On 1 October 2020, the Productivity Commission publicly released its final report on National Transport Regulatory Reform.
The Commission was tasked by the federal government in 2019 to assess the economic impact of reforms made to transport regulation agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments in 2008-09. These reforms relate to heavy vehicle safety and productivity, as well as rail safety and maritime safety.
The federal government has welcomed the report.
“The transport reforms were agreed by all levels of government over a decade ago to make transport safer while making it easier for industry to do business – and it’s great to know they’re working,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said.
“We are absolutely committed to supporting a thriving national transport industry now and into the future, which is why we asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a comprehensive review, including to see what we can do better.
“I am pleased to hear they found the reforms have delivered broad safety and productivity gains for our national transport industry.
“This is particularly reassuring in these difficult times, as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis highlights how vital a safe and efficient transport network is to our way of life.
“I acknowledge this report has been eagerly awaited by industry. We will carefully consider all of the recommendations within the report and undertake vital consultation with regulators, jurisdictions and industry stakeholders to prepare a response.”
Mr McCormack said this review complements other Australian Government priorities and investments such as the development of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, Heavy Vehicle National Law review and the Australian Government’s record $100 billion nationwide infrastructure spend.
“By continuing to support our transport industry, we are creating jobs and opportunities for Australians at a time when it’s needed most, while keeping our quality goods connected to local and international markets,” he said.
“The Productivity Commission’s recommendations will help us shape a sensible approach to future regulation to support our hard-working truckies, train drivers, transport companies and our diverse maritime industries to do what they do best while keeping safety as the top priority.
“I thank the Productivity Commission for its valuable work completing this comprehensive review and our Government looks forward to driving an even brighter future for our national transport industry – together.”