The Turnbull Government will:
• Work with state governments to develop urban rail plans for Australia’s five largest cities and surrounding regions. The review will consider global trends and drivers of urban rail, including technology developments and changing demographic patterns, as well as linkages between rail and urban planning;
• Progress next steps for heavy vehicle reform with states and territories through the development of a forward looking cost base, and a discussion paper to inform consultation on options for an independent price regulator;
• Establish a study, led by an eminent Australian, into the potential benefits and impacts of road user charging for light vehicles. Of course, any move to implement change, including road user charging, would be a ten to fifteen-year journey and would only go ahead if governments are confident that the benefits to the community of any new arrangements outweigh the costs;
• Develop a data collection and dissemination plan, to improve the collection of data on freight movements and public transport across different transport modes. This will provide for improved and more timely information for infrastructure investment decisions and monitoring of the performance of Australia’s infrastructure networks; and
• Develop a national freight and supply chain strategy informed by the establishment of a comprehensive, independent inquiry that will examine how the productivity and efficiency of Australia’s freight supply chain can best be lifted.
This builds on action already taken to respond to other key recommendations in the plan. For example, the plan recommends a greater focus on the planning of infrastructure projects, and as part of the Smart Cities plan earlier this year, the Turnbull Government announced $50 million in funding for project planning.
The Australian Government is supporting 69 of the 78 recommendations made by Infrastructure Australia as part of our plan for a stronger nation and a more prosperous economy, confirming that the IA 15 Year Plan will guide key infrastructure policy directions.
These new initiatives are designed to improve investment in infrastructure and build on the Turnbull Government’s record $50 billion infrastructure investment program.
Each of these initiatives are significant studies in their own right, and together they will support our ongoing reform agenda.
The Australian Government has committed funding towards 14 of the 15 projects on Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Priority List, including Inland Rail, WestConnex in NSW, and the Forrestfield Airport Link in WA.
For more detail on the Australian Government’s response to the Australian Infrastructure Plan, as well our infrastructure vision, visit https://infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/publications/.