Transport Policy Advice and Planning
This Output Group supports the broader strategic transport policy objectives of the Government. These objectives are shaped by moves to adopt best practice in transport services and to develop consistent regulations between jurisdictions.
The Outputs relate to:
planning, development and review of passenger and freight transport policies;
development of transport strategies to enhance the sustainable social, economic and environmental development of the State; and
development of regional transport plans, local government partnerships and road and rail corridor plans.
This output enables strategic progress towards achieving Tasmania's draft transport vision: Enhance Tasmania's development, lifestyle and community well-being through an effective, efficient and sustainable transport system.
The Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources is the primary client of this Output Group.
How this Output Group is delivered
Divisional staff primarily provide Outputs in this Group, with assistance from other Divisions and external consultants. There is close liaison with stakeholders, including other agencies, local government, industry bodies and community groups.
Achievements Against Strategies Identified For 2000-2001
Getting There Together
Getting There Together, Tasmania's draft integrated transport strategy, will assist the Department in developing programs and projects to help achieve the vision and goals of Tasmania Together. Following its development through three regional transportation workshops and a transport forum, Getting There Together was released for public comment. It is a statement of: the relationship of the transport system with Tasmania Together; the role of the transport system; and Tasmania's needs of the transport system. It includes the draft transportation vision, principles to be used in achieving the vision, and directions and objectives to guide future development of the transport system. Getting There Together is critical to ensuring appropriate focus on and integration of outputs from all transport Output Groups. The strategy will be finalised during 2001-2002.
Local Government Partnership Agreements
Partnership Agreements with local government are ideal for implementing Tasmania Together at the local and regional level. Council partnerships which have resulted in proposals to improve local transport systems include Circular Head, Flinders Island, Launceston and Glenorchy. Early negotiations have also taken place with Break O'Day. Partnerships with regional council organisations in the North and North-West are developing Regional Integrated Transport Plans.
Regional Integrated Transport Plans
These plans aim to strategically develop the regional transport system for the long term by incorporating the requirements of all transport modes and the needs of the region and its transport users. They are an effective means of achieving the vision of Getting There Together for the region and of ensuring that the regional transport system enables achievement of the goals of Tasmania Together. During the year, development of the content of the Northern Tasmanian Integrated Transport Plan began, the Cradle-Coast plan was being planned and opportunities for developing one in Southern Tasmania were pursued.
Northern Tasmanian Integrated Transport Plan
Under the umbrella of the Launceston City Council and Northern Tasmanian Municipal Organisation Partnership Agreements, the Department is coordinating the Integrated Transport Plan for Northern Tasmania. This long-term regional transport plan incorporates all transport modes and will balance the future needs of freight, general motorist, public and passenger transport, walking and cycling in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner. At a workshop, stakeholders developed a regional vision, goals, objectives, strategies and weighting criteria for action plans and priority projects. The plan is due to be completed during 2001-2002.
Cradle Coast Authority Partnership - Regional Transport Plan
The Government and the Cradle Coast Authority are developing a Partnership Agreement that is likely to include production of a regional integrated infrastructure and transport plan. Work began on defining the scope of the plan, the process for developing it and on compiling relevant social, economic and transport characteristics of the region.
Brooker Highway Planning Study
As part of the Glenorchy City Council Partnership Agreement, this strategic study is being undertaken in conjunction with a Main Arterial Road Study for the City. The study's objectives are to identify the functions of the highway across the council area, improve road safety, improve access and consistency of travel and identify and prioritise improvement projects. Public consultation is determining major issues. The Study is to be completed during 2001-2002.
North East Tasmania Access Study
Previous studies have identified the need for an efficient and safe transport access route into the North-East of Tasmania. The North-East Tasmania Access Study aims to develop an improved, safer and more efficient freight and passenger access route into this region. A likely outcome will be a recommendation nominating a single main freight route between Launceston and Scottsdale. After focus groups consider issues concerning the Lilydale Main Road and Golconda Road and link roads, further investigation will be undertaken before release of the final report. This study will be an important input into the development of the Northern Tasmania Integrated Transport Plan.
Frankford Main Road - Birralee Main Road - West Tamar Highway - Batman Highway Planning Study
Stage 1 of this study, the Frankford Main Road - Birralee Main Road Planning Study, was completed during the year. Stage 2 of the study will build on the recommendations of Stage 1 and will include strategic assessment of the West Tamar and Batman Highways. The aim of the study is to determine the appropriate classification of the roads and develop a plan to ensure the roads meet the transport task that they serve. This study is an important input into the Northern Tasmanian Integrated Transport Plan.
Hobart Port 2000 Access Study
The Department worked with the Hobart City Council, Hobart Ports Corporation, Tasrail and other stakeholders to identify a staged redevelopment to create a high efficiency inter-modal transport hub for southern Tasmania. This included identifying new road access.
Tasman Highway Planning Study
The Tasman Highway serves the East Coast and carries a variety of traffic types. The planning study incorporates the section from the Hobart Airport to the Esk Main Road just south of Swansea. It will produce a prioritised list of improvement projects for the Tasman Highway consistent with the issues identified from extensive community consultation.
Margate Traffic Management Study
The Department has been investigating ways of improving the traffic flow in Margate and reducing its adverse impacts on the community. The initial Southwood proposal changed the nature of the study and increased its urgency. A community based steering group directed the changed study. It required the Margate and Sandfly road implications be considered separately. These two studies proceeded well. However, the change of the Southwood route has removed the requirement to consider State ownership of Sandfly Rd and the Kingborough Council will continue it traffic management. The study's scope has returned to a focus on issues within Margate.
East Derwent Highway Planning Study
The Bridgewater Urban Renewal Program (BURP) has been engaged to undertake public consultation to determine the major issues for users of the East Derwent Highway in the Old Beach, Gagebrook and Bridgewater areas. This will inform the Department of stakeholder issues and concerns when planning future improvements to the road and transport in the Brighton Municipality. The Study is to be completed during 2001-2002.
Lyell Highway- Granton to New Norfolk Planning Study
Development of the draft plan used broad public and stakeholder consultation. While the Steering Committee broadly endorsed its findings, it requested inclusion of more detailed analysis of land use and transport planning issues. This was undertaken in conjunction with the Derwent Valley Council. A final report is due during 2001-2002 and will include prioritisation of road improvements.
Cradle Mountain Tourist Road Study
The Cradle Mountain Tourist Road gives access to one of Tasmania's premier tourist icons and the Northern end of the World Heritage Area. Stakeholders are having input into the overall direction for road improvements in and near the World Heritage Area. Preliminary drawings have demonstrated the use of regular pull-off bays along the road. Other important considerations include the location of underground services along the road corridor, locations of access to resorts and other developments outside the World Heritage Area and car parking arrangements within the World Heritage Area. When the study has been completed, planning approvals, including approval by the World Heritage Area Committee, will be necessary before sealing of the road begins.
Bass Highway - East of Devonport
The Department has developed a $17 million concept for this highway duplication project. Previous concepts did not gain community support because of the conflicting requirements of natural heritage and pressures for development. This new concept has received broad community support and this was a major factor in putting forward the proposed development to the Commonwealth Government. The project includes the construction of an overpass at the Port Sorell Main Road intersection, a four-lane highway into the existing interchange at East Devonport, landscaping works and safety improvements for road users and adjacent properties. All this has been achieved in a narrow road corridor without compromising the natural environment, and the proposal includes a number of environmental remediations. The construction phase will begin during 2001-2002.
Midland Highway - Perth Planning Study
This study is considering future options for the main road corridors through and around Perth. A value management workshop brought stakeholders together to consider issues and potential future developments. A comprehensive socio-economic study is ensuring that the community has extensive input into determining the impact that proposed options would have on Perth. The Road Network Improvement Report, Planning Report and Planning Scheme Amendment are due to be finalised during 2001-2002.
Midland Highway - Bagdad Planning Study
The Bagdad Planning Report, including a multi-criteria analysis, has been finalised. Comments on the report were invited from the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment (DPIWE), Southern Midlands Council, Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services and the Tasmanian Heritage Council/Australian Heritage Council. The Planning Scheme Amendment process and the overview of the National Highway between Dysart and Granton are due to be completed in 2001-2002.
Wiltshire to Smithton Rail Link
The Circular Head Council and the State Government have been working together to investigate an extension of the existing mainline rail network from the Wiltshire rail junction to an Industrial Park on the outskirts of Smithton. The Steering Committee includes representatives from the community, Tasrail and State and local government and is assisting its progress. There has been extensive community involvement in the process, including a wide cross-section of the region's population. The Department is providing the planning expertise for the project and is assessing possible impacts.
Rail Safety Accreditation
All railway operations in Tasmania with a gauge width of 600mm or greater are now required to apply for Rail Safety Accreditation under the Rail Safety Act 1997. The Act and Regulations are part of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Rail Safety to establish an effective and nationally consistent approach to rail safety. The Department administers the Act and Regulations and is therefore the authority responsible for granting accreditation and monitoring the rail safety systems of accredited owner/operators. There are currently nine railway owner/operators in Tasmania with eight operating heritage style railways and one commercial operator. All of the operators have applied for Rail Safety Accreditation.
Advice and Information for Planning Scheme Development
Advice and information in the development of local planning schemes is provided in order to provide a consistent consideration of the state road network and develop integrated land use and transport planning practices. Planing schemes for which advice and information were provided included the Council areas of Brighton, Clarence, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Waratah-Wynyard and West Coast.
Environmental Management System for Transport Activities
This project aims to improve the environmental outcomes of transport projects and achieve compliance with environmental and heritage legislation through implementation of an Environmental Management System. The Environmental Module of the Road Information Management System [RIMS] became operational and has facilitated easy, effective screening of transport projects for environmental issues. A major output of the project, the Environmental Guide for Land Transport Infrastructure Projects, was published in association with the University of Tasmania. Workshops resulted in the production of the Department's first Environmental Improvement Plan. Training seminars improved understanding of, and the requirements of, the Commonwealth Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Protocols for managing referrals and reporting to the Commonwealth have been amended.
Conara Park Redevelopment
Conara Roadside Park is an area of natural grassy Eucalyptus amygdalina woodland containing a number of threatened species and orchids. The local community is being involved with redeveloping it into a native grassland and rest area. The park aims to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the Midland environment and its history. It will also provide an attraction where travellers can take a short, educational break and help reduce driving fatigue.
Wildlife Road Kill Trial
In collaboration with DIER, Tourism Tasmania, the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment and the Tasmanian Environment Centre, the University of Tasmania was successful in obtaining a Commonwealth-funded Sustainable Tourism Grant to trial a range of wildlife road kill mitigation devices. Tests will be undertaken in a number of localities, predominantly along State Roads. DIER will be contributing to the research project in the form of additional funding and capital works.
Heritage Risk Assessment
The Heritage Risk Assessment along all State roads has been completed. More than 2000 sites of historic cultural heritage were documented, either within or adjacent to the road reserve. The data will be entered into the RIMS environmental module to ensure easy, effective screening of transport projects for potential heritage impact.
Traffic noise is becoming an issue of increasing concern. In particular, there are complaints about night time noise disturbing sleep. Night time testing for traffic generated noise has been undertaken outside relevant residences. One residence will have noise attenuating fencing installed during 2001-2002 as a trial to test its effectiveness in addressing concerns.
Intelligent Access Project
Based on the Department's previous work on the Intelligent Vehicles Trial, Tasmania has championed, and is project manager for, the nationally funded Intelligent Access Project. It focuses on "e-compliance" against permit conditions, and will monitor access for heavy vehicles to the transport network. The project uses an innovative approach to private sector partnerships that will see a range of information services provided to road users by certified independent service providers.
Community Awareness Activities
A wide range of activities was undertaken both to inform the community and to seek its input on planned departmental projects. These included workshops, public displays, community meetings, community-based steering groups, community surveys, the release of drafts for community feedback and the posting of information on the Internet.
The Land Transport Planning Branch takes an active role in developing Tasmania's workforce of the future. In 2000-2001, it gave short-term work on specific projects to seven recent graduates and three undergraduates. This gave them industry experience and will help them gain a useful place in the workforce. The graduates were from diverse areas, including engineering, environmental studies, geography, economics and law.
Achievements Against Strategies Identified For 2000-2001
Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES)
An Evaluation Report was prepared to provide an insight into the significance of the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES). Twenty of the major recipient companies of TFES assistance were interviewed during this process.
The multiplier effect for jobs was found to be around seven external jobs for every direct employee of a company receiving TFES, meaning that over 32,000 jobs could be linked to the 20 companies spoken to. Sixty per cent of the companies interviewed stated that they would not be able to continue operating in Tasmania without TFES assistance.
A series of recommendations resulted from the evaluation, including the continuation of the TFES to ensure ongoing confidence in the Tasmanian economy, use of annually adjusted indicators to provide an overview of the significance of the scheme for the Tasmanian economy and the investigation of expanding TFES to include additional commodities which presently do not qualify for assistance and Bass Strait related disadvantages also not currently included under the scheme.
The Department of Transport and Regional Services, the Commonwealth Agency responsible for administration of the scheme, was given a detailed briefing on the report and continues to be committed to it.
Tasmanian Marine Transport Key Issues and Strategies 2001-2005
A strategic framework discussion document titled "Key Issues and Strategies for Tasmanian Marine Transport 2001-2005" has been developed and released. This incorporates input from stakeholders over a wide range of government agencies and businesses, industry groups, private enterprise and affected communities.
Its aim is to provide direction in the future development of marine transport and port policies, infrastructure and services, to ensure these complement strategies in the land transport sector, and to contribute to the economic development and social equity objectives of the Government.
Bass Strait Sea Passenger Travel
An inter-governmental Joint Working Group (JWG) consisting of officers from the Tasmanian, Victorian and Commonwealth government transport portfolios was established to collect and study information and to report on the impediments to, and the future requirements for, Bass Strait sea passenger travel between Tasmania and mainland Australia.
The JWG has formed an integrated framework of information to enable development of solutions to long standing problems and issues associated with Bass Strait travel, particularly those remaining following the introduction of the very successful Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme (BSPVES) in 1996 by the Commonwealth. The report has been presented to the three respective Transport Ministers.
Tasmanian Export Council
The Tasmanian Export Council (TEC) has a focus on collaborative action to improve freight service quality, remove impediments to efficient and reliable transport of goods from Tasmania, and encourage communication along supply chains and across land-sea and land-air interfaces.
Initiatives that have been funded and supported included:
a study of Live and Fresh Seafood Logistics;
a survey of Asian Importer Attitudes to Australian Freight Logistics Systems;
the National Review of Quality Assurance Systems and Codes of Practice;
a study of Best-Practice Freight Logistics; and
an Airfreight Temperature Monitoring Study.
The value of this work has been to generate justification for further project work leading to changes and improvements in freight logistics out of Tasmania and through this, improved competitiveness of Tasmanian products. Projects of this nature that are being undertaken include:
initiation of a National Export Logistics Framework to provide a context within which supply-chain quality systems can be consistently improved across the supply chain, both nationally and internationally.
development of a program to raise awareness among exporters and shippers about their particular supply-chains, by visits and contact with other supply-chain participants interstate;
promotion of the supply-chain quality message more broadly to members and potential members of the export community; and
development of a Tasmanian Export council web site with links to a wide range of associated and relevant stakeholder sites.
King Island Shipping Service
Holyman Shipping provided under a 10-year agreement with the State Government, a scheduled weekly shipping service to King Island at a cost of $236,000 in the 1999-2000 financial year. This was to end on 22 April 2001.
The Department undertook a "Request for Proposals" (RFP) process for a shipping service to operate from late April 2001. This was advertised nationally, with a closing date of Friday, 8 December 2000.
The Department has been involved in a lengthy process of negotiation and discussion with the proponent of the leading proposal, in a bid to reach an agreement satisfactory to all parties. At the time of this report, those negotiations are still taking place. The Government is committed to ensuring an ongoing scheduled shipping service to King Island. In the meantime, Holyman Shipping will continue to operate its service on a purely commercial basis.
Ports Planning and Performance Monitoring
Sea ports are vital components of Tasmania's transport infrastructure with 99 per cent of the State's trade passing through them. There is a need to ensure that the shareholders are kept informed and aware of developments that affect their investments. On behalf of the Tasmanian community, the shareholders are the Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources and the Treasurer.
A detailed reporting framework has been established requiring the provision of information on the performance of each Board and associated State-owned company from both a financial and operational perspective. These occur on a half-financial year basis, at the end of each February and September.
Reporting of performance by ports against approved three-year Business Plans, on Annual General Meetings, dividends, provision of Loan Council Information and other national reporting requirements is required and is further clarified by a statement of the shareholders' expectations. This is jointly monitored by the departments of each of the shareholder Ministers.
King Island Fuel Delivery
The long standing delivery method for motor spirit and diesel to King Island was deemed to be both operationally and environmentally of high risk. At the same time, the jetty at Naracoopa, which carried the fuel pipeline from the off-shore tanker, via a floating pipeline to the jetty, was condemned due to its age. The fuel supplier had advised that it would change the method of delivery to overcome these problems, but as a consequence the price of fuel would increase significantly.
A detailed consultancy was undertaken to determine the best long-term, 20-year time scale outcome for the King Island community. This has led to a new delivery method and facility being planned. This should come on stream in October 2001 and involve the King Island Port Corporation taking a lead role. It is expected that the price of fuel will be contained to previous levels once the new facilities and procedures are in place. It will lead to the provision of a secure, safe, enviromentally sustainable and cost effective fuel delivery system, with an ability to be upgraded and improved in the future.
Flinders Island Transport Value Management Study
A Value Management Study into air and sea services to and from Flinders Island at Whitemark developed a three-tier plan for action. The appointment of an Area Marketing and Development officer, able to provide a focal point for the overseeing and implementation of the study, provides an improved outcome for the study.
While access was an issue, more critical were other actions involving the community in providing support and development of tourism, development of a unique Flinders Island brand, the establishment of coordinated booking facilities and ongoing liaison with other stakeholders. The Value Management Study has formed part of the State Government/Council Partnership agreement, and has been made available to other interested stakeholders.
Strategic Freight Corridor Study
The National Transport Secretariat was asked by the Australian Transport Council to strategically analyse the capacity and operating performance of transport freight corridors critical to the national economy.
The survey instrument identified seven categories for freight corridors of national significance namely: -
Link State/Territory capitals;
Economic regions to international ports and airports;
Major regional centres to international ports and airports;
Major economic regions within or between states;
Major regional centres within or between states;
Major intermodal terminals with international ports and airports; and
Freight task or role in the supply chain.
The corridor information has been compiled into a set of national maps. The interlinking nature of the corridors is graphically depicted in the maps. Key corridors like the Adelaide - Perth corridor feed in to corridors that ultimately link Perth to the entire eastern seaboard. Similarly several corridors link together to form a north - south mega corridor that ultimately links Hobart to Cairns.
National Plan to Combat Sea Pollution
In 1998 the Australian Transport Council requested a 1999/2000 review of the operation of the "National Plan" in light of emerging maritime transport issues.
The Review's report, including recommendations, was submitted for endorsement to the Australian Maritime Group (AMG), the Standing Committee on Transport (SCOT) and the Australian Transport Council (ATC) in June 2000.
Recommendations aim to enhance the future effectiveness of the National Plan, most significantly by streamlining the administrative and organisational framework to provide for distinct strategic management functions and operational fora.
An Inter-governmental Agreement has been developed to formally acknowledge and accept revised arrangements and this is in the process of acceptance by all Australian Transport Ministers.
Membership and Involvement with Other Bodies
The Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources was represented on the following bodies in 2000-2001: The Integrated Logistics Network; Australian Maritime Group; Aviation Working Group; Tasmanian Export Council; State Marine Pollution Committee; National Oceans Policy and South-East Regional Marine Plan Inter-Departmental Committee; Australian Airports Association; and the Basslink Shore-to-Shore Common Legislative Regime Inter-Departmental Committee.
PASSENGER TRANSPORT POLICY
Achievements for 2000-2001
Passenger Transport Reference Group
A Passenger Transport Reference Group has been established to provide an end user consultation mechanism for public transport. The Group, which has met twice, has representation from Tasmanians With Disabilities; Multicultural Tasmania; Women Tasmania; Youth Network of Tasmania; Tourism Tasmania; TasCOSS; and the Council on the Ageing.
Passenger Transport Strategy Paper
The Department has developed a Passenger Transport Strategy paper which will be used to guide the formulation of policy for the next five years. The plan focuses on the achievement of nine broad goals relating to the provision of public transport services in Tasmania. Those goals are to:
Achieve equity of access for people with disabilities;
Improve equity of access for people in rural and remote regions of Tasmania;
Restrain environmental pollution and traffic congestion through the promotion of public transport;
Develop an integrated transport network throughout Tasmania to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of both core and non-core services;
Use technology to improve the appeal, efficiency and effectiveness of public transport;
Ensure high standards of service from taxis and luxury hire cars;
Ensure that metropolitan transport services are effective and efficient in meeting the needs of users;
Provide an efficient student transport system with a consistent and equitable approach to student fares; and
Ensure Tasmania has a safe, reliable and fairly priced supplementary public transport system.
The paper will support the objectives of both Getting There Together and Tasmania Together.
A three-year performance-based contract (July 2001 - June 2004) has been signed with Metro Tasmania to provide metropolitan bus services in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie. It is valued at approximately $20 million per annum.
Review of the Taxi Industry Act
Work is continuing on finalising the review process, with Cabinet expected to consider the future operation of taxis and luxury hire cars before the end of 2001.
Development of Access Principles
The Department has sought to establish a policy position on the provision of general access regular passenger transport services offered to communities throughout Tasmania. The access principles have been drafted with a view to providing reasonable levels of access to centres of amenity for people living in non-urban environments. The access principles, while still undergoing fine tuning though consultation, represent a definition of fiscally responsible social objectives by the Government, in its delivery of public transport to Tasmanians living in rural areas.
The Department has investigated the feasibility of introducing a smartcard-based ticketing system in order to streamline and integrate public transport throughout the State. Further, smartcard capabilities are seen to hold significant appeal in the control of funding extended by government to those eligible persons using public transport. Improved data on the use of public transport is expected to allow more prudent demand/resource matching by service providers and government. The smartcard project will, in the next year, progress through to business case phase and, depending upon that outcome, may be fed into the bus review program presently under way. The smartcard project is also being viewed as a vehicle for wider whole-of-government application for smartcard technology, with other agencies contributing to the project.
Taxi and Bus Cost Modelling
The Department has developed accurate costing models for both the taxi and bus industries. These models have been developed in order to obtain a more commercial basis upon which to consider factors such as fares and fare subsidies provided by government. The modelling is seen as a method by which government can more accurately predict the impact of its regulatory involvement in these industries. Central objectives flowing from the use of such cost models are the need to ensure prices paid by the public in accessing such services are fair and competitive and the need to give service providers a reasonable return.
Model Contract Development
The public vehicle licensing reforms, as they relate to the bus industry, will see a move from a licensing relationship with government to one based on commercial contracts with durations of up to 10 years. Given that several hundred individual operators and an even larger number of services make up the passenger transport services, either paid for or subsidised by the Government, there exists a need to develop a standard contract for the Government to administer. The Department invested considerable time and effort in negotiating a standard contract with industry.