastructure Policy Statement which outlines the key criteria for Federal funding on major projects.

Moving towards a pipeline that reduces competition between jurisdictions for key inputs on infrastructure projects will lead to a more sustainable and deliverable pipeline.

Heavy Vehicle National Law

Following the IIP Review, Commonwealth Infrastructure Minister Catherine King announced the merging of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP) and the Bridges Renewal Program into a Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) briefed ITMM on a package of amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law and regulations, with significant work still being undertaken to deliver on reforms previously agreed to in August 2022. The deadline for this package to be placed before ITMM has been extended until the end of next year.

Other matters

ITMM agreed to develop further material to support accessibility upgrades being prioritised across Australia’s public transport network.

The NTC will also conduct a review of child restraint rules within the next two years.

The next meeting of ITMM will occur in Queensland in the second quarter of 2024.

Find further information about ITMM and past meeting communiques here.

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