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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
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Contents >> Transport >> Transport infrastructure

Transport infrastructure comprises three essential elements:

  • physical infrastructure - roads, rail track, seaports, airports
  • transport equipment - motor vehicles, trains, ships, aircraft
  • people with the necessary skills - licensed drivers, pilots, etc.

Physical infrastructure

The cost of constructing Australia's vast transport infrastructure is substantial. The value of transport-related public and private sector new engineering construction done during 2002-03 included: $6,324m on roads, highways and subdivisions; $312m on bridges; $1,287m on railways; $299m on harbours; and $939m on pipelines.

Length of the road system

The length of Australia's roads is described in table 22.43. New South Wales is the state with the greatest length of bitumen or concrete roads (91,746 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 (95.3%), while the Northern Territory has the lowest percentage of such roads (29.2%).


22.43 LENGTHS OF ROADS OPEN FOR GENERAL TRAFFIC(a) - 30 June 2004

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

Bitumen or concrete
km
91,746
76,000
70,608
28,557
50,562
10,456
6,463
2,570
Gravel, crushed stone or other improved surface
km
90,421
53,800
52,513
40,825
55,044
(g)13,343
6,763
128
Formed only
km
(h)
22,900
43,325
14,435
29,644
845
7,531
(h)
Cleared only
km
n.a.
(i)
14,859
12,757
13,189
(i)
1,340
-
Total
km
182,167
152,700
181,305
96,574
148,456
24,644
22,097
2,698
Percentage of total surface with bitumen or concrete
%
50.4
49.8
38.9
29.6
34.1
42.4
29.2
95.3

(a) Road length is defined as follows: for NSW, SA and 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 centre-line 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 and 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 Sustainability and Environment, Parks Victoria and Water Catchment Authorities. Includes VicRoads declared roads as at June 2003 and unclassified roads as at June 2002.
(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 in 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 41,461 km of broad, standard and narrow gauge track (table 22.44). Australia has a diverse range of rail gauges, reflecting the historical development of state infrastructure. It also reflects private development, such as the 4,150 km narrow gauge system of the Queensland sugar industry. The rail system includes the 250 km tram/light rail network in Melbourne, the 12 km tram line in Adelaide, the 7 km light rail and 4 km monorail lines in Sydney, and the 9 km skitube in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains.


22.44 TRACK NETWORK(a), Route kilometres operated - 30 June

Gauge
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003

Narrow
610 mm
4,150
4,150
4,150
4,150
4,150
1067 mm
15,122
15,081
15,054
(b)15,160
(b)15,160
Standard
1435 mm
16,381
16,339
16,343
17,678
17,720
Broad
1600 mm
4,009
4,009
4,017
4,017
4,150
Dual
264
265
266
281
281
Total
39,926
39,844
39,830
41,286
41,461

(a) Includes tram and light rail.
(b) Includes 4 km of 940 mm narrow gauge monorail in Sydney.

Source: Australasian Railway Association Inc.


Seaports

Under Section 15 of the Customs Act 1901 (Cwlth), Australia has 97 appointed ports, which are points of passenger and cargo entry into Australia or transfer where customs and quarantine activities are carried out. 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 has 5 ports.

Airports

There are 256 regulated airports in Australia and its external territories. Of these, 11 were operated as international airports servicing scheduled international airlines. The majority of 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 Australian Government to private sector companies or government corporations.

Transport equipment

Registered motor vehicles

There were almost 12.8 million motor vehicles (excluding motor cycles, tractors, plant and equipment, caravans and trailers) registered in Australia at 31 March 2003 (table 22.45). This represents an increase of 3% since the previous census taken on 31 March 2002. Approximately 8 out of every 10 vehicles are passenger vehicles. Table 22.46 shows registered motor vehicles by state or territory of registration. New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland are the states having the largest numbers of vehicles with 30%, 27% and 19% of the total vehicle fleet respectively.


22.45 REGISTERED MOTOR VEHICLES
Trucks

Passenger vehicles(a)
Light commercial vehicles
Rigid
Articulated
Non-freight carrying
Buses
Total(b)
Motor cycles
Motor vehicle census years(c)
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000

1996
9,022
1,602
341
58
16
59
11,097
304
1997
9,240
1,632
342
59
17
61
11,351
313
1998
9,561
1,686
347
62
18
64
11,738
329
1999
9,720
1,721
347
63
18
66
11,935
334
2001
9,870
1,770
338
63
18
68
12,126
351
2002
10,137
1,820
342
64
19
70
12,451
371
2003
10,404
1,880
349
64
19
70
12,786
377

(a) Includes campervans.
(b) Excludes motor cycles, tractors, plant and equipment, caravans and trailers.
(c) At 31 March for 2003, 2002 and 2001; at 31 October for all previous years shown.

Source: Motor Vehicle Census, 31 March 2003 (9309.0).

22.46 REGISTERED MOTOR VEHICLES - 31 March 2003

Trucks

Passenger vehicles(a)
Light
commercials
Rigid
Articulated
Non-freight carrying
Buses
Total(b)
Motor cycles
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000

New South Wales
3,171
532
105
15
3
19
3,845
100
Victoria
2,831
438
86
19
5
16
3,395
99
Queensland
1,922
441
72
14
4
15
2,468
84
South Australia
878
133
26
6
2
4
1,049
28
Western Australia
1,099
226
45
8
3
10
1,391
47
Tasmania
251
65
9
1
1
2
330
9
Northern Territory
68
26
3
1
-
3
101
3
Australian Capital Territory
184
19
2
-
-
1
206
7
Australia
10,404
1,880
349
64
19
70
12,786
377

(a) Includes campervans.
(b) Excludes motor cycles, tractors, plant and equipment, caravans and trailers.

Source: Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, 31 March 2003 (9309.0).


The average age of the Australian motor vehicle fleet at 31 March 2003 was 10.4 years (table 22.47). Tasmania recorded the highest average age (12.4 years) while the Northern Territory recorded the lowest average age (9.3 years). Of the different vehicle types, campervans had the oldest average age (18.9 years), while motorcycles recorded the lowest (9.9 years).


22.47 ESTIMATED AVERAGE AGE OF THE VEHICLE FLEET(a) - 31 March 2003

State/territory of registration

Type of vehicle
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.

Passenger vehicles
9.1
10.4
10.1
11.6
10.5
11.9
8.9
9.8
10.1
Campervans
17.0
19.7
16.4
20.2
21.2
19.9
19.0
19.4
18.9
Light commercial vehicles
10.3
12.1
11.2
12.4
12.0
13.4
9.9
10.6
11.4
Light rigid trucks
11.1
13.4
12.0
13.4
13.6
16.5
8.7
11.7
12.3
Heavy rigid trucks
14.0
17.4
15.1
17.8
18.1
17.3
13.0
11.5
16.0
Articulated trucks
10.7
12.0
11.6
11.1
13.5
10.9
12.6
8.1
11.7
Non-freight carrying trucks
13.5
15.3
11.2
14.5
16.9
16.9
12.8
14.6
14.4
Buses
9.9
10.6
10.6
11.6
9.6
14.4
8.9
10.7
10.4
Motor cycles
9.0
9.5
10.5
(b)9.4
12.1
10.6
8.3
9.4
9.9
Total
9.4
10.8
10.5
11.8
11.1
12.4
9.3
9.9
10.4

(a) Excludes plant and equipment, caravans and trailers.
(b) Year of manufacture is frequently not reported for SA motor cycles. In 2003 it was not reported for 23% of motor cycles registered in South Australia.

Source: Motor Vehicle Census, 31 March 2003 (9309.0).


The number of motor vehicles registered per person increased from 595 vehicles per 1,000 persons in 1993 to 662 per 1,000 persons in 2003 (table 22.48). Western Australia had the most registered vehicles per person in 2003, at 737 per 1,000 persons, being 11% above the Australian average.


22.48 MOTOR VEHICLES(a)(b) ON REGISTER PER 1,000 OF POPULATION
1993
1995
1996
1997(c)
1998
1999
2001(c)
2002
2003

New South Wales
529
545
556
546
581
574
568
578
590
Victoria
642
637
669
661
682
693
690
701
709
Queensland
593
614
624
605
645
659
651
663
676
South Australia
638
653
667
661
693
692
694
699
705
Western Australia
665
679
694
682
725
723
722
731
737
Tasmania
661
676
686
688
684
701
700
708
711
Northern Territory
497
520
529
508
538
535
516
520
529
Australian Capital Territory
591
604
613
637
627
635
634
643
659
Australia
595
606
614
630
612
647
642
652
662

(a) Excludes tractors, plant and equipment, caravans and trailers.
(b) At 31 March for 2003, 2002 and 2001; at 31 October for all previous years shown.
(c) Revised data.

Source: Motor Vehicle Census, 31 March 2003 (9309.0).


Sales of new motor vehicles

In 2003 sales of new motor vehicles reached a record, with 910,000 vehicles being sold (table 22.49). Passenger vehicles comprised 65% of sales made in 2003.


22.49 SALES OF NEW MOTOR VEHICLES, By type of vehicle

Passenger vehicles(a)
Other vehicles(b)
Total vehicles
'000
'000
'000

1994
462
155
616
1995
489
154
643
1996
491
158
649
1997
541
183
723
1998
583
224
807
1999
547
238
784
2000
556
235
791
2001
531
245
775
2002
540
284
824
2003
589
321
910

(a) Includes vehicles designed primarily for the carriage of people, such as cars, station wagons and people movers.
(b) Includes trucks, buses, vans, all terrain wagons, pick-up/cab chassis (whether four-wheel drive or not) with a gross vehicle mass of 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes. Also includes heavy trucks and buses, with a gross vehicle mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes, and four-wheel drive passenger vehicles.

Source: Sales of New Motor Vehicles, Australia (Electronic Publication) (9314.0).


In 2003 New South Wales had the largest sales of new motor vehicles (303,000), representing 33% of total sales in that year, followed by Victoria (27%) and Queensland with 20% (table 22.50).


22.50 SALES OF NEW MOTOR VEHICLES, By state and territory
State/territory of registration

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000
'000

1994
225
143
115
40
62
13
6
13
616
1995
235
152
116
42
64
14
8
13
643
1996
231
157
119
42
67
13
7
11
649
1997
257
179
130
47
73
14
8
14
723
1998
286
203
146
53
80
15
9
15
807
1999
282
206
142
48
70
14
8
14
784
2000
282
214
139
47
71
14
8
16
791
2001
271
216
136
48
69
14
7
14
775
2002
283
225
155
53
73
15
7
14
824
2003
303
244
178
62
83
18
8
15
910

Source: Sales of New Motor Vehicles, Australia (Electronic Publication) (9314.0).


Rail rolling stock

The number of locomotives, passenger cars and wagons in the Australian rail fleet, is shown in table 22.51. A large number of the narrow gauge diesel locomotives are owned by Queensland operators (Queensland Rail and Sugar Cane Railways), and service the Brisbane to Cairns route or the extensive sugar cane rail network. Queensland Rail has the largest fleet of such locomotives with 326 narrow gauge diesel and 182 narrow gauge electric.


22.51 RAIL FLEET - 30 June

2000
2001
2002

LOCOMOTIVES

Diesel
Broad gauge
131
142
145
Standard gauge
886
875
912
Narrow gauge
1,050
1,018
747
Electric
Standard gauge
60
60
58
Narrow gauge
184
184
182
XPT standard gauge
19
21
19
Total
2,330
2,300
2,063

PASSENGER CARS

Locomotive hauled
711
668
683
Diesel rail cars
Non-urban
117
117
117
Suburban
106
100
91
Total
223
217
208
Electric railcars
Interurban(a)
283
283
283
Suburban
2,566
2,593
2,602
Total
2,849
2,876
2,885
Tram/light rail
556
565
601
Charter/heritage
47
40
43
Total
4,386
4,366
4,420

WAGONS

Revenue
Broad gauge
2,025
2,020
2,000
Standard gauge
20,703
20,928
22,341
Narrow gauge(b)
19,336
18,614
18,067
Total
42,064
41,562
42,408
Other
1,719
1,650
1,626
Total
43,783
43,212
44,034

(a) Includes 12 tilt cars.
(b) Excludes 54,000 610 mm sugar cane wagons.

Source: Australasian Railway Association Inc.


Shipping fleet

The Australian Marine Safety Authority provides the ship registration service for the maritime and fishing industries and the boating community pursuant to the Shipping Registration Act 1981 (Cwlth) as part of its General Counsel bureau. The number of ships on the register increased by 145 during 2003-04, with 9,185 registered at 30 June 2004 (table 22.52). Queensland had the largest fleet, with 2,938 ships. In all states and territories except South Australia and Tasmania, over half the fleets were registered for recreational use. High percentages of the total number of ships registered in South Australia (48%) and Tasmania (40%) were registered for fishing purposes.


22.52 SHIPS REGISTERED(a) IN AUSTRALIA - 30 June 2004

Nature of registration

Recreational
Fishing
Government
Demise chartered(b)
Commercial and Trading
Total

New South Wales
1,862
282
5
9
260
2,418
Victoria
707
203
-
-
97
1,007
Queensland
1,727
754
18
13
426
2,938
South Australia
284
311
1
-
47
643
Western Australia
642
414
-
3
149
1,208
Tasmania
287
229
1
-
60
577
Northern Territory
296
63
1
-
34
394
Australia
5,805
2,256
26
25
1,073
9,185

(a) Australian-owned commercial or trading ships of 24 metres or more in tonnage length. All ships, regardless of tonnage length, must be registered before departing on a voyage from Australia or from a foreign port where there is an Australian diplomatic representative.
(b) Demise charter is the charter of a foreign ship operated by an Australian company in Australian waters. These ships are not necessarily engaged in trade or commerce.

Source: Australian Maritime Safety Authority.


The major Australian trading fleet (vessels of 2,000 deadweight tonnes and over) comprised 54 ships at 30 June 2002 (table 22.53). The minor trading fleet, consisting of vessels with gross tonnage of between 150 and 2,000 tonnes, comprised 23 ships.


22.53 TRADING FLEET - 30 June 2002

Ships
no.
Deadweight tonnes(a)
Gross tonnage(b)

Major Australian fleet(c)
Coastal
Australian registered
37
1,019,476
739,138
Overseas registered
4
118,774
71,655
Total
41
1,138,250
810,793
Overseas
Australian registered
9
759,508
691,995
Overseas registered
4
115,953
68,589
Total
13
875,461
760,584
Total
54
2,013,711
1,571,377
Minor trading ships(d)
Australian registered
17
9,296
12,165
Overseas registered
6
5,630
4,201
Total
23
14,926
16,366
Australian trading fleet
77
2,028,637
1,587,743

(a) Weight that a vessel can carry, including cargo, bunkers, water and stores.
(b) Measure of the internal capacity of a ship (in tonnes) that is available within the hull and enclosed spaces for cargo, stores, passenger and crew.
(c) Greater than 2,000 deadweight tonnes.
(d) Between 150 gross registered tonnes and 2,000 deadweight tonnes.

Source: Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics.


Aircraft fleet

There were 12,034 aircraft in the Australian Civil Aircraft Register at 31 December 2003 (table 22.54). This included 9,470 aeroplanes and 1,123 helicopters. Between 1993 and 2003, the number of aeroplanes has increased by 1,024 (12%), helicopters by 489 (77%), gliders by 170 (18%), and balloons by 136 (67%).


22.54 REGISTERED AIRCRAFT(a) - 31 December
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003

Aeroplanes
Single engine
6,547
6,612
6,676
6,726
6,890
7,024
7,196
7,280
7,350
7,403
7,543
Multi engine
1,881
1,884
1,907
1,950
1,950
1,918
1,930
1,971
1,969
1,932
1,927
Total
8,446
8,496
8,583
8,688
8,840
8,942
9,126
9,251
9,319
9,335
9,470
Helicopters
634
650
680
684
717
751
851
926
967
1,034
1,123
Gliders(b)
932
952
965
985
1,062
1,069
1,068
1,071
1,082
1,082
1,102
Balloons
203
223
239
262
282
296
309
322
334
337
339
Total
10,215
10,321
10,467
10,619
10,901
11,058
11,354
11,570
11,702
11,788
12,034

(a) Includes amateur built aircraft.
(b) Includes powered and non-powered gliders.

Source: Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Aircraft Register.


Air pilot licences

At 30 June 2004 there were 30,390 holders of a current aeroplane pilot licence, including 15,498 private pilots, 4,303 commercial pilots, 6,025 air transport pilots, and 4,564 student General Flying Progress Test Licences.

In addition, there were 1,776 holders of a current helicopter pilot licence (including student licences), of whom there were 376 private pilots, 930 commercial pilots and 429 air transport pilots.

There were licences held by approximately 90 commercial balloonists and 252 flight engineers. These figures show only the highest level of licence held and include only those pilots who have a current medical certificate enabling them to exercise the privileges of the licence. Student pilots who have not progressed to the flight test stage are excluded.


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