Significant issues impacting the agency
DoT continued to address a number of challenges across its various business units in 2017-18. These challenges, detailed below, arise from the community's changing needs for transport options for both personal and business use.
Issues in detail
Changing landscape for taxi and charter industry
Consistent with national trends, the Western Australian taxi and charter industry is rapidly transforming. This has sparked a need for reform, with a new direction for the industry announced by the State Government in November 2017. New legislation will be introduced in late 2018, with further deregulation of Perth and regional taxi and charter services to allow for greater competition and innovation.
To support the Perth taxi sector in adjusting to the more open market, a buy-back of owned Perth taxi plates is proposed, funded by a levy on taxi and charter passenger fares starting or finishing in a defined Perth and Peel area.
Aviation demand expected to grow
With 35 million passengers and 241,000 aircraft movements forecast annually for Perth Airport by 2045, significant future investment is required to support major development projects such as the new runway.
As Western Australia starts to recover economically, aviation demand is expected to grow. While the past 12 months has seen a decline in demand at Perth Airport, it still handled a total of 14.3 million domestic and international passengers and more than 130,000 aircraft movements.
The cost of regional airfares has been a significant community and economic issue. In response, the State Government committed to implementing recommendations from the 2017 Parliamentary Inquiry into regional airfares in Western Australia from mid-2018.
As the lead agency in this project DoT, in collaboration with other government agencies will undertake a review of the State Aviation Strategy with a focus on the unregulated air routes. Some airlines have demonstrated a willingness to respond to community concerns and recognise that community engagement and industry innovation will greatly assist in reducing airfares and improving regional aviation in Western Australia.
Meeting Western Australia's growing freight task
Western Australia's export industries face increased pressure from global competitors, many of which enjoy a significant advantage in transport costs from producer to port. Urbanisation has also created challenges in providing efficient access to port infrastructure.
In addition to committed infrastructure spending, the State Government is investigating other initiatives to improve the efficiency of entire supply chains using policy or regulatory change.
Overarching projects such as the Fremantle Inner Harbour Freight Supply Chain Strategy and Revitalising Agricultural Region Freight Strategy aim to identify opportunities to increase transport productivity and create meaningful change in the transport supply chain, whilst minimising the need for costly infrastructure investment.
To reduce the impact of an increasing freight task on metropolitan roads, the State Government is committed to increasing the volume of freight on rail. The Fremantle Container Rail Subsidy encourages the use of rail transport, decreasing the number of heavy vehicle movements on port linked metropolitan roads.
The Westport Taskforce has been established to develop a sustainable and globally responsive long-term supply chain strategy to optimise freight, trade and logistics needs from Perth to Bunbury.
Engaging with stakeholders and the community at all stages of the planning process, the Westport Strategy will investigate port planning and operations, landside logistics, land-use requirements, commercial implications, defence industry opportunities and tourism including the cruise industry.
Growing need for new and improved marine infrastructure
A number of initiatives ensure the Department is focused on alleviating the ongoing need for new or improved facilities.
The Burswood Jetty servicing the new Optus Stadium opened in June 2018, while the Broome Boating Facilities Upgrade Project and Broome Marina and Bremer Bay Boat Harbour planning show DoT's commitment to servicing regional areas.
In 2017-18 revenue from DoT's maritime facilities accounted for less than half of the running costs. The escalating costs involved with maintaining these facilities will see users paying more with a transition to a single State-wide pen fee structure at market rates with increases capped at 10 per cent plus CPI each year. It will take seven years for the majority of users to complete the transition. Costs recovered from approximately 1,800 users will be pooled for vital asset replacement works and maintenance. Allocations will be prioritised according to need, rather than location or popularity. In 2018-19 it is anticipated $11.3 million in total revenue will be generated of which $921,000 will come from the increases.
Increasing requirement for safe and connected cycling networks
Focused on encouraging active transport as an option, the State Government's continued investment in cycling infrastructure will attract more cyclists by providing a safe and connected network in Perth and regional Western Australia.
In line with other capital cities, cycling numbers have recently plateaued in Perth, with cycling data on the Principal Shared Path (PSP) network near the CBD showing a three per cent decline and reduced demand on weekends in 2016-17. However, this decline is only moderate, compared to stronger decreases since high participation rates during better economic times between 2010-2014.
The State Government's allocated funding will result in $23 million for the PSP expansion program, $3 million for the Safe Active Streets program and $4 million for the Perth and Regional Bike Network Grants programs in 2018-19.
Changing customer needs and emerging technologies influencing the delivery of driver and vehicle services
To provide excellent customer service and improve convenience, DoT's Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) business unit needs to move further into the digital space.
To achieve this, the highly successful DoTDirect will expand to incorporate more transactions such as e-billing.
Plans to upgrade DVS centres will be carried out in 2018-19, with Kelmscott and Cannington set to offer modernised facilities and provide different service options to best accommodate customers. The congested Willagee centre will close and a new centre at Success opens to meet growing demand for services in the area.
With the prospect of automated vehicles on the horizon, the Department will continue contributing to national work to implement a regulatory framework by 2020. The framework will detail the safe deployment of automated vehicles through standards, regulation and data handling requirements, and will set the highest standards for community safety. The Department has also been with working with partners including RAC WA, Curtin University, and the University of Western Australia to support the continuation of trials of driverless vehicles in Western Australia.
Enhanced Governance Capabilities
The Department has a zero tolerance for fraud and corruption, and is committed to a rigorous governance regime. In support of this regime, DoT continues to embrace innovation, technology and new ways of achieving evidence-based compliance with the implementation of proactive monitoring of data to identify compliance breaches that could expose the community to unsafe vehicles, unsafe drivers or insecure identities.
In addition to other sources of risk intelligence such as the Alert Us phone line which provides an avenue for the community, staff or other agencies to report suspicious, unethical or corrupt behaviour the implementation of continuous monitoring enables DoT governance teams to swiftly react to compliance breaches or watch for subsequent suspicious activity.