Transport for Victoria – a model for co-ordinated infrastructure planning

With finite resources at a state and federal level, coordinating infrastructure-planning regimes would seem to be a better use of taxpayer dollars, as well as lead to quicker outcomes that are based on actual needs instead of political ones. We have had some progress towards this aspirational goal in recent times, with the creation of Infrastructure Victoria and its links to its federal counterpart, Infrastructure Australia.

At a state level, the VTA was recently encouraged with an announcement from the Victorian Government that a central transport agency will be created to coordinate the state’s transport plan, as well as plan for the future.

Transport for Victoria – as the Victorian Government has dubbed the new agency – will result from the consolidation and merger of VicRoads and Public Transport for Victoria (PTV).

The merger will bring together the state’s roads authority with the administrator of its public transport networks, in recognition that, for operational and planning purposes, we need to think and plan in terms of our broader transport needs as distinct from individual road, bus, rail and light rail needs. VicRoads and PTV each can provide a wealth of information that will serve the public and freight and logistics operators significantly better as a pooled resource.

The VTA fully supports the creation of Transport for Victoria because the more efficient use of the merged resources should go a long way to addressing and improving traffic and congestion on Victorian roads.

From the freight operator perspective, public transport must be seen as a vital way of improving congestion by encouraging less reliance on commuter vehicles.

Productivity gains will be a by-product of having fewer cars on the road, making it easier for delivery and heavy vehicles to get goods to market, and freight on to rail or sea transport modes.

This is especially important in the context of population growth, which sees Victoria as the fastest growing of any state with around 1,900 people taking up residence on average per week.

The VTA looks forward to participating in discussions with the state government on the creation of this new agency, which is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

With several key projects in the construction pipeline, including major works on the Monash and CityLink, and Western Distributor and Metro Tunnel formative works, it is more important than ever that the inevitable disruption to our transport networks these projects will create is managed and kept to a minimum.

Planning for the annual VTA Australian Freight Industry Awards is well underway and I am pleased to announce the creation of a new award for 2016, the Australian Transport & Logistics Waste Award, recognising the importance of a policy, program or technological innovation in an operation that improves sustainability.

With this category there are now six Australian Freight Industry Awards open for submissions, including the Investment in People Award, Best Practice Safety Award, Application of Technology Award (Shaun Owen Memorial), Australian Transport & Logistics Waste Award, Young Achiever of the Year Award, and the Personality of the Year Award.

An Australian Freight Industry Award is highly prized and one of the most coveted accolades in our industry. Participating in the awards, through submitting one or more entries and attending the presentation with staff and clients, is a great way to support our industry and its people. 

The deadline for award entries is Monday, 8 August, and entry forms and award criteria are available at the VTA website, along with ticket information for the Gala Presentation on Saturday, 3 September.

We have put together another fantastic entertainment line-up including singers Daryl Braithwaite and Sarah Valentine, the Jersey Boys Tribute Band and the Matt Hetherington Band.

I do hope you can show your support for our industry by submitting an entry and attending what is shaping up as another fantastic Australian Freight Industry Awards Gala Presentation.

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