Forum for leaders

A forum to discuss remote and regional transport infrastructure issues will be held in Northern Territory next year to coincide with the annual Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) meeting.

The Remote and Regional Transport Infrastructure and Services Forum will be held in May to coincide with the SCOTI meeting, for the first time.

Northern Territory Transport Minister Peter Styles expects the forum to firmly place remote and regional transport issues on the national agenda.

"We will be looking at discussing transport infrastructure, transport services, regulation, governance and a number of local issues," he says.

"We need to see the provision of basic transport services, similar to those that most of us take for granted in our day to day lives, such as registration and licensing services and public transport, which are most often non-existent in remote communities.

"The forum will be a key facilitator for all jurisdictions to input into the Australian Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia."

Styles says at his first SCOTI meeting, the issue was brought to the ministers attention regarding moving single national regulators for marine and rail safety and heavy vehicles.

"I am pleased that both the national rail and marine regulators are currently operating in the Territory, however, Delia Lawrie’s previous Government was quick to sign up to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator reform without any detail on the benefit to the Territory.

"The Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s own Economic Report identifies that the Northern Territory could benefit as little as $1.3 million over 22 years," he says.

Styles says industry has also raised concerns about the National Fatigue Management Regime and the territory will not participate in the scheme as there are no demonstrable benefits.

The SCOTI meeting and the Remote and Regional Transport Infrastructure and Services Forum will be held in May 2014, in Alice Springs.

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