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Smart transport for a growing nation

14 October 2011

The National Transport Commission (NTC) should focus on its core priorities and not issues like obesity and social exclusion, the ATA has said in response to the NTC’s discussion paper about Smart Transport for a Growing Nation.

The discussion paper claims that issues like Australia’s ageing and dispersed population, social exclusion and obesity are all challenges with links to the transport system.

But the ATA submission argues the NTC should focus on safety, productivity, building the right roads and improving the reliability of the transport system.

“Work which is focused on topics de jour such as obesity and social exclusion pulls attention away from the serious issues the NTC should be addressing,” the submission says.

“The transport system is not responsible for these secondary issues and cannot solve them. Indeed, it could be argued that some of these issues, specifically physical inactivity, are not issues that need concern governments at all.

“Making travel more inconvenient just in order to improve the possibility people will be active is absurd and should not be a principle of future transport policy.”

The submission makes twelve recommendations, including:

  • the NTC should encourage more local governments to permit B-doubles and B-triples to access their roads, as this would allow communities to be more productive whilst reducing heavy vehicle road wear impact
  • the NTC should focus on productivity enhancing moves in the heavy vehicle industry as there are many flow on benefits which support economic growth in Australia
  • the NTC should note that mass-distance-location charging is not supported by the heavy vehicle industry and
  • no congestion charging should be introduced in Australia.