This submission by the Office of the National Infrastructure Coordinator is in response to a discussion paper released by the Productivity Commission Inquiry into the National Access Regime.
The National Access Regime provides a vital overarching framework for state and territory access regimes, such as in interstate rail and for the Hunter Valley coal chain, and ensures consistency among them.
This submission argues that the National Access Regime could also play an important role in improving the efficiency of the Australian road freight industry.
It proposes that heavy vehicle access to a national road freight network be governed by investment-access undertakings similar to those under the National Access Regime. This would promote private investment in infrastructure and enable improvements in freight efficiency.
The submission discusses challenges in freight related investment in roads, identifies possible scenarios for an investment-access undertaking approach and addresses implementation issues, benefits and risks of the proposed approach.