In brief

10 August 2011

The NSW Government have announced that the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), NSW Maritime, the Transport Construction Authority and the Country Rail Infrastructure Authority will cease to exist. A new transport authority – to be called “Transport for NSW” will be created. It will be responsible for high level policy-making, Another, more operational agency, will be created called Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). In practice, much of the visible work of the RTA will be assumed by RMS. This is only the latest in a series of announcements from both the new government and its predecessor on the restructuring of transport agencies.

 In the last four years, we have seen the creation and abolition of “Transport and Infrastructure NSW”, the creation of “Transport NSW”, under this government, the abolition of Transport NSW and its replacement with the “Department of Transport”, and now the creation of Transport for NSW. The Government media release, which includes a new organisational chart of Transport for NSW is here.


The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, has released the first report for of a two stage strategic study into a high speed rail network on the east coast of Australia. The study is looking at potential routes from Brisbane southwards to Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, as well as the economic viability of such a network. The phase one report establishes indicative corridors, options for station locations, and regional development impacts. A more detailed analysis (including analysis of financial viability) will be carried out in phase two, which is expected to be completed around mid 2012. Feedback on the report will be accepted until the end of September. The report can be accessed from here.

The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, a major research centre within the University of Canberra, has released a report, titled The Great Australian Dream –  Just a Dream?, that examines housing affordability in Australia. This report suggests that Australian house prices have moved from being affordable to severely unaffordable in the last 10 years and found that Sydney is the most expensive place to buy a house. Sydney is also the least affordable capital city in Australia, with a typical home costing 8.4 times the average Sydney household income. Further information including a full copy of the report may be accessed from here.


Leighton Contractors has been awarded the contract to construct the Intermodal Logistics Centre at Enfield, NSW. The centre will be located on a 60 hectare industrial site directly connected by a dedicated freight line to Port Botany. In full operation it will apparently service around a quarter of Sydney’s total intermodal demand, moving up to 40 per cent of port-related contained freight by rail. Leighton’s media release is here.


The Ministerial Council on Energy has released a “regulation impact statement” for the mandatory disclosure of residential building energy, greenhouse and water performance. The Government says that mandatory disclosure is intended to provide purchasers and renters of homes with information about running costs of homes. The consultation document considers several models for the disclosure of information. Public consultation meetings will be held in August and comments will be received until 12 September 2011. Further information is here and the exhibition material is here.

In a previous member alert (12 July) we advised you that a new instrument of delegation, delegating some functions of the NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure to the Planning Assessment Commission had been gazetted. Now, all relevant Part 3A ministerial powers have been vested in the Commission for all projects – irrespective of when the application is made. A planning circular has been issued by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure which outlines in detail the effect of this delegation. The circular is here and the amendment to the SEPP is here.