Transport Integration Act frequently asked questions

What is Transport for Victoria?

Transport for Victoria brings Victoria’s sector transport agencies together under one umbrella to coordinate the state's growing transport network and plan for its future.

The sector transport agencies brought together by Transport for Victoria are:

  • Public Transport Victoria
  • VicRoads
  • V/Line
  • Taxi Services Commission
  • Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne)
  • Victorian Regional Channels Authority
  • Port of Hastings Development Authority

Transport for Victoria is led by the Head, Transport for Victoria – a statutory office within the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. This office – established by the Transport Integration Act 2010 – is the state’s lead transport agency. It plays a key strategic role in ensuring Victoria’s growing transport system is integrated and coordinated.

Dr Gillian Miles is the Head, Transport for Victoria.

What does the Transport Integration Act do?

The Transport Integration Act 2010 is Victoria's principal transport statute.

The TIA is a leading example of modern and progressive principles-based legislation. It enables transport decisions to be made, powers exercised or functions performed in line with broadly stated principles - instead of the detailed, prescriptive rules found in previous transport statutes.

The TIA:

  • Aims to ensure that transport agencies work together towards the common goal of an integrated and sustainable transport system
  • Makes it clear that the transport system needs to be sustainable in economic, environmental and social terms and focus on the needs of its users
  • Provides a framework - a vision, objectives and principles, along with coordinated institutional arrangements - for integrated transport policy and operations
  • Recognises that the transport system should be conceived and planned as a single system performing multiple tasks rather than separate or competing transport modes
  • Integrates land use and transport planning and decision making by extending the policy framework to land use agencies which significantly impact on the transport system
  • Establishes the statutory office of the Head, Transport for Victoria and gives the office certain powers and functions to enable it to delivery integrated transport outcomes and focus on user responsiveness
  • Establishes sector transport agencies with consistent charters to deliver outcomes aligned to the overall vision and objectives.

Why was the TIA needed?

The challenges facing the transport system and the community's expectations for transport are very different now than they were when the Act's predecessor, the Transport Act 1983, was enacted.

Among the limitations of the previous legislative arrangements:

  • There was no single overarching coordinating statute for the transport portfolio.
  • The Transport Act 1983 was very dated and only covered land transport. It was not integrated with other transport and non-transport legislation.
  • What policy there was in the Transport Act 1983 did not provide a relevant or comprehensive platform for a modern transport system. The community's policy objectives for transport were generally not articulated in legislation. Social and environmental outcomes, for example, were barely mentioned.
  • Transport bodies were established under separate legislation with different objectives.
  • Some decision makers who influence transport outcomes were not recognised by the Transport Act.

The lack of overarching objectives for transport was identified as a major issue by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) in its 2006 report on transport congestion.

The Government's response to VCEC's report supported developing unified objectives for transport legislation and reviewing the way transport agencies are established.

The former Transport Act 1983 has been renamed as the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983.

What are the key benefits of the Transport Integration Act?

The Act enshrines the central themes of integration and sustainability in an overarching transport statute.

It is designed to change the way we think about transport.

All elements of the Victorian transport portfolio are brought together in one piece of legislation, ensuring that all decisions affecting the transport system are made within the same integrated decision making framework.

In particular:

  • The inter-dependency of transport and land use is recognised and supported in legislation
  • Social and environmental considerations are given equal prominence to economic considerations in transport decision making
  • The Government is required to have a comprehensive transport plan for the State that is underpinned by a legislated vision, objectives and principles as well as aligned charters for all transport agencies
  • Focus on the user and ensuring that people and goods can get to where they need to go in an affordable, simple and timely way
  • The creation of the office of the Head, Transport for Victoria to lead the transport portfolio by advising Government on strategic directions for the system as a whole, through policy, planning, legislation, system design, integration, investment, prioritisation, project governance and strategic asset management.

The Transport Integration Act also brings together all sector transport agencies under the umbrella of Transport for Victoria. Transport for Victoria assists public transport users by providing a single source of information about road, train, tram, bus, commercial passenger vehicle and freight networks.

What is the Act’s vision for transport?

The vision is: 'Victoria aspires to have an integrated and sustainable transport system that contributes to a prosperous, inclusive, and environmentally responsible State'.

What are the Act’s objectives for the transport system?

The transport system objectives are:

  • Social and economic inclusion
  • Economic prosperity
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Integration of transport and land use
  • Efficiency, coordination and reliability
  • Safety, health and wellbeing.

What are the decision making principles to be applied under the Act?

The decision making principles are:

  • The principle of integrated decision making
  • The principle of triple bottom line assessment
  • The principle of equity
  • The principle of the transport system user perspective
  • The precautionary principle
  • The principle of stakeholder engagement and community participation
  • The principle of transparency.

How can we be sure that decision makers follow their obligations under the Transport Integration Act?

The Act puts a duty on agencies to consider the objectives and decision making principles.

It is detailed enough to provide clear direction, but also flexible enough to accommodate agencies' different roles and responsibilities. The weight given to each objective and principle is a matter for the agency in the particular circumstances of each decision.

Having the policy framework in legislation increases the accountability of agencies to the Parliament and to the public.

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources is given a clear leadership and coordination role across the transport portfolio.

What are the sector transport agencies under the Act?

The Head, Transport for Victoria leads the sector transport agencies by developing the policies, strategies and networks to deliver a more integrated and connected transport service. The sector transport agencies focus on operational matters across the transport portfolio and are responsible for the day to day management of the transport system.

The sector transport agencies are:

  • The Public Transport Development Authority
  • The Roads Corporation
  • The Taxi Services Commission
  • V/Line Corporation
  • The Linking Melbourne Authority
  • Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne)
  • The Port of Hastings Development Authority

Which transport bodies are covered by the Act?

Transport bodies are required to consider the transport system objectives and decision making principles when exercising powers, performing functions or making decisions under any transport legislation.

Under the TIA, transport bodies include:

  • The Minister;
  • The Minister administering any other transport legislation in respect of the transport system;
  • The Department;
  • A Department or public entity engaged in the development of policy in respect of the transport system;
  • The Secretary;
  • The Head, Transport for Victoria
  • The Director, Transport Safety and the Chief Investigator, Transport Safety
  • The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator and the National Rail Safety Regulator
  • All sector transport agencies;
  • A waterway manager within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Marine Safety Act 2010;
  • A coordinating road authority within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Road Management Act 2004
  • A committee, board, council or other body, established by the Minister under any transport legislation.

What are interface bodies and how are they affected by the Act?

The TIA also provides for interface bodies. Though interface bodies are not transport agencies, they play an important role in creating an effective transport system.

Under section 3 of the TIA, interface bodies include:

  • The Minister for Planning
  • The Secretary for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Municipal Councils (when not acting as transport bodies)
  • Parks Victoria
  • Victorian Planning Authority
  • Development Victoria

Interface bodies are required to have regard to the vision statement, transport system objectives and decision making principles when their decisions are likely to have a significant impact on the transport system.