NT plan will help


The Northern Territory Government wants ideas on plan to ease burden on bus operators

The Northern Territory Government is looking for ways it can improve its public transport network.

A draft version of the National Remote and Regional Transport Strategy has been released, and is open to feedback from bus operators who have services in the Territory until July 31.

The aims of the strategy are to boost private sector investment, improve links between remote towns, find ways to ease the financial burden on remote bus operators, maximise local employment opportunities and adopt more flexible transport regulations without compromising on safety.

Northern Territory minister for transport Peter Chandler says submitting on the draft National Remote and Regional Transport Strategy is a great opportunity for bus operators in to have their say.

"The strategy will aim to improve services to allow for better access to employment, education, health services and economic opportunities across remote and regional areas," he says.

 "The Northern Territory is leading the way on these reforms by working closely with jurisdictions experiencing remote and regional transport challenges, in particular Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and the Commonwealth."

The focus is on reducing costs for transport operators by improving roads through reforms to national funding arrangements.

"Changing the regulatory settings to establish consistency across borders for transport operators is also a key objective, along with tax reform.

Improving land links in the Northern Territory has become even more crucial, after changes to the Federal Government’s aviation security regulations resulted in a substantial increase in airfares to most regional airports in 2012.

The final version of the strategy will be produced in November 2015 with all submissions helping to shape the final plan.

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