Transport systems across the globe are changing. They are being disrupted by changing consumer demand, technology, growth, settlement patterns and economic imperatives. There is no doubt that the cars and trucks of the future will be considerably different to those of today, and so will our driving experiences. Passenger travel will almost certainly change as transport providers increasingly build on successful trials and innovation such as fleets of autonomous share cars, trackless trams and even flying trains.
For transport policy makers and infrastructure providers, these trends pose significant challenges. In the first instance, there is a responsibility to maintain current and existing transport assets, such as roads and bridges, to ensure that they can provide today’s transport services required by our communities and industry. Equally importantly, there is a need to balance this requirement with investing in solutions that are capable of adapting to change and provide the level of service required for tomorrow.
All levels of government are faced with these challenges as well as the ongoing challenge of finding appropriate resources. Actions and Investment decision taken by one level of government, or the private sector, can have significant implications for the other levels of government. Australia’s transport assets must be managed as an integrated network that requires collaboration between all levels of government in planning, development and resourcing Australia’s national transport network.
ALGA and this National Local Roads and Transport Congress have advocated this for many years. Our push to achieve the Roads to Recovery Program began in 2000. It was driven by the need to provide local communities with an acceptable level of access by establishing a program to assist councils address to the backlog in maintenance on local roads, and while it has helped more needs to be done.
Our National Local Roads and Transport Agenda (2010) identified the need for integrated planning, improved road safety, better public transport links and investment in freight routes and freight corridors, and at this year’s Congress, our National Agenda will be comprehensively up-dated to account for current transport trends, community needs as well as Government policies.
An up-dated State of the Assets Report will also will also be launched. This Report will document how the local government sector, at a national level, is tracking in maintaining vital community assets. This information is essential to help us plan and to inform our advocacy on addressing transport challenges.
All of this activity takes place against the background of an impending Federal Election in which ALGA has a focus on transport initiatives
If you want to know how to improve your community‘s roads and infrastructure, if you want to access the latest technology, to be inspired by the best in the business, and to speak directly to our federal decision makers, you need to attend this year’s Congress. .
I look forward to seeing you at ALGA’s National Local Roads and Transport Congress this year, from 20 - 22 November 2018 in Alice Springs, NT.
Mayor David O’Loughlin