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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Transport >> Transport infrastructure

Transport infrastructure comprises three elements, all of which are required to perform the transport task:

  • physical infrastructure - for example, roads, rail track, ports, airports, pipelines
  • transport equipment - for example, motor vehicles, trains, ships, aeroplanes
  • people with the necessary skills - for example, licensed drivers, pilots etc.


Physical infrastructure

The costs in constructing and maintaining the physical infrastructure Australia requires for its vast transport network are very high. The value of public and private sector engineering construction done during 2001 was $5,322m on roads, highways and subdivisions; $327m on bridges; $635m on railways; $292m on harbours; and $242m on pipelines.

Length of the road system

Table 23.28 shows the map lengths of Australian roads while map 23.31 displays the National Highway System. Of all the states and territories, New South Wales has the greatest length of bitumen or concrete roads (91,344 km) representing just over half of all roads in that state. The Australian Capital Territory has the highest percentage of total road surface consisting of bitumen or concrete (95.2%) while South Australia has the lowest percentage of bitumen or concrete roads to total roads at 28.9%.


23.28 LENGTHS OF ROADS OPEN FOR GENERAL TRAFFIC(a) - At 30 June 2002

Units
NSW(b)
Vic.(c)
Qld
SA
WA(d)
Tas.(e)
NT(f)
ACT

Bitumen or concrete
km
91,344
75,400
67,860
28,009
49,165
10,386
6,493
2,542
Gravel, crushed stone or other improved surface
km
90,662
54,250
51,764
41,115
55,927
(g)13,044
6,619
128
Formed only
km
(h)
26,850
43,373
18,549
28,986
700
7,618
(h)
Cleared only
km
n.a.
(i)
15,320
9,219
13,777
(i)
922
-
Total
km
182,006
156,500
178,317
96,892
147,855
24,130
21,652
2,670
Percentage of total surface with bitumen or concrete
%
50.2
48.2
38.1
28.9
33.3
43.0
30.0
95.2

(a) Road length is defined as follows, for NSW, SA & WA - route (end-to-end) length plus ramps, connections, additional carriageways, etc. All reported lengths include roads, bridges and ferry route lengths. For Vic. - route (end-to-end) length excluding ramps, connections, additional carriageways, etc. All reported lengths include roads and bridges, but exclude ferry route lengths. For Qld - length of the primary through carriageway. For Tas. - point-to-point direct travel distance. For NT - road centreline length in one direction of travel only. For ACT - route (end-to-end) length plus ramps, connections, additional carriageways, etc. Includes roads and bridges, but excludes forestry, private roads and roads not managed by the ACT Government.
(b) Excludes Lord Howe Island, forestry-controlled roads or crown roads.
(c) Excludes in excess of 40,000 km of roads in areas such as parks and forests coming under the responsibility of organisations such as the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Parks Victoria and Water Catchment Authorities. Includes VicRoads declared roads as at June 2002 and unclassified roads as at June 2001.
(d) Excludes approximately 27,100 km of forestry-controlled roads.
(e) Includes an estimate for forestry roads.
(f) Excludes roads not managed by the NT Government.
(g) Includes local government roads in Formed only and Cleared only categories.
(h) Included in gravel, crushed stone or other improved surface.
(i) Included with Formed only.

Source: Derived primarily from Road and Traffic Authorities and local government sources in each state and territory.


Rail network

Australia’s rail systems comprise nearly 40,000 km of private and government broad, standard and narrow gauge track. Table 23.29 and map 23.30 show the diversity of track gauge in Australia, reflecting the historical development of state infrastructure. It also reflects private development, such as the 4,150 route-kilometres of narrow gauge associated with the Queensland sugar industry. The mainline rail system includes the 8,000 km standard gauge interstate network plus the 1,680 km narrow gauge link between Brisbane and Cairns. The rail system also includes the 240 km tram network in Melbourne, the 11 km tram line in Adelaide, the 6.6 km tram line in Sydney, the 8.5 km skitube from Jindabyne to Mt Kosciuszko in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains and the 3.6 km Sydney monorail. Competition reform and government policy to allow open access have resulted in private companies offering freight and passenger services over government-owned track.


23.29 AUSTRALIAN TRACK NETWORK(a), Route kilometres operated - At 30 June

Gauge
1999
2000
2001

Narrow
610 mm
4,150
4,150
4,150
1067 mm
15,122
15,081
15,054
Standard
1435 mm
16,381
16,339
16,343
Broad
1600 mm
4,009
4,009
4,017
Dual
264
265
266
Total
39,926
39,844
39,830

(a) Includes tram and light rail.

Source: Australasian Railway Association.


Sea ports

Map 23.30 shows Australia's major sea ports. Under Section 15 of the Customs Act, Australia has 97 appointed ports. Western Australia has the greatest number of such ports (22), while the Northern Territory has the fewest (3). Of the remaining states, Queensland has 20 ports, South Australia 18, Tasmania 15, New South Wales 14, and Victoria 5 ports.

23.30 MAJOR RAILWAYS AND SEA PORTS - 2000

Map - 23.30 MAJOR RAILWAYS AND SEA PORTS - 2000
Source: Australasian Railway Association, 2000 ARA Yearbook.


Airports

At 6 August 2002, there were 261 licensed airports in Australia and its external territories. Of these, 12 were operating as international airports servicing scheduled international airlines. Map 23.31 shows Australia's international airports. The majority of licensed airports are owned and operated by local councils, state government departments and private companies. The remaining airports are owned and operated by the Department of Defence or leased by the Commonwealth to private sector companies or government corporations.

23.31 NATIONAL HIGHWAYS(a) AND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS - 2000

Map - 23.31 NATIONAL HIGHWAYS(a) AND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS - 2000


(a) The national highway system excludes state highways such as the Princes and Great Western highways.
Source: Bureau of Transport Regional Economics.


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