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Transport Integration Act frequently asked questions

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What does the Transport Integration Act do?

The Transport Integration Act 2010 is Victoria's principal transport statute.

The Act is a leading example of modern and progressive principles-based legislation. It enables transport decisions to be made, powers exercised or functions performed in line with broadly stated principles - instead of the detailed, prescriptive rules found in previous transport statutes.

The Act:

  • Aims to ensure that transport agencies work together towards the common goal of an integrated and sustainable transport system
  • Makes it clear that the transport system needs to be sustainable on a triple bottom line basis - in economic terms, in environmental terms and in social terms
  • Provides a framework - a vision, objectives and principles, along with coordinated institutional arrangements - for integrated transport policy and operations
  • Recognises that the transport system should be conceived and planned as a single system performing multiple tasks rather than separate or competing transport modes
  • Integrates land use and transport planning and decision making by extending the policy framework to land use agencies which significantly impact on the transport system
  • Establishes transport bodies with consistent charters to deliver outcomes aligned to the overall vision and objectives.

Why was the Act needed?

The challenges facing the transport system and the community's expectations for transport are very different now than they were when the Act's predecessor, the Transport Act 1983, was enacted.

Among the limitations of the previous legislative arrangements:

  • There was no single overarching coordinating statute for the transport portfolio.
  • The Transport Act 1983 was very dated and only covered land transport. It was not integrated with other transport and non-transport legislation.
  • What policy there was in the Transport Act 1983 did not provide a relevant or comprehensive platform for a modern transport system. The community's policy objectives for transport were generally not articulated in legislation. Social and environmental outcomes, for example, were barely mentioned.
  • Transport bodies were established under separate legislation with different objectives.
  • Some decision makers who influence transport outcomes were not recognised by the Transport Act.

The lack of overarching objectives for transport was identified as a major issue by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) in its 2006 report on transport congestion.

The Government's response to VCEC's report supported developing unified objectives for transport legislation and reviewing the way transport agencies are established.

The former Transport Act 1983 has been renamed as the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983.

What are the key benefits of the Transport Integration Act?

The Act enshrines the central themes of integration and sustainability in an overarching transport statute.

It is designed to change the way we think about transport.

All elements of the Victorian transport portfolio are brought together in one piece of legislation, ensuring that all decisions affecting the transport system are made within the same integrated decision making framework

In particular:

  • The inter-dependency of transport and land use is recognised and supported in legislation
  • Social and environmental considerations are given equal prominence to economic considerations in transport decision making
  • The Government is required to have a comprehensive transport plan for the State that is underpinned by a legislated vision, objectives and principles as well as aligned charters for all transport agencies.

How was the Act developed?

The Act results from an extensive public consultation process undertaken from late 2007 into 2008.

The stakeholder engagement involved 40 briefings, eight forums (in both metropolitan and regional areas) attended by local government, industry, community associations and MPs from state and federal government, 120 workshops, two Ministerial Stakeholder Round Tables and 78 formal submissions.

The strong message received was the need to emphasise transport and land use integration, and to consider social, environmental and economic outcomes in transport decisions. This feedback is reflected in the Act.

How is the Act structured?

Part 1 of the Act sets out the purpose – to create a framework for the provision of an integrated and sustainable transport system in Victoria consistent with the vision statement.

Part 2 of the Act comprises the policy framework - a vision, transport system objectives and decision making principles - and provides for the application of the policy framework to transport and interface bodies.

Part 3 of the Act sets out the general powers of the Minister and Secretary of the Department of Transport (DOT) as well as the charter of DOT to support the Minister in the administration of the Act. It provides for the establishment of a Transport Infrastructure Development Agent (TIDA) to effectively and efficiently develop transport projects and to deliver those projects under the Project Development and Construction Management Act 1994 or Major Transport Projects Facilitation Projects Act 2009.

Part 4 sets out the planning requirements for the portfolio, including requiring DOT to prepare or revise its corporate plan in line with the policy framework. The corporate planning provisions apply across all of the transport agencies and enable a more integrated planning
process led by DOT and aligned to the policy framework. Provisions regarding planning are vital to underpin the longer term achievement of an integrated and sustainable transport system.

Part 5 establishes Victoria's transport system agencies:

  • The Director of Public Transport, who is responsible for managing our public transport system (to be replaced by the Public Transport Development Authority)
  • The Roads Corporation (VicRoads), which is responsible for road management, construction, maintenance and safety
  • The Taxi Services Commission.

Part 6 establishes the State's transport corporations including Victorian Rail Track (VicTrack), V/Line Corporation, Port of Melbourne Corporation, the Victorian Regional Channels Authority, the Linking Melbourne Authority and the Port of Hastings Development Authority.

Part 7 provides for the State's independent safety compliance and investigation offices - the Director, Transport Safety and the Chief Investigator, Transport Safety. The Director, Transport Safety is charged with the safety regulation of rail, bus and marine transport.

What is the Act's vision for transport?

The vision is: 'Victoria aspires to have an integrated and sustainable transport system that contributes to a prosperous, inclusive, and environmentally responsible State'.

What are the Act's objectives for the transport system?

The transport system objectives are:

  • Social and economic inclusion
  • Economic prosperity
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Integration of transport and land use
  • Efficiency, coordination and reliability
  • Safety, health and wellbeing.

What are the decision making principles to be applied under the Act?

The decision making principles are:

  • The principle of integrated decision making
  • The principle of triple bottom line assessment
  • The principle of equity
  • The principle of the transport system user perspective
  • The precautionary principle
  • The principle of stakeholder engagement and community participation
  • The principle of transparency.

How can we be sure that decision makers follow their obligations under the Transport Integration Act?

The Act puts a duty on agencies to consider the objectives and decision making principles.

It is detailed enough to provide clear direction, but also flexible enough to accommodate agencies' different roles and responsibilities. The weight given to each objective and principle is a matter for the agency in the particular circumstances of each decision.

Having the policy framework in legislation increases the accountability of agencies to the Parliament and to the public.

The Department of Transport is given a clear leadership and coordination role across the transport portfolio.

Which transport bodies are covered by the Act?

Transport bodies are bound by the Act and required to have regard to the transport system objectives and decision making principles when making decisions, and to the objectives when exercising powers or performing functions.

At the commencement of the Act, these bodies included:

  • The Department of Transport
  • VicRoads
  • The Linking Melbourne Authority
  • VicTrack
  • V/Line
  • The Port of Melbourne Corporation.

Since the commencement of the Act, the Regional Rail Link Authority has been declared a transport body and the Taxi Services Commission and Port of Hastings Development Authority have been established as transport bodies under the Act.

The Public Transport Development Authority will soon be established as a transport agency under the Act.

What are 'interface bodies' and how are they affected by the Act?

To achieve greater coordination and to improve transport and land use integration, the Act recognises 'interface bodies' – that is, those non-transport bodies in Victoria which make decisions that can have a significant impact on transport.

The Act covers the planning and land use activities of the following interface bodies:

  • The Minister for Planning
  • The Secretary of the Department of Sustainability and Environment
  • Municipal councils
  • Parks Victoria
  • The Growth Areas Authority
  • VicUrban (to be replaced by the Urban Renewal Authority Victoria)
  • Major Projects Victoria
  • Any Minister who administers interface legislation.

Where interface bodies make decisions that are likely to have a significant impact on the transport system, the Act requires that they have regard to the transport system objectives and decision making principles.

The need for better transport and land use integration, and integration generally, was a strong message delivered by municipal councils during the stakeholder engagement process.

Councils are a key partner in delivering transport outcomes that support the community, the economy and the environment. In many cases, councils are at the forefront of sustainable transport – particularly community transport, walking and cycling.

The Act does not prescribe decisions that must be taken by interface bodies - it simply supports more integrated and sustainable decisions.

What is the Transport Infrastructure Development Agent?

The Act establishes a body corporate called the Transport Infrastructure Development Agent (the TIDA).

This is designed to strengthen the capacity of the Department of Transport for flexible and effective delivery of transport projects.

The TIDA can be used to scope, develop and deliver certain transport projects in a way that is consistent with the vision and objectives of the Act.

Page last reviewed on 15 May 2015

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