Improving Victoria’s rail governance

 
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Working with SA and NSW on a grain lines strategy to drive consistency across the grain network

Sponsored advertisement

  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I notice the VRIOG* standards have been “retired” as of 1 July. See here. So where has this role gone? Has VRIOG been disbanded? Who is keeping watch over signalling and track standards in this state now?

*Victorian Rail Industry Operators Group, if you-know-who is here Wink
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
I notice the VRIOG* standards have been “retired” as of 1 July. See here. So where has this role gone? Has VRIOG been disbanded? Who is keeping watch over signalling and track standards in this state now?
potatoinmymouth
VRIOG has been disbanded and the standards discontinued. Most of them have been archived for reference purposes only.

They are replaced by engineering standards that are maintained by the individual Accredited Rail Transport Operators such as ARTC, V/Line, MTM, Yarra Trams etc. In practice there will be little change as no new VRIOGS have been issued since 2011.
Transport For Victoria will maintain and/or develop some standards relevant to their coordinating role (the Infrastructure Drafting Standard is the main one).
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

VRIOG has been disbanded and the standards discontinued. Most of them have been archived for reference purposes only.

They are replaced by engineering standards that are maintained by the individual Accredited Rail Transport Operators such as ARTC, V/Line, MTM, Yarra Trams etc. In practice there will be little change as no new VRIOGS have been issued since 2011.
Transport For Victoria will maintain and/or develop some standards relevant to their coordinating role (the Infrastructure Drafting Standard is the main one).
LancedDendrite


Thanks LD, very helpful.

So who, for example, is responsible for ensuring that signalling principles are coherent across systems? Is that now with TfV, or is it up to the individual operators to sort it out and accredit each others' driving training and so forth?
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Paul Younis has been appointed the permanent secretary of the new Department of Transport. He has a civil engineering background, spent time as CEO of the City of Brimbank, and since August 2017 has been Deputy Head Asset and Networks of Transport for Victoria.

There is a glimmer of hope for rail in that, because it was his division that came up with the updated rail plan that was leaked to the press in October.

Now DOT has a secretary I suspect (hope) we might start to see things move a little faster on non-MTIA projects like the Port Rail Shuttle.


Time will tell.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

https://www.themandarin.com.au/106793-vicroads-and-ptv-to-be-rolled-into-transport-department/
VicRoads and PTV will be abolished and rolled into the DOT.

In my view this is a truly disastrous outcome because it removes the statutorily independent voice for public transport within government. The road lobby has been remarkably effective at infiltrating organisational structure for the last 50 years and it is probable the same will occur here.

It will also make DOT a truly enormous organisation, even by public service standards - so stand by for ridiculous increases in bureaucracy.

Plus there will be an enormous rebranding exercise.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
There is some reason that VicRoads/RMS are being rolled into the parent departments.  I don't know why yet.  But i suspect it has something to do with road ownership which is a messy issue ahead of road user charging implementation.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

There is some reason that VicRoads/RMS are being rolled into the parent departments. I don't know why yet. But i suspect it has something to do with road ownership which is a messy issue ahead of road user charging implementation.
james.au

It’s fascinating that this has occurred in both jurisdictions simultaneously and so suddenly. In Victoria at least there was no ownership issue - the Roads Corporation was the statutory owner of all road-related land.

I suspect there are several reasons at play. One in Victoria at least is a move towards direct ministerial (read political) control. At its peak VicRoads was a law unto itself, just as the VR or the MMTB or the MMBW or the SEC or the Gas & Fuel were in their respective heydays. With a line of reporting to the Minister directly through the Transport Secretary any independence remaining will be gone.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
https://www.themandarin.com.au/106793-vicroads-and-ptv-to-be-rolled-into-transport-department/
VicRoads and PTV will be abolished and rolled into the DOT.

In my view this is a truly disastrous outcome because it removes the statutorily independent voice for public transport within government. The road lobby has been remarkably effective at infiltrating organisational structure for the last 50 years and it is probable the same will occur here.

It will also make DOT a truly enormous organisation, even by public service standards - so stand by for ridiculous increases in bureaucracy.

Plus there will be an enormous rebranding exercise.
potatoinmymouth
Look Forward to the Scare Campaign about Labor being Commies
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
There is some reason that VicRoads/RMS are being rolled into the parent departments. I don't know why yet. But i suspect it has something to do with road ownership which is a messy issue ahead of road user charging implementation.

It’s fascinating that this has occurred in both jurisdictions simultaneously and so suddenly. In Victoria at least there was no ownership issue - the Roads Corporation was the statutory owner of all road-related land.

I suspect there are several reasons at play. One in Victoria at least is a move towards direct ministerial (read political) control. At its peak VicRoads was a law unto itself, just as the VR or the MMTB or the MMBW or the SEC or the Gas & Fuel were in their respective heydays. With a line of reporting to the Minister directly through the Transport Secretary any independence remaining will be gone.
potatoinmymouth
In NSW, local councils still own lots of roads.  In fact about a month ago, 15,000km of these were marked for transfer back to the State government.  Not sure yet which ones they are though. Bit this still leaves many thousands of kms in council hands.....
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

What is worrying is the potential re-branding etc yet further changes  of liveries, new coloured station name plates ; whilst the same service shortfalls etc remain un addressed .

Overall the last few years the transport bodies have multiplied like rabbits   TfV,  PTV, Vicroads, Regional Roads Victoria etc .
Taking Transport out of what was known in the Trade as the DEpartment of everything makes sense, as most would agree that there were too many bodies, the overall governance and co-ordination were far from optimal etc .

Be interesting to see where  co-ordination between PT modes  fits in the new DOT .
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

https://www.themandarin.com.au/106793-vicroads-and-ptv-to-be-rolled-into-transport-department/
VicRoads and PTV will be abolished and rolled into the DOT.

In my view this is a truly disastrous outcome because it removes the statutorily independent voice for public transport within government. The road lobby has been remarkably effective at infiltrating organisational structure for the last 50 years and it is probable the same will occur here.

It will also make DOT a truly enormous organisation, even by public service standards - so stand by for ridiculous increases in bureaucracy.

Plus there will be an enormous rebranding exercise.
Look Forward to the Scare Campaign about Labor being Commies
Dangersdan707
Why of course.  A centrally planned Socialist behemoth.  Bureaucrats of the Soviet Socialist State of Victoria Unite!
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Overall the last few years the transport bodies have multiplied like rabbits TfV, PTV, Vicroads, Regional Roads Victoria etc . Taking Transport out of what was known in the Trade as the DEpartment of everything makes sense, as most would agree that there were too many bodies, the overall governance and co-ordination were far from optimal etc .
kuldalai

I think DEDJTR was not a half bad idea that yes, as you say, didn’t quite work out as intended. On paper it makes perfect sense that having, say, Agriculture in the same building (so to speak) as Transport might lead to some effective collaboration. Of course this had been attempted with DOI between 1996 and 2008, and then again with DTPLI between 2013 and 2014, but ultimately I think they all met the same fate: Transport is/was/has always been a massively important portfolio politically and so it got extra attention at the expense of others.

From my reading in the last 24 hours it seems that the Department will have three major divisions: the semi-autonomous MTIA building things, and then one for policy and planning and one for operations. Now, the MTIA is divided along essentially modal lines, which makes good sense since; operations will probably be the same, although one would hope a central control centre along the lines of the NSW model is established as a longer-term project; but the real litmus test will be policy and planning, which will have to be mode-agnostic if this is going to work at all.

That will ultimately come down to the leadership of the Ministers and the Secretary. Mr Younis doesn’t have a rail or PT background, unfortunately, but not is he a well-known road lobbyist, so all is not lost (yet).
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

There is some reason that VicRoads/RMS are being rolled into the parent departments. I don't know why yet. But i suspect it has something to do with road ownership which is a messy issue ahead of road user charging implementation.

It’s fascinating that this has occurred in both jurisdictions simultaneously and so suddenly. In Victoria at least there was no ownership issue - the Roads Corporation was the statutory owner of all road-related land.

I suspect there are several reasons at play. One in Victoria at least is a move towards direct ministerial (read political) control. At its peak VicRoads was a law unto itself, just as the VR or the MMTB or the MMBW or the SEC or the Gas & Fuel were in their respective heydays. With a line of reporting to the Minister directly through the Transport Secretary any independence remaining will be gone.
In NSW, local councils still own lots of roads.  In fact about a month ago, 15,000km of these were marked for transfer back to the State government.  Not sure yet which ones they are though. Bit this still leaves many thousands of kms in council hands.....
james.au
Just double checked this - RMS is not a Crown agency, whereas VicRoads is. Effectively, as local councils are extensions of the Crown, this means that there is no legal difference between VicRoads or the Department "owning" the road in Victoria - it's Crown land anyway. On the other hand, for RMS to "own" Crown land would require some sort of grant, whereas the Department has legal control over it in the first place.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
There is some reason that VicRoads/RMS are being rolled into the parent departments. I don't know why yet. But i suspect it has something to do with road ownership which is a messy issue ahead of road user charging implementation.

It’s fascinating that this has occurred in both jurisdictions simultaneously and so suddenly. In Victoria at least there was no ownership issue - the Roads Corporation was the statutory owner of all road-related land.

I suspect there are several reasons at play. One in Victoria at least is a move towards direct ministerial (read political) control. At its peak VicRoads was a law unto itself, just as the VR or the MMTB or the MMBW or the SEC or the Gas & Fuel were in their respective heydays. With a line of reporting to the Minister directly through the Transport Secretary any independence remaining will be gone.
In NSW, local councils still own lots of roads.  In fact about a month ago, 15,000km of these were marked for transfer back to the State government.  Not sure yet which ones they are though. Bit this still leaves many thousands of kms in council hands.....
Just double checked this - RMS is not a Crown agency, whereas VicRoads is. Effectively, as local councils are extensions of the Crown, this means that there is no legal difference between VicRoads or the Department "owning" the road in Victoria - it's Crown land anyway. On the other hand, for RMS to "own" Crown land would require some sort of grant, whereas the Department has legal control over it in the first place.
potatoinmymouth
Hmm interesting.  So roads and land underneath them owned by RMS is not crown land (excluding any leased crown land by RMS).  Ill keep an eye on this land transfer in NSW and see what the legality is.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Just double checked this - RMS is not a Crown agency, whereas VicRoads is. Effectively, as local councils are extensions of the Crown, this means that there is no legal difference between VicRoads or the Department "owning" the road in Victoria - it's Crown land anyway. On the other hand, for RMS to "own" Crown land would require some sort of grant, whereas the Department has legal control over it in the first place.
potatoinmymouth

It might be Crown land in Victoria, then again, it might not be.

The defining legislation is the Roads Management Act (2004) which can be read at http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/Domino%5CWeb_Notes%5CLDMS%5CPubLawToday.nsf

The key bit of this legislation is that it separates responsibility for the road from the ownership of the land on which the road runs.

This defines the concept of a 'road authority' that is responsible for a given set of roads. Road authorities include VicRoads and councils, DELWP, Parks Victoria, and a small number of private companies. A road authority can declare land to be a road. Section 11(2) lists the various ownership types of the land under the road:
  • Crown land, either reserved or unreserved
  • Land administered under the Forests Act
  • Land administered under the National Parks Act
  • Freehold land owned by a public authority or any person

VicRoads is only responsible for the (non private) freeways and arterial roads - and may not even own all the land under those.

Incidentally, councils are NOT Crown in Victoria. The Crown is, essentially, the central government - the departments of the State, statutory authorities, police. Parliament, the courts, and local government are not part of the Crown.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I stand corrected, thanks historian.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Historian your post highlights the mess that needs sorting that is road ownership....

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: