New government, new movement on transport?
Change brings tension and stress, but also opportunities for improvement. And so it is with our new Federal Government. I welcome the election of the Albanese Labor Government. It is an exciting prospect to have a Prime Minister who, from his previous experience in the infrastructure portfolio, has a deep understanding of the nation’s infrastructure and transport issues.
I also welcome the appointments of The Hon Catherine King MP and The Hon Ed Husic MP to their respective portfolios of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, and Industry and Science. These portfolios provide substantial support to iMOVE and to the delivery of iMOVE’s objectives.
Opportunities in transport for the new government
Notwithstanding that responsibility for transport is divided between federal and state legislatures, the great realisation in recent years is that transport systems transcend state borders. In this situation the community looks to the national government for leadership and co-ordination.
A key challenge for us all, is to build dialogue and co-operation between the many stakeholders in the transport sector. This is particularly important as we respond to the challenges and opportunities of digitisation, decarbonisation, social equity and customer centricity.
The formation of a national cabinet during the COVID crisis, and the current collaborative response to the ‘electricity crisis’ shows that Australia is able to come together to tackle national issues. This is important not least because electrification of our transport systems over coming years will require a doubling of our current electricity generation capacity!
National leadership in in transport
Some areas in transport which would benefit from national leadership and stronger government / industry engagement are:
- Public and private
- Passenger and freight
- Long haul and short haul
- Exploration of high-speed rail as a means to mitigate carbon emissions from aviation
- Establishment of data standards
- Sharing of ‘minimum data’
- Transition to paperless transactions and digital POD (proof of delivery)
- Establishment and harmonisation of national standards
- Dealing with ‘transport externalities’ (such as accidents, congestion, pollution, carbon emissions and wasted time)
- Improving effectiveness of mode interchanges (for people and freight)
- Community engagement – behaviour change
- Challenge the need to travel and the mode of travel
- Utilisation of price signals (premiums and discounts applied to fares, road occupancy, road usage, congestion, emissions) to nudge behaviour in desired directions
- Measuring and mapping transport accessibility
- Remediating the worst deficiencies
- Improving city infrastructure
- Integrating transport considerations into land use planning decisions
- Delivering better connectivity in the PT system
Let’s talk future transport
There is a lot to do, and four years is not a long time. We need to accelerate our efforts. If you have initiatives you want to take, or if you want to engage in iMOVE’s work in transport R&D, I invite you to to get in touch with me for a chat.