The National Transport Commission has published a report that has found that while Australians generally want a better transport system, they are likely to reject policies that would help pay for it.


The NTC’s Smart Transport for a Growing Nation discussion paper, which has been released for public consultation, highlights that lack of public awareness about the way in which the country’s road and rail systems are funded.


“Our research found that Australians have very little knowledge about the way that the transport system is funded, or about pricing models that operate overseas. Interestingly, when given further information, the community was more open to pricing reform – as long as it was fair and did not limit car use,” said NTC Chief Executive Nick Dimopoulos.


The discussion paper explores possible methods and opportunities for expanding and upgrading Australia’s road and rail infrastructure to cater for increased demand, urban congestion, accessibility, rising oil prices and carbon pollution.


“The report examines the current transport system from a public user perspective, and provides a way to engage with individuals and organisations on opportunities for reform,” Mr Dimopoulos said.


The report identifies growing urban congestion as a major issue that will likely continue to impact the economy, finding that costs of delays associated with delays is expected to exceed $20 billion a year by 2020.


“Our research found that Australians want better transport services and choices. Clear priorities for change included more frequent public transport services, better roads and new public transport routes - yet transport users believe it is governments’ responsibility to fund improvements, without paying more,” added Mr Dimopoulos.


“This highlighted that information and consultation really is the first step in future changes to our transport system,” said Mr Dimopoulos.


The discussion paper examines areas for possible reform while also researching how to make better use of the current transport system.


The report found that there is currently $85 billion worth of infrastructure projects on the national infrastructure priority list, with some estimates indicating a possible infrastructure backlog of $770 billion.


The report can be found here