1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003
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Transport infrastructure comprises three elements, all of which are required to perform the transport task:
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%.
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.
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
Source: Australasian Railway Association, 2000 ARA Yearbook.
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
(a) The national highway system excludes state highways such as the Princes and Great Western highways.
Source: Bureau of Transport Regional Economics.