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A note from our President

The on-going challenge all governments face to fund infrastructure development was front and centre when State and Territory Transport Ministers gathered at the Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting in Melbourne on 4 August.

Keynote speaker was United States Secretary of Transport, Anthony Foxx – a former Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina – who spoke of challenges meeting growing infrastructure demand and the focus around public-private partnerships and innovative technology to increase mobility and efficiency.

The Council noted the growing momentum for road charging and investment reform, including COAG’s 2015 directive to accelerate Heavy Vehicle Road Reform and investigate the benefits and costs of introducing user charging for all vehicles.

The immediate priority is further development of the heavy vehicle user charging system, which could have potential cost of living and freight cost implications for remote and regional areas across the Northern Territory.

Also of interest in the Territory is the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s National Roadworthiness Baseline Survey which involves inspections of around 9000 heavy vehicles to provide a national snapshot of the roadworthiness of Australia’s land transport fleet.

The Council also endorsed the 2016-17 decision by the Regulator to use funding redirected from the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal for heavy vehicle safety initiatives.

Ministers also approved further work be undertaken on delivering greater driver licence harmonisation across Australia.

Damien Ryan, President

Local Government Association of the Northern Territory