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Roads Australia Insider - January 25, 2019


Road Safety Governance Review underway

The Federal Government has this week unveiled the Terms of Reference for the National Road Safety Governance Review - the next step forward in taking action on the 12 recommendations made by the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 Inquiry, tabled last year.

The Governance Review will assess the necessary changes needed to improve Australia’s road safety governance structure, including comprehensive mapping of specific roles, responsibilities and accountabilities held across agencies and jurisdictions.

“Co-ordination across State, Territory and Local Governments will be the cornerstone of improving the governance arrangements around road safety and this was reinforced at the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting in November 2018” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack.

The Review will involve stakeholder engagement including benchmarking with other countries recognised as international leaders in road safety – such as the United Kingdom and Sweden – to benchmark against local processes for management and accountability.

The process will be driven by the Road Safety Task Force within Mr McCormack’s Department and supported by the Road Safety Strategy Working Group consisting of senior officials and road safety experts from various jurisdictions, as well as independent experts.

A draft report will be released in March 2019 and peer reviewed by independent experts, with a final report then tabled at a Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting during the first half of 2019.

Recommendations from the Governance Review will help to inform the Federal Government’s position on whether a single national road safety entity is required, as recommended by the National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry.

The Review will also consider what steps are required for Governments and stakeholders to lead the implementation of the “Vision Zero” goal of reducing road fatalities to zero, by 2050.

Two consortiums shortlisted for Bruce Highway duplication south of Cairns

Two tenderers have been invited to participate in the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) phase for the Cairns Southern Access Corridor – Stage 3 project - the John Holland Seymour Whyte AECOM Joint Venture (HSA Group) and Bielby Hull Albem Coleman Joint Venture (BHA Coleman JV).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said this week the project encompassed the busiest two-lane section of the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Cairns.

It will be widened from two to four lanes, a four-lane bridge will be built over several creeks and safety access improvements where the highway intersects with local roads will be made.

Construction is expected to start in 2020 and be completed in mid-2023, weather permitting.


Local roads maintenance backlog growing in NSW, says NRMA

A new report released this week by the NRMA has revealed a $2.2 billion backlog in funding required by councils to maintain local roads across NSW to a safe and satisfactory standard, representing a 14.5 per cent increase over the last 12 months.

The annual NRMA Funding Local Roads report analysed the size of the funding task required from local councils to clear their backlog for road maintenance and repair. Around 80 per cent of the 184,859 kilometre road network across NSW is managed by local councils.

The report found the council backlog has risen to $2.2 billion ($2 billion FY15/16). The overwhelming majority of the backlog burden ($1.7 billion) fell to regional councils, with geographically larger and less populated areas at particular risk of not meeting their funding needs.

The backlog among Sydney councils grew 42 per cent to $573 million. Councils across west and south-west Sydney saw the majority of this shortfall ($282 million), followed by Sydney central and south ($243 million). Over the last two years, the gap between what councils need to maintain local roads at a safe and satisfactory standard has grown 30 per cent.

NRMA's Funding Local Roads report provides a number of key recommendations to Government, to help local councils meet their shortfalls, including:

  • allocating up to $180 million per annum for five years from the Snowy Hydro Legacy and Regional Growth Funds;
  • reserving between two to five cents per litre of the fuel excise (41.2 cpl) to local roads; and
  • re-categorising strategic roads across regional areas to State roads.

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