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Delivering with partners

National Asset Centre of Excellence

Established seven years ago, the National Asset Centre of Excellence is an initiative of the department and the Australian Road and Research Board to strengthen specialist technical capability and capacity and achieve cost savings in road infrastructure expenditure through targeted research.

As the department's benchmark research and development program, it has a strong focus on pavements, asset management and structures research and targets international best practice, providing guidance in the use of innovative materials.

This $6.85 million investment in the 2019–20 program has several multi-year projects in delivering economic benefits to the Queensland network. The program works in partnership with industry, universities and government bodies having an emphasis on collaborative research findings.

Some highlights from its research include the:

  • modified compaction techniques to improve the strength of unbound and lightly bound materials reducing their susceptibility to moisture when compared to standard compaction
  • laboratory and field-trial tests into the use of geosynthetic reinforcement material, potentially reducing the pavement thickness required when building granular pavement over soft subgrade found in South East Queensland
  • updates to MRTS05 Unbound Pavements Specification to improve the resilience of our pavements by changing the required particle size distribution and introducing modified compaction for the base pavement layer.

New Generation Rollingstock

The New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) project is being delivered by the department under an Availability Public Private Partnership with Qtectic, a Bombardier led consortium.

The project had three main priorities during 2019–20:

  • ongoing delivery of the daily NGR passenger services
  • start of the NGR accessibility upgrade program
  • ramped-up cleaning on the NGR trains in response to COVID-19.

More than 130,000 NGR passenger services were run during 2019–20, running more than 8 million in service kilometres. Work started on the installation of the NGR accessibility upgrades, with the first train being delivered to the Downer facility in Maryborough in October 2019. All 75 NGR trains will be upgraded and back in service in South East Queensland by 2024.

Roads and Transport Alliance

The Roads and Transport Alliance is a partnership between the department, the Local Government Association of Queensland, and Queensland local governments.

The Alliance was established in 2002 to create a more strategic approach to regional road and transport management, specifically to administer Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme funding and help deliver projects across both levels of government in Queensland.

The Alliance operates under a Memorandum of Agreement now in its fourth iteration (2018–2023).

Read more about the Roads and Transport Alliance.

Transport Academic Partnership

The Transport Academic Partnership 2015–2020 Agreement is a $3.3 million agreement between the department, the Motor Accident Insurance Commission, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, and the University of Queensland.

This collaborative partnership facilitates innovative transport research and development to build mutual capability across government and academic sectors. The agreement supports the shared delivery of a small annual work program of projects across various transport topics.

In 2019–20, project included:

  • demand responsive transport
  • travel behaviour using social economic data
  • data collection for heavy vehicle crashes
  • new research on Blockchain technology
  • evaluations of cycling infrastructure
  • literature reviews.

The work program for 2020–21 has been collectively developed and will include nine new research and development projects covering topics such as; transport related behavioural economics, heavy vehicle safety research, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) research, and decarbonisation of heavy vehicle fleet technology.

The agreement also facilitates an internal procurement strategy which ensures eligible research and development projects can be delivered quickly and efficiently through the established partnerships, providing prompt and innovative benefits for all parties.

Read more about the Transport Academic Partnership.

Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme/Regional Roads and Transport Groups

Regional Roads and Transport Groups (RRTGs) are central to the Roads and Transport Alliance. There are 17 groups across Queensland, representing 65 local governments including five Aboriginal Shire Councils.

Members include local government elected representatives and department district directors. They are the primary decision-making bodies which determine regionally prioritised improvements to their communities’ transport infrastructure utilising Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) funding.

The groups work collaboratively to develop and agree a four year program of works based on regional investment strategies and priorities, capacity to match TIDS funding and ability to deliver within the financial year.

In 2019–20, 236 projects were delivered statewide through the RRTGs, with joint investment of over $120 million in local roads, marine infrastructure, safer school drop-off areas and active transport infrastructure.

Franchised Roads

The Queensland Government enters into road franchise agreements under the provisions of the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 to assist and encourage private sector investment in the construction, maintenance and operation of road transport infrastructure.

Current state road franchise agreements include:

  • the Gateway, Gateway Extension and Logan motorways and Airport link toll roads (operated and maintained by Transurban Queensland)
  • Toowoomba Bypass (operated and maintained by Nexus Infrastructure)
  • Port Drive for Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (operated by Transport and Main Roads). This is not a toll road but does provide the only access to the Port of Brisbane precinct.

A key achievement for 2019–20 was the commissioning of the Toowoomba Bypass.  The $1.6 billion Toowoomba Bypass is 41 kilometres, connecting the Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa to the Gore Highway at Athol, via Charlton. The Toowoomba Bypass is a toll road, with Transurban Queensland providing tolling collection service on behalf of the state.

During 2018, the Transport and Public Works Committee conducted an Inquiry into the Operations of Toll Roads in Queensland. The Committee made five recommendations with a view to improving the toll road user customer experience. The department is working with key stakeholders to implement all recommendations which progressed in 2019–20.

Queensland Transport and Logistics Workforce Strategy and Action Plan 2018–2023

Promoting the attractiveness of the transport and logistics industry

A proactive approach to the design of and support for the transport and logistics workforce in the coming years is required to support the transformational changes that are occurring across this industry. The workforce has been, and will continue to be, significantly impacted by emerging technologies, changing consumer preferences, increasing demands from population growth, and increasing competition caused by globalisation. This will lead to new skills and new occupations within the industry, and significant role redesign as technology changes the functions and processes of traditional transport occupations.

The increase in rail projects across Australia has highlighted the need to prioritise skills and workforce development across the rail industry. The department continues ongoing engagement with the Australasian Railway Association Workforce Development Committee and reinforces 'promoting the attractiveness of the transport and logistics industry' as critical to making rail an industry of choice. A working group has been created to develop a framework to support this objective.

The Queensland Transport and Logistics Workforce Strategy and Action Plan 2018–2023 aims to ensure a skilled, sustainable and supported workforce into the future. This strategy and action plan sets the direction for workforce reform over the short, medium and long term and addresses issues that are felt across the whole industry, as well as those specific to each sector.

The Transfutures internship program, for example, promotes careers in the transport and logistics industry by offering placements to university students across Queensland, where they can apply the knowledge gained at university to a real working environment. To date industry has hosted 48 interns which equates to approximately 5580 hours of industry experience.

Read more about the Queensland Transport and Logistics Workforce Strategy and Action Plan 2018–2023

Bus Driver Safety Scheme

The Queensland Bus Driver Safety Scheme is a key deliverable under the Queensland Government’s final response to the Bus Driver Safety Review.

The scheme, which opened in November 2018, allocated up to $5.47 million in grant funding for contracted urban bus service operators to install driver barriers and anti-shatter window film in eligible fleet vehicles, to reduce the risk and impact of violence against bus drivers and vandalism to property.

Under the scheme, eligible delivery partners could apply for a 50 per cent rebate of the cost of driver barriers for buses operating in high risk areas up to a maximum of $2000 per bus, and a 100 per cent rebate of the cost of anti-shatter film up to a maximum of $1200 for a small bus and $2400 for a large bus.

The scheme was administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority. Applications for grant funding closed on 31 March 2019. In September 2019, successful applicants received approval to install driver barriers and anti-shatter film on eligible buses. In June 2020, installations were completed, and the rebate was paid to delivery partners in order to finalise the scheme.

The scheme is part of a suite of measures aimed at addressing known triggers of violence against bus drivers and will contribute to keeping bus travel safe for everyone. As a result of the scheme, over half of Queensland's contracted urban bus fleet is fitted with a driver barrier.

Read more about the Bus Driver Safety Scheme.

Roma Street Busway station temporary diversion

To support the delivery of Cross River Rail, the department partnered with industry and other government agencies to commence the temporary closure of the busy Roma Street Inner Northern Busway station, temporarily moving over 2000 bus services per day from the busway on to Roma Street from mid-May 2020.

The temporary station closure and diversion of bus services are part of the Cross River Rail works to allow the safe removal of the Brisbane Transit Centre coach deck, which was above the busway. 

In collaboration with Cross River Rail Delivery Authority and Brisbane City Council, the department planned alternative bus scheduling, temporary facilities, new wayfinding, colour-coded bus stop signage, customer awareness advertising, and social media. The presence of the department's customer liaison officers on the ground was a key factor in customers being well informed about changes to their travel plans.

Bus services will return to the busway when a temporary outbound platform is finalised, which will then be in place during the remainder of construction of the new Roma Street station. It will become the state's most significant transport interchange and will feature a new station plaza and entry point to all public transport services.

Read more about the Roma Street Busway station temporary diversion.

Wheelchair Accessible Taxi grant scheme

The wheelchair accessible taxi funding program is a $21 million, four year program, to modernise Queensland's fleet of wheelchair accessible taxis and support the taxi industry to continue providing accessible transport options for people with reduced mobility. It helps with the cost of purchasing new wheelchair accessible taxis to replace ageing or written off vehicles and offers funding for replacing a conventional taxi with a wheelchair accessible taxi in some areas.  Under the funding, eligible taxi operators may apply for 50 per cent funding toward the purchase of a new vehicle, to a maximum of $45,000.

The scheme is being administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority. It first opened in December 2019 and two rounds of applications have been completed. A total of 82 applications have been received from across Queensland, of which, 64 have been approved.

Read more about wheelchair accessible taxis.  

Queensland Country Bank Stadium– a OneTMR transport success

Creating a great transport experience was key to the department's involvement in the opening of the new, $293 million Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville in February 2020, one of the Queensland Government’s key election commitments and a Townsville City Deal initiative.

The department played an important role in supporting the delivery of capital works and working with stakeholders to deliver an effective Event Transport Management Plan for the new stadium.

Ensuring positive transport outcomes for the new stadium and the Townsville community was a OneTMR effort, with collaboration between the Policy, Planning and Investment; Infrastructure Management Delivery; and TransLink divisions across the various planning and delivery phases.

The first events included a stadium open day, the Elton John concert, and the historic opening NRL match between the home- town Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos, with positive feedback received from event goers about their transport experience.

Key transport outcomes for the stadium include:

  • improvements to the road network around the stadium
  • a new active transport footbridge and connecting cycle/pedestrian pathways
  • safety improvements to the nominated showground's park ‘n’ ride site
  • free trial of special event bus services for event goers travelling to and from the stadium
  • a trial of active traffic signal management at key locations around the stadium to ensure safe and efficient traffic and pedestrian movements on the local road network during events
  • standing up of the Townsville Traffic Management Centre as a transport coordination hub during the first few events, hosting key stakeholders from Stadiums Queensland, Queensland Police Service, Queensland Rail, and Townsville City Council to actively monitor and manage the transport network.

Bureau of Meteorology Partnership

Since December 2018, the three year partnership agreement with the Bureau of Meteorology and the department has formed the basis of collaboration on several projects and initiatives.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic master class training scheduled for May-June 2020 was postponed.

Working group meetings are held quarterly, and a steering committee meets annually to review progress and consider options for future work activities and initiatives.