Australian Transport Council
The Australian Transport Council was established on 11 June 1993, subsuming the functions of the Australian Transport Advisory Council.
It comprises Commonwealth, State, Territory and New Zealand Ministers responsible for transport, roads, marine and ports matters. The Papua New Guinea Minister for Civil Aviation, and the Australian Local Government Association are also represented on the Council as observers.
The Council meets biannually; its primary role is to review and coordinate various aspects of transport policy, development and administration. It initiates discussion and reports on issues raised by Council members, and provides advice to governments on the coordination and integration of all transport and road policy issues at a national level.
Standing Committee on Communications, Transport and the Arts
The standing committee is one of nine general purpose investigatory committees established by the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Australia. The role of the Standing Committee on Communications, Transport and the Arts is to carry out inquiries into matters referred to it by the House of Representatives or a Minister of the Commonwealth Government. The matters that may be referred by the House include reports by the Commonwealth Auditor-General. The Committee can also inquire into matters raised in annual reports of Commonwealth government departments and authorities subject to a schedule tabled by the Speaker of the House.
Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTRS)
The Department promotes economic, social and regional development by enhancing Australia's infrastructure performance. It is committed to the integration of transport and regional development. Divisional Business units of the department include:
- Bureau of Transport Economics (BTE). A centre for applied economic research, the BTE undertakes studies and investigations that contribute to an improved understanding of the factors influencing the efficiency and growth of the transport sector and the development of effective transport policies. The BTE also undertakes consultancy work for a number of external agencies.
- Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). Created as an independent Division-level unit within the Department of Transport and Regional Services on 1 July 1999, the ATSB works closely with the States and Territories, which investigate accidents. It deals with the non-regulatory aspects of air, sea, rail and road safety.
- Air and Sea. Using a 'no blame' whole-of-system approach, ATSB investigates accidents, incidents and safety deficiencies, and analyses safety data to prevent repeat occurrences and to minimise the effects of those that do eventuate. As a Commonwealth body the Bureau has legislative authority to investigate cases involving all civilian aircraft and large marine vessels. It works independently of regulators such as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Airservices Australia, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
- Rail. ATSB's Rail Safety Unit will adopt a similar no-blame systems approach to rail safety investigations on the interstate rail track when Commonwealth legislation has been enacted. It currently investigates, if requested, on behalf of States and is establishing a national rail safety database.
- Road. The ATSB's road safety activities include: the federal road safety Black Spots program; road safety research and statistical analysis; the National Road Safety Strategy; and vehicle recall investigations (reflecting the Commonwealth Government's responsibilities under the Trade Practices Act).
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is conducting research, in collaboration with the transport industry, into intelligent transport systems. These systems involves the application of information technology and telecommunications to traffic control and management.
Institute of Transport Studies, the University of Sydney
The primary objective of the Institute is to undertake graduate teaching, management development programs, grant and contract research and development in the fields of transport and logistics studies.
- Aviation. The role of the division is to advise on international and domestic aviation issues; regulate international airline operations; and manage Australia's participation in the work of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). It also manages the continuing relationship between the Government and Australia's airlines, and with the aviation safety organisations - particularly Airservices Australia (Airservices) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), and it publishes Australia's international and domestic air-service statistics from AVSTATS.