The Australian Government has a critical role to play in the development of automated mass transit—and automated transport generally. According to the Bus Industry Confederation ‘land passenger transport seems destined to confront major technological disruption over coming decades’. As a consequence, ‘policy will need to address a wide range of matters’. According to the Hon. Justin Madden, Principal—Cities Leader, Victoria and South Australia with Arup, change was inevitable. He thought it better to ‘initiate that through good policy and good principles—or principles that the policies are established on, particularly in terms of urbanisation—rather than wait for industry to want to make this shift later on’. The great risk he saw was that ‘unless the policymakers start to establish some parameters and some controls and give signals to the market sooner rather than later, what's likely to happen is maintaining the pre-existing business model for as long as possible before the quantum leap is made’.
This chapter will identify what stakeholders see as the role of government in the development of automated mass transit and new energy sources, before giving an overview of current Australian Government activity. It will then examine specific policy priorities related to the development of automated mass transit and new energy sources.
The role of government
The evidence presented to the Committee emphasised the important role of the Australian Government in the development of automated vehicles and the transition to new energy sources. Arup argued that ‘Government is responsible for taking a holistic view in understanding the effects of these technologies on people and their lives, as it is Government that has the perspective beyond trade, commercial return and competition’.
Arup stated that ‘as automation and new energy sources offer unique opportunities to shape more liveable cities, it is the role of governments to accelerate, frame and guide innovations in technology, law and society’. It argued for a strategic approach ‘to set the vision of our cities and define typologies of desired uses of automation’; and for governments to encourage the private sector to ‘bring innovations in transport motive technology and automation to Australia’. Arup observed that ‘an Australian Government approach can reduce friction and waste between competing state guidelines and regulation in what, in global terms, is a small market’. Government needed to provide ‘a known operating environment, regulatory pricing and safety standards, insurance status, requirement for interoperability, communications spectrum availability and privacy protocols among many other layers of certainty’ to ‘lower risk of private investment and ensure that innovation is delivered within the public interest’.
Arup also urged the creation of a strategic pathway to automation ‘to allow for rapid innovation in transit autonomy while protecting the public good’. It argued that ‘the true opportunities and constraints of these technologies can only be understood through trials on public roads’. Arup observed that ‘various conditions can be identified for successful transition to greater autonomous operations:
From a technical perspective, this includes electric vehicle power sources and adequate vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity. From a social perspective, this includes building trust with passengers, who would no longer rely on bus drivers for a sense of oversight and security.
Arup concluded that while all levels of government have a role to play in capturing the benefits of transport autonomy—‘with state agencies having the largest operational and implementation roles, with much regulation and benefits realisation for places being captured by local governments’—to attain ‘the most rapid escalation of benefit capture, the Australian Government can have the greatest effect through influence, setting national standards and guidelines and using its taxation and funding activities to incentivise delivery’. These tasks included:
Identification of strategic innovation pathways that realize benefits of new transport technology as early as possible. Prioritising technological innovations in rail and freight could be part of this pathway.
Encouragement of private businesses to bring innovations in transport motive technology by reducing friction and waste between competing guidelines and regulation.
Identification of locations and use cases where autonomous (and non-autonomous) point-to-point transport will deliver the largest benefits, taking into account the spatial constraints and congestion in our inner cities and opportunities in suburban and rural Australia.
Protecting public safety and public good in the rapid development of transport technology.
Identification of opportunities to improve land use configurations in order to create more liveable and sustainable Australian cities using autonomy and new energy sources in transport. An integrated approach of land use and transport planning is required for this.
Infrastructure Victoria’s recommendations to the Victorian Government also touched upon areas of Commonwealth responsibility, ‘particularly in the areas of ICT [Information and Communications Technology] and automated vehicle standards and regulations’. It highlighted the need for ongoing Commonwealth participation ‘in the development of national principles, standards and regulations for automated vehicles’, including ‘work on cyber security, the National Transport Commission's work on regulations for automated driving systems and Austroads' work on line marking and signage to support the introduction of automated vehicles’. Infrastructure Victoria noted the importance of ‘continuing the Mobile Black Spot Program with a focus on improving cellular data coverage for automated vehicles in rural and regional areas’; and urged that ‘greater cooperation between state and Commonwealth governments is also needed to implement the appropriate energy and emissions policies and settings, including vehicle emissions standards, to enable zero emissions vehicles’.
Engineers Australia believed that the Commonwealth had a ‘responsibility to the states and territories to support sophisticated research and development of automated transport technology and alternative fuel sources’. It argued that the Australian Government must ‘promote greater uptake of shared, electric, connected and automatic vehicle use through tax incentives and allay public fears regarding autonomous vehicles through education and training’. The Commonwealth also had ‘a responsibility to assist the states and territories in managing employment transitions and consider how to re-skill drivers and other roles made redundant by AVs’. Engineers Australia urged the creation of ‘a regulatory environment which encourages high occupancy AVs and keeps empty AVs stationary and ensuring cohesive and consistent testing and implementation of connected vehicle software to ensure connectivity is supported across all states and territories’. EA advocated ‘government prioritisation of a regulatory environment to support a healthy market for MaaS to emerge’.
In its submission, NRMA identified a series of reforms focussed on making Australia ready for connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). These were:
Road rules and other laws should be amended to accommodate automation
To allow fully automated vehicles to operate seamlessly on Australian roads, all legislation that refers to the “driver” of a vehicle will require amending. There are more than 50 federal and state/territory pieces of legislation that are impacted in addition to the model road rules.
Australian governments should promote Australia as a destination of choice for CAVs
To demonstrate and communicate the potential benefits of automation, companies should be encouraged to conduct trials, including citizen focused trials, in specifically defined areas (sandboxing), as well as across the broader road network (road network testing).
The future prudential framework to regulate liability and capital requirements for automated vehicle insurance should be considered by an appropriate body
Victims of personal injury caused by accidents should not be worse off as a consequence of a vehicle being controlled by an automated driving system. Future compensation schemes for personal injury should ensure premiums are appropriately funded by responsible parties.
An industry-wide agreement for the sharing of vehicle telematics data should be established, along with a specific set of principles to guide data availability and use
Users of CAVs should have access to the data generated as a result of undertaking a journey, and maintain the right to control its availability and use whenever reasonably practical, including provision to third parties and data custodians.
Governments should implement strategies that match service objectives and consumer preferences in readiness for a shared mobility model
Australian governments should establish a working group, with representation from industry and consumers, to seamlessly coordinate the transition to electric vehicles to ensure that Australia is ready for the future of mobility, including electrification and automation.
NRMA also observed that the ‘transition to this new technology must be considered alongside an emphasis on safety to build trust and consumer confidence, and to deliver positive road safety outcomes’.
In its submission, Monash University argued that ‘there is an opportunity for a nationally coordinated approach to enhance Australian cities through policy, regulation and standards to encourage mass transit as a response to Australia’s urban population growth’.
Siemens Mobility Limited saw a role for the Australian Government in accelerating the uptake of automation and new energy sources through ‘policy and planning, particularly to integrate the provision of automated mass transit into the design of the urban environment; and investment and facilitation of pilot projects for new technologies’. The critical issue for Siemens was the promotion of standards. Mr Charles Page, Head, Business Development and Strategy at Siemens Mobility Limited, told the Committee:
We really need to adopt international standards without modification. We will slow down the introduction of this technology and deny local companies the ability to invest in R&D that makes the global market accessible if we do something different. There is no justification—there's no market size here to justify a unique solution. And we need it to make sure that these systems are integrated into this mobility-as-a-service environment.
Mr Page also highlighted the problem of each agency and jurisdiction seeking proprietary solutions to technological innovation:
You can't have proprietary systems messing around trying to all work together; integration is essential to creating that environment. We've already seen in the rail environment opportunities being lost where, in standards based systems like the European Rail Traffic Management System, people are trying to customise it locally, which destroys the benefits of standardisation. We see some cities going for proprietary mass transit solutions. This sort of generational change in technology is an opportunity to standardise to get that volume and get the benefits of lower cost and a supply market.
Mr Page hoped that ‘the government will intervene to make sure that standards don't diverge and that people don't go off and do their own thing’.
Mr Michael Apps, Executive Director of the Bus Industry Confederation, argued for the Australian Government having a ‘strategic and national leadership role’, and emphasised the need for ‘long-term strategic land use planning, with integrated transport and infrastructure investment’. In its submission, the BIC identified four policy priorities:
Implementing mandatory emissions standards for motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions, to help drive technological change in a climate friendly direction, supported by behaviour change measures that reduce motor vehicle use.
Ensuring that transport users meet the social costs attributable to their road use, while ensuring affordable access is available to all at a reasonable level.
Managing land use to ensure that urban sprawl is tightly contained and that opportunities are used to increase the supply of open space within the built-up area, an issue highlighted in the recent report by Infrastructure Australia (2018).
Developing new shared mobility governance (including data availability) and strategic planning arrangements and associated service delivery contracts for provision of local public/private mobility options that support social inclusion and are integrated with mass transit offerings.
Mr Apps suggested there was ‘scope for an intergovernmental agreement that tries to look at how we move people in our cities and regions and what that means in the context of long-term integrated land use and transport and infrastructure plans’. He proposed ‘40-year plans that lock states and local government into meeting a range of commitments’. Mr Apps elaborated:
Those kinds of conditions can be applied as part of a City Deal or part of the infrastructure funds that are going to be provided. You only get the dough if you make sure that in peak hours in these major cities the services are every 10 minutes or every five minutes or whatever it is. We have developed what we see as the minimum service levels for services, depending on where they operate, that we think all state governments should be required to meet. Once you get frequency and span of hours right and people know that they don't need a timetable, and that they can leave work at eight o'clock at night, because the last bus doesn't leave at six, all of a sudden the dynamic changes and people are more willing to use these types of services. Mass transit in bus and rail is going to be at the spine of our transport networks of the future. We just have to get the model right that delivers the right customer outcomes.
When it comes to mass transit, an intergovernmental agreement that makes those connections between service delivery, land use, planning and infrastructure investment is important. I think the City Deals arrangements have got some scope to do that. Infrastructure Australia and the prioritisation of infrastructure projects and sticking to those priorities based on a process that's got some integrity is important moving forward, and I think this committee has got some scope to look at that.
Mr Page agreed with the idea that Commonwealth funding should come with strings attached. He told the Committee:
[The Commonwealth] inject funds, or partial funding, into these projects and get them off the ground so that must give you a say in some of the decisions that are made. I strongly believe that urban planning and these sorts of decisions about standardisation should be part of the criteria for these projects. You should be saying, ‘If we’re going to support you in your project, how have you addressed these issues?’
Current Australian Government Activity
Through the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, the Australian Government is actively involved in the development of automated transport. DIRDC ‘works with other Commonwealth agencies, the Transport and Infrastructure Council, state and territory governments, and other bodies, to invest in new infrastructure and put the right transport policy settings in place, including through the development and deployment of new transport technology’.
The Australian Government is currently funding transport infrastructure to meet future needs through a range of initiatives under a ’10-year $75 billion investment in transport infrastructure’. This includes a $10 billion National Rail Program, ‘designed to help make our cities more liveable and efficient as they grow, reduce the burden on our roads, provide more reliable transport networks and support our efforts to decentralise our economy and grow regional Australia’. In its submission, DIRDC noted that:
Building better transport links using existing technologies must also be supplemented by a view to the future of transport to ensure they meet the needs of tomorrow. Opportunities such as demand-responsive transport, automation, new fuels and connected cities can enhance governments’ investment in fixed infrastructure by increasing efficiency, enhancing the user-experience, improving the environment or reducing cost.
The Government is pursuing these opportunities through its Smart Cities Plan and City Deals. The Smart Cities and Suburbs Program allows local governments to explore how best to integrate smart technologies into their areas. In October 2018, the Australian Government established the Office of Future Transport Technology within DIRDC. The Office is responsible for leading and coordinating Australian Government work to prepare Australia for emerging transport technology, including:
leading policy development within the Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Cities portfolios on automated vehicles and Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, including with regard to infrastructure readiness, vehicle safety, network impacts, accessibility and disability standards, and future implications for urban and regional Australia;
collaborating with other Australian Government agencies on cross-portfolio issues, which include cyber security, critical infrastructure resilience, consumer and competition issues, future workforce and skills needs;
working with states and territories to support the Transport and Infrastructure Council through implementation of the National Policy Framework for Land Transport Technology;
engaging with state and territory and international colleagues to ensure consistency of domestic and international approaches;
enabling industry innovation by identifying options to remove regulatory barriers where appropriate and supporting research, trials, investment and commercialisation; and
consulting with the community to understand expectations and communicate opportunities.
The Government has also made a $55 million investment in the iMove Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). This investment is matched by $179 million of cash and in-kind support from industry and academic institutions. The iMove CRC brings together government, industry and academia for applied research into new mobility technology, including connected and automated vehicles. Key research priorities for the iMove CRC include:
intelligent transport systems and infrastructure
end-to-end freight solutions
enhanced personal mobility.
iMove’s work includes piloting emerging transport technologies and researching new business models and systems.
In addition to the work being done directly by the Australian Government, it plays a significant role in the development of the transport system through the Council of Australian Governments. The COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council ‘brings together Commonwealth, State, Territory and New Zealand ministers with responsibility for transport and infrastructure issues, as well as the Australian Local Government Association’. The Council ‘plays a key role in delivering national reforms to improve the efficiency and productivity of Australia’s infrastructure and transport systems, and ensuring these systems drive economic growth, increase employment opportunities, support social connectivity and enhance quality of life’.
The COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council has been active in the development of new transport technology. In August 2016, the Council agreed to the National Policy Framework for Land Transport Technology. The framework ‘takes a principles-based approach to facilitate the efficient, effective and consistent implementation and uptake of transport technology across Australia’, and identifies four roles for government:
Policy leadership – providing a clear, nationally coordinated approach across different levels of government, being responsive to changes in the technological environment
Enabling – ensuring that the private sector is able to bring beneficial new technology to market
Supportive regulatory environment – ensuring that community expectations of safety, security and privacy are appropriately considered in new technology deployments
Investment – investing in research, development and real-world trials that benefit the entire transport network customer base or provide a sound basis for government decision-making (including collaboration with the private sector).
The framework operates in conjunction with a three-year action plan, ‘which identifies national, short and medium term priorities, with a particular focus on connected and automated vehicles’. According to DIRDC, ‘a future iteration of the action plan is expected to be considered by the Council in 2019 and is anticipated to include actions to support alternative fuelled vehicles, amongst other matters’. In November 2018, the Council ‘discussed the opportunities and benefits for Australia from a coordinated national approach to encourage the introduction of low and zero emission vehicles, particularly electric vehicles’. It agreed that ‘the Transport and Infrastructure Senior Officials’ Committee would develop a program of work to address the barriers and challenges impeding the uptake of these vehicles for Council consideration in the first half of 2019’.
National Transport Commission
The National Transport Commission is playing a vital role in the development of policy around vehicle automation, and has ‘a comprehensive national reform program for automated vehicles’. It is leading the ‘regulatory reform process for automated road vehicles in Australia’, working closely ‘with state, territory and federal agencies along with Austroads to ensure a national approach’. State and Territory governments are ‘collaborating with the NTC on the development of regulatory reform for automated vehicles including legislation to allow for automated vehicle reform’. The NTC’s reform program ‘is intended to provide a regulatory framework that is sufficiently flexible to support a variety of potential applications and business models’. This encompasses ‘a safety assurance approach for ensuring that automated vehicles used for mass transit and point-to-point are safe at first supply and in-service’. Mr Marcus Burke, Director, Automated Vehicles at the NTC, explained that:
The National Transport Commission has a comprehensive national reform program, with the goal of developing end-to-end regulation for automated vehicles that can support a variety of technologies and applications, including mass transit applications and point-to-point transport. We're aiming to develop a framework that supports both safety and innovation to ensure that we cover the life cycle of the vehicle from first supply to on-road operation to the end of life of the vehicle.
Mr Burke noted that ‘our initial work in 2016 identified over 700 regulatory barriers in different state, territory and federal laws, and we developed a road map of reform, which ministers endorsed at the end of 2016 and which we see as leading the way from our existing regulation to having that full end-to-end regulatory framework’. He also observed that:
There is significant complexity to this reform, and it touches on a wide range of laws, from laws around vehicles and drivers to criminal law and laws related to point-to-point transport. We currently regulate very separately for vehicles versus drivers, and that separation now has some challenges as we look at vehicles that can do the driving themselves.
The NTC’s reform program has four streams of work aimed at identifying and addressing ‘potential gaps and barriers in Australia’s regulatory system to the safe introduction of automated vehicles’:
Driving responsibility—ensuring that there is a legal entity accountable for the automated vehicle when the automated driving system (ADS) is performing the driving task and clarifying the relevant responsibilities of various entities.
Assuring the safety of the vehicle—ensuring that automated vehicles can operate safely on Australian roads from first supply to end of life and corporate responsibilities are appropriately allocated to the automated driving system entity.
Insurance—ensuring that someone injured in an accident with an automated vehicle is not disadvantaged compared to someone in an accident with a conventional vehicle who is covered by compulsory third party (CTP) insurance.
Government access to data—ensuring that privacy and surveillance protections around government access to data are appropriate for the new and increased types of data generated by automated vehicles.
As of December 2018, key milestones in the program included:
In May 2017, transport ministers endorsed the NTC National Guidelines for Automated Vehicle Trials (a joint publication with Austroads). All state and territory governments are using these guidelines for the testing of automated vehicles.
In November 2017, ministers endorsed NTC National Enforcement Guidelines for Automated Vehicles, providing greater certainty to industry and consumers on the application of current Road Rules.
In May 2018, ministers agreed to recommendations on Changing driving laws to support automated vehicles. Transport ministers agreed to remove barriers to automated vehicles in Australia through the development of a purpose-built national law. The national law will allow an automated driving system to drive and ensure there is always a legal entity responsible when a system in an automated vehicle, rather than a human, is driving. The NTC’s work on changing driving laws was shortlisted for the ITS Australia National Awards 2018.
In November 2018, ministers endorsed the safety assurance approach for the first supply of automated vehicles. This approach uses the existing certification framework for vehicles introduced into the Australian market. It includes mandatory self-certification by the company bringing the technology to market (the Automated Driving System Entity or ‘ADSE’) and a clear set of performance-based safety criteria against which companies must provide evidence. The NTC published a Safety assurance for automated driving systems: decision regulation impact statement (Decision RIS) outlining the key risks that need to be addressed to ensure the safe commercial deployment of automated vehicles in Australia.
In addition, the NTC has recently published the following papers for public consultation:
A discussion paper on privacy challenges associated with government access to information generated by automated vehicles (September 2018). The paper focuses on the new privacy challenges of these technologies and whether additional privacy protections are needed to protect users’ data. The NTC’s aim is to balance road safety and network efficiency outcomes and efficient enforcement of traffic laws with sufficient privacy protections for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) and automated vehicle users. The consultation period has recently closed and the NTC is reviewing submissions.
A discussion paper examining whether there is a need to change existing legislation around motor accident injury insurance schemes (October 2018). The paper identifies barriers to accessing compensation under existing Motor Accident Injury Insurance schemes and seeks views on whether such schemes or other insurance options should provide cover for injuries caused by an automated system. The consultation period for this reform closes on 12 December 2018.
In November 2018, ‘transport ministers agreed that the NTC would lead further work to determine appropriate safety obligations once vehicles are on the road’:
The NTC will work closely with stakeholders to ensure that any new safety obligations in an automated vehicle national law interact appropriately with existing legislation. This will be the next steps for the NTC in developing the purpose-built national law agreed to by transport Ministers in May 2018.
The new purpose-built national law needs to work with existing legislation that regulates vehicles and drivers. Figure 1 outlines some of these interactions. In addition to the types of interactions outlined below in Figure 1, a new national law will also need to work with point-to-point legislation and other passenger transport legislation, which is found in state and territory law.
In its submission, the NTC noted that while it leads the regulatory reform for automated vehicles, ‘the Commonwealth government is responsible for leading and coordinating Australian Government work to prepare Australia for emerging transport technology’. The NTC monitors ‘international regulatory development by the UN Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety (WP.1) and the UN World Forum for the harmonization of vehicle regulations (WP.29)’. The NTC noted that DIRDC ‘participates in the development of United Nations vehicle standards through the UN World Forum for the harmonization of vehicle regulations (WP.29)’.
The NTC concluded that ‘a collaborative approach is being taken at a national level towards achieving a consistent and timely regulatory framework to support automated vehicles’. It noted that ‘a clear regulatory framework is a prerequisite for commercial deployments of automated vehicles on Australian roads, including for mass transit’ and that ‘the NTC continues to consult closely with governments, industry and other stakeholders as reforms are developed’. The NTC is also working ‘to align reforms with evolving technology’. The NTC is not actively involved in the automation of rail transport, having found in 2016 that ‘“There are no regulatory barriers to automated rail (including light rail) in Australia, and the NTC project will not be considering automated rail further.”’
Mr Marcus Burke updated the Committee on the NTC’s work regarding insurance. He told the Committee:
On the insurance side we have also done a piece of work looking at options for how you would manage motor accident injury insurance for automated vehicles. We had a discussion paper out late last year. The majority of submissions to that paper supported keeping automated vehicles within existing compulsory third party insurance schemes, in order to ensure that you're providing the best support to injured parties, and making use of existing processes and schemes when the initial number of vehicles is likely to be quite small. We will be making recommendations on that topic to transport ministers at the first meeting in 2019.
Austroads, the peak organisation of Australasian road transport and traffic agencies, is also playing a prominent role in preparing the road network for automation. Austroads ‘provides evidence-based policy and guidance on the design, construction and management of the road network and associated infrastructure’. The deployment of automated vehicles ‘is a strategic priority for Austroads’, which has ‘established a Connected and Automated Vehicle Program addressing operational and technical frameworks for connected and automated vehicles’. Austroads has published reports on Implications of traffic sign recognition systems for road operators, ‘which indicates a potential need for greater consistency in road traffic signage to support more automated systems’, and Future data requirements for automated vehicles, assessing digital infrastructure requirements.
Other government action
Other work occurring across the Government to support the deployment of automated transport systems include:
allocating radiofrequency spectrum for train control systems and Intelligent Transport Systems in road networks;
enhanced satellite positioning systems, which will enable more accurate positioning of vehicles and trains; and
enhanced cyber security approaches for connected and automated vehicles.
Vision and planning
Arguably the most important aspect of mass transit automation is the underpinning vision of how it will fit in with and meet the needs of our cities and communities. Arup called for ‘a strategic approach … to set the vision of our cities and define typologies of desired uses of automation’. Mr John Brockhoff, from the Planning Institute of Australia, suggested that ‘we want to move towards an autonomous vehicle future where we can reclaim streets as places, improve mass transit catchments and reinforce accessible centres as places for living, improved housing and improved access to work’. We also needed to coordinate a range of policy measures, such as ‘our regulatory and economic systems around road pricing and an improved regulatory environment for mobility as a service, expand renewables and electric vehicle energy storage grids’, to ‘end up with a set of principles that we can use as a lens when we're considering new transport disruptions’. We also wanted to ‘avoid an autonomous vehicle nightmare, with private autonomous vehicle congestion, poor road capacity and loss of road capacity driving perverse investments’. Mr Brockhoff argued that ‘we want to start with a question about what goals we have for our cities and regions as places and not what attributes autonomous vehicles offer in isolation’.
Mr Ian Christensen, Managing Director of iMove Australia, highlighted the practical steps required to implement a coherent vision covering such a complex matrix of interrelated issues, stating:
There are many steps along this path and, to find our way, it's very helpful when the relevant jurisdiction—in this case, it's very often a state jurisdiction—envisages a future that will work well as a system, that aims to serve the community that it addresses well and, then, that steps forward with all the range of component parts that need to be brought into play. It can align them each time as and when the opportunity comes. So bus contracts might only turn up every five years, but if the government of the day has a vision or a sense of the nature of the transport system they want to create, then that's very helpful in guiding the next generation of contract with, in this case, the bus operators. But you could say the same about information provision. You could say the same about the flow of people in and out of our major nodal centres. You could say the same thing about the time at which people are obliged to start work. There are short-term, medium-term and long-term initiatives that can be taken and, to encourage the stakeholders to take those initiatives, it helps very strongly if there is a community dialogue or a community perspective about the nature of the city or the nature of the community that we aspire to create.
We could spend a day listing out all the different things that need to be brought to bear, but over and above all of that I would say that the first and most important thing is the sense of and articulation of a degree of vision of where we want the city to get to and, then, how the different technologies can contribute to that vision.
Mr Christensen observed that ‘all jurisdictions wrestle with the interaction between their transport planning and their land use planning’. He told the Committee that the Queensland Government ‘have just initiated a project to develop a joint transport and land use planning model, which to our knowledge will be the first time that's been done in Australia, and all the other states are looking on with great interest’. He also suggested the Western Sydney Airport precinct and its surrounding area as a potential test site, stating that ‘Western Sydney actually presents us with an opportunity to do it right this time’:
The lesson for us in Sydney, then, is to be quite insightful about the nature of activity that we want to have happen in that precinct and, therefore, the flow of people and goods and services that are going to be needed, in a sense, to support that central activity.
Mr Madden (Arup) believed that ‘the critical consideration for state and federal governments is responsibilities in relation to policy’ that is ‘proactive and sets out some fundamental principles of how you want communities and cities to operate, rather than having a community that is reliant on the technology because that's been the precursor to everything’. He argued that ‘you need a policy that directs the relevant technology to complement that’:
If you want cities to be safer and more walkable, neighbourhoods in closer proximity and streets not filled with empty cars waiting to collect somebody, because they're automated, then that requires some degree of consideration, some policy settings and probably some regulatory controls around that, rather than just letting the industry turn up and put the hard word on government to deliver critical bits of infrastructure to make it work. The government has to really think long and hard about how cities operate, how are they made better, and what's the policy role of government in setting the parameters for either the industry or the technology?
The issue, particularly around autonomous vehicles, is that we have lots of cities very eager to get the technology in sooner rather than later, but there's still a critical need to give detailed consideration to the policy settings and the implications of those policy settings, including whether they're social policy settings or whether they're safety settings or whether they're balanced decisions around who gets priority, in what way and how? They're all major considerations. One of those other issues is car parking. Where does car parking sit within all this? There are critical land use issues. The last thing you want is autonomous vehicles filling the streets without any people in them waiting to collect somebody because it's cheaper for them to be on the road rather than in the car park.
Dr Jonathan Spear, Executive Director and General Counsel with Infrastructure Victoria, emphasised the ‘need to continue national coordination’. He observed that ‘on the principles, the standards and the regulations of automated vehicles, the National Transport Commission, Austroads and many jurisdictions are doing really good work, but this is moving very quickly’. He concluded that the opportunity and need to coordinate both law reform and some of the operational infrastructure challenges, was essential.
Mr Brockhoff stated ‘that the economy of the future is one where people have the opportunity to mix together, to do business together in really well-designed liveable groupings’:
Sure they might live in a whole range of settings but they tend to work and group in different places. To have those nodes work as part of a transport network doesn't work as well in a spread-out sprawling city. That said, you're going to get your nodes where the high volumes of people are coming together in a transport network and there's always going be a role for private transport whether it be autonomous vehicles or some other form of private independent transport in the diffused transit task. But if you want to create a city with strong nodes, drive agglomeration economies that come out of people working together, as we are here in Sydney CBD, then you do need the heavy lifting off opportunities from a mass transit network.
The vision of the future of our cities and regions for most participants in the inquiry was ‘shared, electric and automated’.
The importance of adopting consistent national standards for vehicles and infrastructure—closely related to international standards—for automation technology and new energy sources was highlighted in the evidence presented to the Committee. Mr Daniel Chidgey, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Standards Australia, told the Committee:
Standards help to take industry, government and the Australian community forward and address the challenge. Standards should not be an optional afterthought. All levels of government and industry should work together to ensure we have the right infrastructure and regulatory systems in place to facilitate the deployment of automated mass transit and ensure they are integrated into the planning process for transport and urban developments.
In its submission, Standards Australia highlighted the work already being done in this space, particularly at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), noting that it has:
1. Led the development of Electric Vehicles Operations Standards to support the sustainable market adoption of Electric Vehicles in Australia.
2. Constituted a Mirror Committee to develop standards for Intelligent Transport Systems (ISO/TC 204) which uses advanced technologies to promote safe and sustainable transport solutions.
3. Constituted a Mirror Committee in the area of Internet of Things and related technologies (ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC41) to provide standardisation guidance for Australian and international entities who may be developing Internet of Things (IoT) related technologies and applications.
4. Constituted a Mirror Committee to provide Australia’s voice and vote to International Standardisation work in the area of Artificial Intelligence (ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC42).
5. Worked with Infrastructure NSW and the Department of Finance, Services & Innovation (DFSI) to support the development of a Smart Places Strategy for NSW, and to demonstrate the importance of standards as foundational elements of smart cities infrastructure.
Standards Australia noted that its technical committee on electric vehicles ‘has published and adopted 20 standards for road vehicles totally or partially electrically propelled from self-contained power sources, and for electrical industrial trucks’. It also observed that ‘the committee responsible for developing the content of the Wiring Rules standard has included advisory information to provide guidance for the installation location of electric vehicle socket outlets and charging stations, giving industry direction for this new technology’.
In addition, Standards Australia ‘recently convened a forum on hydrogen, with partners, to explore the standardisation needs in this area’:
As with any emerging area of activity, the safe storage, transportation and adoption of hydrogen, including in relation to mobility solutions, will necessitate some form of industry-driven standards activity. Standards Australia has recently published an outcomes report ‘Hydrogen Standards Forum’ to help inform stakeholders of the strategic direction of future standards development and international participation in the hydrogen sector.
The Hydrogen Roadmap will inform the future of standards activities in the hydrogen sector, ensuring there are appropriate standards in place to support the development of each stage of the hydrogen supply chain. Through international standards harmonisation, Australia will be able to achieve business efficiencies and enable international trade. Standards serve as a vital public policy and regulatory tool in the sector, to support its evolution.
Standards Australia noted that ‘a recommendation of the forum was that Australian stakeholders should proceed to adopt all of the standards currently published by the hydrogen technologies international committee, which include standards for land vehicle fuelling systems and vehicle refuelling connection devices’. It was currently working with stakeholders to deliver on this outcome, and observed that ‘this international harmonisation will also provide Australia with a better understanding of future developments and opportunities in the industry’.
Standards Australia is also responsible for coordinating the attendance of Australian experts at the ISO and IEC, including the following technical committees:
IEC/TC 69 – Electric road vehicles and electric industrial trucks. This Committee is charged with developing international standards for road vehicles, totally or partly electrically propelled from self-contained power sources, and for electric industrial trucks.
ISO TC 197 – Hydrogen technologies. This Committee is concerned with systems and devices for the production, storage, transport, measurement and use of hydrogen.
ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC42 – Artificial Intelligence, which co-ordinates activity across IEC and IEC concerning AI.
It emphasised the growing importance of international standards to the adoption of technology and the development of trade, stating:
With growing cross-country digital connections in the globalisation of production, we are seeing the importance of international standards increasing. Countries are operating in the global market. International standards help to break down trade barriers and further world trade.
Standards Australia also highlighted the growing importance of standards in relation to data sharing and privacy preservation. Mr Chidgey told the Committee:
We also see an increase in standards work being done around security and privacy. The development of connected and automated mass transit and smart infrastructure will most likely generate an increasing quantity of data use, raising potential privacy challenges. Having increased connections to different networks lends the situation well to using artificial intelligence to make sense of the big data while, at the same time, managing the increase in cybersecurity risk. Therefore, standards on data privacy and data security can become essential. We are in the early stages of developing international standards frameworks for data sharing and privacy preservation through the international standards committees, and we look forward to the government's continued support in this regard.
Standards Australia recommended that ‘any strategic Australian Government response to automated mass transit should consider an integrated standards development roadmap, including International Standards participation through ISO and IEC’. Mr Chidgey explained that ‘the aim of such a road map is to identify gaps as well as Australian industry strengths’:
We can stay ahead of issues and opportunities in this space. As part of this approach, we should look to address both vertical and horizontal priorities in new and emerging areas of work. Where activities reach across sectors, it is important for us not to work in silos. Standards Australia has established broad communities of experts needed to better understand both the technical elements and use cases. Not only do our experts span industries, but many are deeply entrenched into the international community and highly regarded in their field. Finally, don't reinvent the wheel. There is an opportunity to participate in and adopt appropriate international standards where possible, reducing the need for government intervention.
As Scott McGrath, Public Affairs Officer at Standards Australia, concluded, ‘standards being at the forefront means that—as with the term before, interoperability—everyone's talking to each other from the start, and we're not operating multiple networks with different languages. Standards are a common language’.
The importance of international alignment was also stressed by the NTC, especially given that ‘Australia represents a small proportion of the global vehicle market’. Dr Kirsten McKillop, Acting Director of the NTC, told the Committee:
We have heard very clearly from industry on the need for national consistency. Industry has emphasised the importance of Australia continuing to be a single market for vehicles and the need to be consistent with international standards and approaches. National consistency will provide certainty and reduce costs to industry and government. It will also help ensure that Australians have early and safe access to automated vehicles.
She explained that the NTC closely monitors ‘international regulatory developments and liaise with our international colleagues’:
The NTC attended the Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety, also known as WP.1, a United Nations working party, in September 2018, and we will attend again this year, in March, as part of an Australian delegation. WP.1 administers the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic 1949 and the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic 1968. The conventions aim to increase international road safety by establishing standard traffic rules among contracting parties. Australia is a contracting party to the Geneva convention. WP.1 has recognised that the Geneva and Vienna conventions create barriers to the deployment of automatic vehicles because they both have an implicit assumption that motor vehicles have a human driver. WP.1 has been working actively to resolve these issues.
International vehicle standards are developed through another UN working party. The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, known as WP.29. It aims to ensure that the benefit of new technologies, such as automated driving, can be captured without compromising safety. As a United Nations member state, Australia has committed to harmonising its regulations with these international standards. The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities regularly attends and contributes to WP.29 meetings. The NTC works closely with the department to ensure that the NTC understands changes coming through WP.29 and that the development of a regulatory framework aligns with the international approach to vehicle standards.
Promoting new technology—incentives and emission standards
Energy policy was seen as a major factor in the development of energy efficient vehicles and new energy sources, with ‘the lack of a longstanding energy policy at the federal level’ seen as ‘a barrier to confidence for investment in R&D’. Engineers Australia noted that ‘Australia's minimum emission standards for vehicles are much more lax than those in most other places’. EA though it would ‘make sense to at least have stricter emission standards vehicles’.
Vehicle emission standards were seen as an important factor in delivering alternative fuel technologies. Mr Leigh Obradovic, Policy Director for the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), noted that ‘the FCAI’s members are progressively introducing zero-emission vehicle technologies to the Australian market’. He stated that ‘zero emission vehicle technologies are, in effect, the endgame in a transition in power trains towards more efficient, lower-emission propulsion’; and that ‘the FCAI supports introduction of all types of low emission vehicles as a means to reducing CO2 emissions across Australia’s vehicle fleet’. Mr Obradovic observed that the FCAI’s members sought ‘a realistic and achievable CO2 emission standard which will enable individual member companies to plan their future fleet mix, including zero-emission vehicles’. He argued that ‘a CO2 standard is a critical component to help aid the transition of Australia's passenger vehicle fleet towards our emission technologies’.
The BIC advocated mandatory vehicle emissions standards as a basis for introducing new energy sources. It noted, however, that ‘mandatory emissions standards need to be complemented by the kinds of incentives that countries which already have these emissions standards use to further incentivize increased electro-mobility, such as lower sales taxes, lower road taxes, access restrictions on dirtier vehicles, education and awareness programs and roll-out of charging infrastructure’. It noted that ‘longer term, mandatory emissions standards plus comprehensive marginal social cost road pricing (which benefits clean technologies) are likely to be the most effective way to ‘encourage’ greater penetration of EVs, from a level playing field starting point’.
Hydrogen Mobility Australia also sought a suite of complementary incentives for the adoption of new energy sources, highlighting the links between procurement policies, emissions standards, purchasing incentives, infrastructure provision and public education. It urged collaboration between Australian Government and state and territory governments on the following:
Private and public fleet procurement policies
Federal Government coordination of joint procurement activities across public and private mass transit operators to enable cost savings through mass purchase and stimulate demand for refuelling infrastructure
Review and redesign of government mass transit contracting and procurement policies to promote the integration of zero emission vehicles and infrastructure into fleets
Introduction of zero emission vehicle targets for public operated or contracted mass transit fleet to support development of an initial customer base
Vehicle emissions policy
Commencement of a national light and heavy vehicle CO₂ emission standard to encourage zero-emission technology purchase and accelerate the supply of these vehicles to Australia
Vehicle incentive measures
Introduction of financial support measures to stimulate the uptake of zero emission vehicles including income tax credits on vehicle purchase, stamp duty exemptions and registration discounts
Consideration of road user charging as the Australian fleet’s fuel usage evolves, while ensuring that hydrogen powered vehicles are not unfairly penalised versus battery electric vehicles through any additional charges, such as the application of excise tax
Infrastructure support measures
Development of a zero-emission vehicle infrastructure strategy and development of suitable funding models, including approaches for the deployment of hydrogen refuelling stations to support back to base mass transit operators
Initial co-investment with industry to support capital and operational costs associated with hydrogen refuelling infrastructure
Consistent regulations, codes and standards
Introduction of consistent regulations, codes of standards both internationally and between Australian jurisdictions to enable streamlined introduction of technologies to support innovation and change in the supply chain and associated infrastructure
Undertaking of a review into existing Australian Design Rules to remove unnecessary barriers to entry for international vehicles, including a focus on buses and trucks in particular where prescriptive rules regarding dimensions and weight can inhibit the entry of product manufactured overseas
Information and education
Government delivery of targeted education campaigns in collaboration with industry to increase consumer understanding and acceptance of zero-emission technology in fleets
Government support for zero-emission vehicle trials and demonstrations to demonstrate the suitability of the technology, its potential applications and benefits with mass transit fleet operators.
Claire Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Hydrogen Mobility Australia, emphasised the importance of fleets to the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, observing that fleet purchases would provide the critical mass which made the introduction of hydrogen fuel infrastructure viable. She stated:
Fleets are where we’re going to establish the customer base first. It’s not going to be individual consumers; it’s going to be fleets. And it’s governments that can make those sorts of fleet decisions. Where the economics may not stack up initially, they can take that leadership position and integrate these vehicles into their fleets.
She noted, for example, that the ACT Government had committed to the purchase of twenty hydrogen cars:
They’re progressing with the building of a station in Fyshwick. That will be a public station because they don’t want to just service their own vehicles; they want to build a sector so individuals can go and buy hydrogen cars as well. But they realise that they need to be the starting point to make that happen.
Ms Johnson also argued for a vehicle emission standard as ‘the best measure to get these vehicles into the marketplace’:
There is no policy lever that would be more effective to increase the flow of these vehicles to Australia. Rather than overregulation around fuel supply, we think the vehicle emissions at this point should be the focus of the sector, and then that will stimulate demand much more naturally.
She also pointed to the luxury car tax (LCT) as an area where policy could better align with transport objectives, stating:
One thing that we've been advocating for is looking at all of the areas where we are collecting taxes on the transport sector. One area is luxury car tax. We know that the government very much enjoys that revenue. If there is no prospect of its removal, can the LCT that’s attracted on zero-emission vehicles—because most of them do attract LCT because they're over the threshold—be diverted to things like infrastructure and to things like helping fleets get the vehicles into the marketplace? In excise tax as well, is there an opportunity? So it is looking at the various taxes that are collected at the federal and state levels and creating funds to help us with that transition.
The NRMA also advocated specific incentives for the uptake of electric vehicles, stating that such incentives would ‘help to expedite the arrival of new mobility technology, bolster fuel security, and improve national health standards while achieving significant emissions reductions in Australia’s transport sector’. NRMA identified three barriers to electric vehicle take-up: ‘purchase cost, range anxiety, and access to charging infrastructure’. It proposed ‘six priority reforms to help to address these concerns’:
Prioritise the rollout of charging infrastructure
Australian governments should work with industry to support the establishment of home, kerbside, destination and fast charging infrastructure, and offer consumers access to low interest loans and household rebates to encourage local energy capture and use.
Set a government fleet target of 25 per cent of all new light passenger vehicles by 2025/26
All governments should demonstrate leadership by setting purchasing policies that mandate 10 per cent of light passenger vehicles acquired or leased should be zero emissions by FY2020/21, and that 25 per cent should be zero emissions by FY2025/26.
Short-term measures to reduce the upfront cost of purchasing electric vehicles
To stimulate early demand and help negate the short-term electric vehicle price premium, the Australian Government should remove the LCT for electric vehicles as it was primarily put in place to protect domestic vehicle manufacturing which has now ceased.
Reduce Australia’s reliance on imported liquid fuels
Given Australia’s significant and increasing dependency on crude and fuel imports for transport, the Australian Government should make a clear policy statement of its preference for promoting domestic electricity generation as opposed to relying on imported liquid fuel.
Prioritise electric vehicles and establish an inter-governmental electric vehicle working group
Australian governments should establish a working group, with representation from industry and consumers, to seamlessly coordinate the transition to electric vehicles to ensure that Australia is ready for the future of mobility, including electrification and automation.
Promote industries associated with electric vehicles
Australian governments should encourage and support research and development in materials, components and technologies associated with electric vehicles, including whole-of-life considerations such as the reuse, recycling and responsible disposal of batteries.
Engineers Australia also urged incentives for the take-up of electric vehicles. It stated that ‘purchase incentives must be a key policy driver in promoting EV uptake across Australia’, citing the example of the ACT, ‘a market leader in the deployment of charging infrastructure and electric vehicle uptake rates’, which had introduced ‘stamp duty exemptions and discounted registration for zero emissions vehicles’. EA noted that ‘a number of Australian states and territories are already embracing automated electric vehicle technology and are conducting trials of electric driverless buses’. It encouraged ‘governments to continue supporting trials through fuel efficiency targets and a regulatory environment conducive to greater EV uptake for businesses and individuals’, noting that ‘as the domestic market grows, EV manufacturers will provide more options for Australian consumers’. EA argued that the Australian Government must ‘work to reduce commercial barriers for business in order to drive the uptake of electric vehicles’, and that ‘further investment needs to focus on application of renewable energy source to reduce emission levels’. It encouraged the government ‘to continue to implement policies which incentivise electric vehicle market growth and support the electrification of our transport networks’.
Communications technology, data and cyber security
The importance of communications infrastructure to vehicle automation was emphasised by Mr James Hurnall, Technical Director of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. He stated that:
In terms of the connected vehicle infrastructure—which is perhaps also where things are moving very quickly—the chip set makers are developing chips for vehicles and the communication infrastructure that will be able to operate on multiple types of communications. There is DSRC—dedicated short-range communications—which is essentially a wi-fi technology, as well as 4G and 5G mobile networks. They’re building chips that’ll work on both types.
Mr Hurnall noted the work being done by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which had referenced the European standard for vehicle-to-vehicle communications as part of its licensing and standards. Australia was harmonising its standards with other jurisdictions—and needed to keep doing so.
Dr Jonathan Spear (Infrastructure Victoria) noted that ‘high quality network connectivity will promote vehicle efficiency and safety’; and that ‘sharing of real-time transport data will promote the facilitation of on-demand mobility services and mobility as a service offerings, which help to facilitate the complementary relationship that automated vehicles can have with mass transit, be it automated mass transit or more traditional’. He also emphasised the importance of ICT connectivity for network-wide management:
That is relevant to the work that the NTC were describing earlier around government access to automated and connected vehicle data, because there is the potential to optimise the network to avoid those sort of pinch points that you've described if that data is available and also the underlying infrastructure to enable that network management to actually occur.
The importance of increasing the connectivity was emphasised by Mr Terry Lee-Williams, Strategic Transport Advisor with Arup, who observed that:
Connected will take a while because we actually need not only the 5G network but a far better fibre network for 5G to work because 5G's very short distance and it goes into fibre, transmits and comes out the other end. It's not just flipping through the air like 4G. So you need a lot more infrastructure and you use an enormous amount of data.
Dr Matt Wenham, Executive Director, Policy, with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, described infrastructure readiness as ‘a key barrier in terms of automated mass transit’:
If we're thinking about automated trains and public transport, there's quite a large investment required in new rolling stock and platform and station infrastructure that allow these trains to be operated safely. That's been seen in the rollout of an automated train line in Sydney. If you look at the car space and connected autonomous vehicles, there are obviously a lot of infrastructure implications there, largely around the communications side of things and how cars communicate with each other and their environment, and the investment required in that area.
The precise infrastructure requirements of different vehicles and technologies were still in development and there was a lack of ‘a consistent message from industry about what their infrastructure requirements are’. Mr Marcus Burke (NTC) stated:
Some companies seem to be taking the approach that they will take the infrastructure as they find it, rather than seeking for governments to provide a certain level of infrastructure. There's certainly been feedback from some of the companies in this space that infrastructure that is good for human drivers—clear signs, clear line markings—is also good for automated systems. But it does depend on those different applications as well. The infrastructure required for automated freight on freeways is different to that required for a low-speed shuttlebus going around a local area or a robotaxi-type application around an inner city.
In addition to the broader issue of communications infrastructure for automated transport, the Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety (CDMPS), at the University of Melbourne, ‘identified a number of key opportunities where the inclusion of data from C-ITS [Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems ] into decision support and incident management systems has the potential to provide significant benefits’ It noted that ‘from a disaster management and public safety perspective there are three key areas of interest for the CDMPS, namely emergency management, road safety and crime/intelligence applications’.
Emergency Management applications included:
eCall and eReporting capabilities, which involves the autonomous reporting of incidents based on the vehicle’s sensor network for example the detection of a major impact would autonomously report the vehicles location and details of the event to a PSAP/ECS [Public Safety Answering Point/ Emergency Call Services] (SCoTI 2012);
evacuation management support, which can involve a range of activities including the optimisation of evacuation routes and the placement of traffic control points, monitoring the flow of traffic being evacuated from an area as well as dynamically rerouting traffic around an incident and damage within the road network;
emergency messaging, which can involve displaying messages on smart signs and the interruption of other communications services;
emergency response, which can involve the integration of a broad range of dynamic sensor data into an incident management or decision support application using the SWE [Sensor Web Enablement] standards.
Road Safety applications included:
offence detection, which can involve the analysis of data captured by C-ITS sensors or the use of specific sensors on recidivist offenders or their vehicles;
analysis and use of ITS Big Data and road safety informatics to support enforcement decisions, which can target responses using fixed and mobile RSUs [Road Side Units] devices;
response activities, which can be initiated where an event is detected by C-ITS sensors. Developments like Mercedes-Benz’s new augmented reality application Rescue Assist will help first responders rescue people trapped within a vehicle more quickly and in a safer manner (Edelstein 2016); and
medical injury index from vehicle telemetry.
Crime and Intelligence applications included:
real time monitoring, which can involve using C-ITS infrastructure to supplement monitoring a given area using other technologies and infrastructures, for example local government CCTV systems;
investigation support, which could involve using data captured by the C-ITS infrastructure to support an investigation into an incident or person; and
desktop surveillance, which could involve using C-ITS infrastructure to monitor a vehicle travelling on the road network.
The Australian Radio Communications Industry Association (ARCIA) indicated that emergence of autonomous capabilities may lead to long-term problems, ‘due to the absence of a skilled technical support base to ensure resilient operation of the underpinning wireless technologies in a wide range of complex circumstances in both the built and natural environments’. It recommended that governments focus on training for ‘the skill sets necessary to ensure all Australian’s are able to take full advantage of benefits from future technologies’.
The data produced by connected vehicles and infrastructure was also seen as vital. Arup stated that ‘the data produced by inter-vehicle connectivity, one of the preconditions of fully autonomous vehicles, provides a potential strong instrument to monitor and steer further development’. The importance of data access and use was highlighted by AECOM. Mr Roger Jeffries, Technical Director, Transport Advisory; and ANZ Technical Practice Leader, Transport Advisory with AECOM, told the Committee:
That's also around things such as fares, fare integration and ticketing integration; information provision, to operators, to government and to passengers; and the sharing of information and the sharing of data. There are three parties within that: the sharing of data between government to plan and optimise networks; to operators to deliver networks effectively, to optimise the operations and to deal with perturbations of service and incidents that occur; and to the passenger as well so they can plan journeys and deal with disruptions in services.
He provided the example of New York, where ‘AECOM has been working with the metropolitan transit agency in New York City and IBM to bring artificial intelligence into the live operations centre for the rail network and the subway system in New York’:
The reason for that is to deal with an already highly congested network that's running nearly at capacity, in terms of train services and in terms of passenger capacity, and to deal with issues that will regularly occur on a very busy urban rail service. When there are issues with the service, what they're actually trying to do is find ways to operationally redirect the train along the network to maybe different lines and direct passengers onto those lines to create resilience in the network such that, if there's a failure on one line, you may actually provide increased capacity on an alternative line and, in real-time, divert services to provide alternative capacity.
Mrs Natalie Malligan, Head of Cities, Australia and New Zealand with Uber, argued that ‘in order to truly integrate public transport into the same technology platform, we need governments openly sharing data and sharing API [application programming interface] access’. She gave the example of Denver, in the United States, ‘where it's now fully integrated and you can see the full public transport timetabling within the Uber app. Very soon to launch will be actually being able to book and pay for your public transport in that app as well.’ She stated that it ‘takes openness from governments to allow access to systems and to allow access to the payments and about some of the infrastructure challenges that go with that’.
The NTC noted that, regarding data, ‘we have done some work over the last 12 months on government access to both connected and automated vehicle data, and we'll be making recommendations to transport ministers at their first meeting of 2019’. Mr Burke noted that the NTC, ‘as part of our ongoing work on in-service safety … will look at what a regulator might require from these vehicles to be able to appropriately monitor and enforce safety conditions’. He observed that ‘there is some work going on at the international level around development of standards for what's referred to as event data recorders, which are effectively black boxes—you'll be familiar with them in planes—having similar technology in vehicles’. Dr McKillop told the Committee that the NTC had recently ‘completed extensive consultation on government access to data generated by automated vehicles and on motor injury accident and insurance as they relate to automated vehicles’. The NTC intended to make recommendations to the Transport and Infrastructure Council on these issues at its first meeting in 2019.
The importance of cybersecurity was also stressed in the evidence presented to the Committee. Professor Hussein Dia, of Swinburne University of Technology, observed that there are ‘a number of privacy and security concerns about connected and autonomous vehicles’ that pose challenges to automakers and regulators. These included ‘concerns related to hacking into the connected vehicle’s infotainment and computer systems to gain control of the vehicle and concerns about gathering too much information about drivers and travellers inside a connected and automated vehicle’. Professor Dia noted that ‘the vulnerability of connected vehicles to “cyber attacks” was highlighted in two separate cases in the US and the UK which occurred in 2015’:
In the first case, a leading UK-based software security system company demonstrated how car infotainment systems can be vulnerable to hacking and could put lives at risk by seizing control of a vehicle’s brakes and other critical systems. This case coincided with a similar flaw discovered by two security researchers in the US where they demonstrated that they could take control of a Jeep Cherokee travelling along one of the Interstate highways, by sending data to its internet-connected entertainment and navigation system over a mobile phone network. The researchers managed to take full control of the vehicle while it was in a vacant parking lot, altering the engine speed, braking sharply and disabling the brakes completely.
Dr Allison Stewart (Infrastructure Victoria) stated that some stakeholders were seeking to address such problems by ‘separation of driving systems from communications systems within vehicles and the ability to isolate certain parts of vehicles from being connected, such that they might be controlled in a different way’. She noted that ‘there are many people and many companies who are looking at trying to address those kinds of challenges and potential technological solutions’.
The CDMPS argued that:
Any autonomous transit system should be considered for its potential to be classified as critical infrastructure and advice from the Department of Home Affairs Critical Infrastructure Centre should be engaged to ensure that cyber security and operational responses procedures/mechanisms are consistent with this classification and support entire ecosystem reliability and resilience.
It noted that ‘interference between radio networks can occur and as a result the ACMA has developed a range of co-existence measures to manage anticipated interference’. CDMPS observed that ‘ACMA will be a key partner in allocating the required spectrum to support the wireless operation of the system and ensure that that system is able to coexist with other radio operators’.
CDMPS highlighted the importance of data management and cybersecurity. Mr Geoff Spring, Senior Industry Adviser at CDMPS, explained:
The public safety mobile broadband network that's underway in most countries now, in the US, Europe and now here, is initially going to carry data, and it will carry an awful lot of data. It'll carry data from you as a person saying, 'I want help.' The data will increase when it goes through a control centre. There'll be data telling agencies where to go or what to do. There'll be confidential data. So the issues you raise are very important because, in the collection of that data and the storage of it, on your way through that process, you will be also accessing databases. So it's a matter of now starting to, in conjunction with other legislation, not forgetting that this is here—the realisation that, for example, police agencies may be running their response capability across a private sector network. You would normally say, 'Hang on a minute. What data? Is it my data? Is it your data? How are you protecting it?' It's the same with cybersecurity. I can't emphasise enough that we need to look at cybersecurity strategies but in a holistic sense, in terms of the ecosystem from one end to the other. It's a closed system. The final point is that, over the last couple of years, we've been talking about the citizen having to be seen as part of that system.
Mr Ian Christensen (iMove Australia) highlighted work that iMove was doing ‘in conjunction with Transport and Main Roads in Queensland to develop an appropriately cyber-secure mechanism for information sharing between automated vehicles and automated vehicles and infrastructure’. He agreed that ‘ensuring appropriate cybersecurity arrangements over the transmitted information is going to be absolutely important’.
The NTC observed that the Australian Government was already active in this area through the Commonwealth’s role in regulating the first supply of vehicles. Mr Burke explained:
The approach that was agreed was a self-certification approach with companies looking to bring the technology and needing to provide evidence against a set of safety criteria. That includes things like demonstrating that they can manage Australian conditions and comply with Australian road rules, that they can manage the on-road safety and interaction with other road users. One of the other criteria that was in there was cybersecurity. That means that a company looking to bring this technology in will need to demonstrate to the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and Cities, as the regulator, that they can manage the cybersecurity risks both upfront and then on an ongoing basis and that they have appropriate processes in place to do that. It's been left as quite a performance based approach. There's not prescription around how a company would do that, and the challenge may be different for an automated bus versus an application being used by a private owner of a vehicle, depending on the technologies that are being used for the specific application.
Managing the transition to automation and alternative fuels was also a key consideration for policy makers. Dr Wenham (Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering) noted that ‘there are a lot of different aspects to the transition, whether it be to connected autonomous vehicles or electric vehicles or automated mass transit’. He noted that ‘one of the key issues that perhaps again isn't always factored in is the effect on workforces’:
We've seen this in a number of other industries, be at the automotive manufacturing industry or the energy industry in certain regions around Australia. We can be fairly certain that this transition is going to happen over the next decade or so—we don't necessarily know how fast or to what extent. But, if the transition happens to, say, autonomous vehicles, that has huge implications for the public transport workforce and people who drive our trains and buses and, more broadly, anyone who relies on driving for a job. So government has an important role there to start thinking now, if this is going to impact on people's livelihoods in 10 or so years, what we might be doing in advance of that to ensure that the transition doesn't result in the sorts of things we've seen in the car industry, for example, where, virtually overnight, thousands of people lose their jobs. So that's an important consideration.
The issue of workforce transition was also highlighted by the Australian Rail, Bus and Tram Union (RTBU). Mr Dominic Ofner, Executive Officer of the RTBU, observed that that the loss of human capital with automation could have significant impacts on transport network efficiency, stating:
Governments and transport operators should be under no illusion that they will lose vital pieces of technical and social knowledge if change is not managed in partnership with workers and, if they lose this knowledge, the quality of our transport systems will ultimately suffer. Existing networks will be unable to cope with demand, and we will not realise the benefits of much-needed and long overdue expansions. If the objective of this inquiry is to review how we can make mass transit better, stronger and faster, then it must recognise this crucial fact.
He urged ‘proper workforce planning as part of the long-term planning of Australia's transport needs’, highlighting work being done in Singapore to manage the transition to automation:
Singapore is a very good example of that. Every industry, not just transport, has put together what they call industry transformation maps—a genuine tripartite model. It's not the rhetoric that we hear from a lot of people about stopping the combative nature of workers and unions versus governments and employers but actually about sitting around the table and coming up with a shared vision of what, in this case, public transport would look like and what our cities would look like, because obviously you can't split the two.
The RTBU recommended that the Australian Government:
develop and fund a Future of Transport Work strategy to position workers for the transport jobs of the future, and to develop a contemporary workforce development strategy for the industry;
introduce a new approach to urban planning and transport planning, including Federal funding for urban transport projects within a funding model that determines priorities based on long-term growth strategies that better analyse how a project integrates and connects with an entire transport network, rather than in isolation;
mandate that projects receiving federal funding are appropriately staffed and resourced to keep the travelling public safe; and
ensure that point-to-point/MaaS style transport models (whether autonomous or not) is only ever implemented following genuine consultations with transport workers and upholds the highest forms of safety standards, including a human driver always being present.
Mr Ofner urged the Australian Government to tie infrastructure funding to workforce planning:
Obviously, the nature of fiscal policy is that a lot of projects require federal funding. Rather than there just being this form of a blank cheque—'Here you go; here's $3 billion'—for this particular metro or Cross River Rail or something like that, look at a whole range of things that we would like to see, or that the federal government would like to see. That could include things like value capture. But, in addition to the innovative funding models that they'd like to see from the state government, it should, and could, also include: where is the workforce planning, where is the workforce development? If you are going to say, 'The New South Wales government says, "Thank you, Canberra, for this money. We're going to build a driverless train system, which includes converting existing heavy rail,"' well, New South Wales government, we'd like to see, before we hand over this money, what your plan is for people who might be displaced from their current jobs as part of the conversion of heavy rail. I think from an early phase, perhaps, projects could be planned with that in mind.
Mr Mathieu Voisin, Technical Director with AECOM, highlighted successful workforce planning in the automation of Line 1 on the Paris Metro, noting that ‘when RATP [Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens] in 2012 converted existing line 1 into a fully automated one, it was a very big and complex infrastructure challenge, but it was also a very complex social challenge, and it was handled quite well’. He continued:
It was complex because this line was used during the day as a classic line, and it was worked out and changed during the night with a brand-new system, so there was system redundancy. It was a lot of investment. It was a lot of technical complexity, but it was addressed. In the same interval, there was a social program which permitted the workforce to be enhanced and to be transformed, and new skills were created towards system supervision and towards passenger-centric services. The important thing in that program is that, by its nature, it was not a project but a program, and it had five different projects, one project for rolling stock, one project for systems, one project for communications, one project for civil engineering and one project itself for the social evolution of skills.
On the other hand, Mr Lee-Williams (Arup) emphasised that there was always jobs transfers with technological change, ‘so we must always be careful that we don't talk about everybody losing their job’:
With freight, robots that can unpack and redistribute are not great, and they certainly can't take things upstairs because, like the Daleks, they can't quite manage that yet. But drivers are very expensive, particularly in public transport. Train drivers are very expensive. This may be apocryphal, but I'm told it takes less time to train an astronaut than a Sydney train driver. They're very expensive and there are thousands of them. With automatic train operation and automatic train protection, with existing, decades-old technology you could remove all of those drivers over the course of a seven-year investment program, but you wouldn't remove the guard. You wouldn't have the guard standing inside a locked cabin with reflective glass and pretending they're not there, either. You would actually have people moving through the train. We already have revenue protection officers, trained police, all sorts of people moving through. It's very rare that the train's actually unattended by somebody. The driver is almost invisible—in fact is invisible, as they're not allowed to leave the cabin, even in an emergency.
Currently, fuel excise represents the main mechanism for pricing the use of road infrastructure. Arup noted that ‘transport autonomy is likely to reduce income through eliminating traffic and parking fines and electrification will in time eliminate fossil fuel excise’, and suggested that ‘income from new sources that also evolves to manage travel demand can help fill this income gap’. Arup argued that this would be ‘required to secure funding for our roads and infrastructure, which will continue to be required for the foreseeable future’. Arup suggested that ‘because external costs of road use relate more closely to distance travelled than to fuel use (especially as motive technologies change), a distance-based charging mechanism should be introduced’. This would include ‘mass and location components to better reflect, for example, road damage and congestion impacts’. Arup noted that ‘the trend towards more fuel-efficient vehicles, albeit slow, accentuates pressure for such a shift in the way road use is priced, because of the revenue impact on the federal government budget’. In addition, Arup argued, ‘reformed road pricing would increase the cost of road use in areas where external costs are high, providing incentives for shared mobility solutions and reducing incentives for further urban sprawl, coming through increased ownership/use of AEVs’. Arup note that the use of shared mobility would increase under a marginal social cost (MSC) pricing regime, ‘which is what an efficient pricing system should achieve’.
The BIC also urged the development of ‘a road pricing regime that prices the full social costs of vehicle movement, full or empty, creates the opportunity to exercise more effective and efficient transport network management control over potentially serious adverse unintended outcomes, from greatly increased demand for limited road space and pressure for accelerated urban sprawl’. The BIC argued for ‘road transport pricing reform that charges users for the marginal social costs of their travel choices and, when this pricing is in place, for public transport pricing (fare setting) to better reflect marginal social costs of service provision’. It indicated that ‘some continued subsidies to public transport will remain defensible, because of the presence of wider economic benefits (e.g., agglomeration economies) and social inclusion benefits from PT services’.
Transurban agreed, stating that ‘with the rapid advance in transport technology, governments should prepare to transition to an alternative funding model/s to support road infrastructure’. It noted that electric vehicles also have significant implications for how roads are funded, with significant declines in fuel excise revenue forecast. Transurban stated:
Every year there are more fuel efficient and electric vehicles on the road … the result is that fuel excise, which currently contributes 52 per cent of total road-related revenue from all levels of government, is declining at 16 per cent each year, and, in short, coming to an end.
It argued for a road funding model that provided ‘a fair and sustainable system that is built on a principle of those who benefit, pay’, indicating that this would ‘allow us to invest and use the infrastructure more efficiently and provide a revenue stream that is aligned with actual road use’.
Transurban noted that ‘a significant first step is under way with the Federal Government’s Heavy Vehicle Road Reform’, which would establish ‘a transparent, fair and efficient charging system that invests revenue into road infrastructure to meet user need’. According to Transurban, the Heavy Vehicle Road Reform ‘is only the first step in reform’. It recommended that government progress ‘planning toward a light vehicle road-user charging scheme in line with the forecast growth in electric vehicle uptake’; and that ‘road-user charging frameworks are also designed to meet other transport objectives such as improving travel times and road utilisation’.
In its submission, Engineers Australia encouraged governments at all levels ‘to appoint a Chief Engineer’, and advocated ‘for the early and ongoing engagement of engineers in the planning and development of Australia’s transport future’. EA sought a ‘chief engineer who sits across all portfolios and provides the engineer’s perspective on whatever the policy dilemma is’, much as the Chief Scientist provided advice across a diverse range of issues. EA observed that:
Engineers’ specialised skills and engagement in almost every sector of the economy gives them a special insight to the innovative potential of public infrastructure like roads and hospitals, our defence capability, energy prospects and preparedness for a connected, shared and automated future. It is this life cycle experience and knowledge that provides engineers with a unique perspective of government projects and policies that can provide good governance, public surety and the reduction of risk from research, to procurement, design, delivery and beyond.
Engineers Australia believed that ‘the commonwealth has a responsibility to ensure early and ongoing engagement of engineers to ensure innovative and resilient planning for an automated, shared and connected Australia.
Office of Future Transport Technologies
As discussed above, the Australian Government has established the Office of Future Transport Technology within DIRDC to provided policy direction on autonomous and connected vehicles. Drawing on the ‘interconnected nature of autonomy and electric drivetrains’, Hydrogen Mobility Australia has recommended that ‘both vehicle technologies be given equal consideration in government decision making and policy development’, either by the creation of a similar dedicated group or alternatively an expansion of the Office of Future Transport Technology to take carriage of both. Addressing these concerns before the Committee, Ms Claire Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Hydrogen Mobility Australia, emphasised the need for a coordinated policy response within the Australian Government focused on a single office:
What is holding this technology back from introduction to Australia is government coordination of infrastructure, vehicles and customers. Alignment is needed between these three aspects to realise a zero-emission vehicle sector in Australia as well as the technology these drive trains can utilise. To address this, our submission calls for a number of things, some of which include federal government coordination of procurement across public and private mass transit operators to enable cost savings through mass purchase and flow on demand for refuelling infrastructure; introduction of zero-emission vehicle targets for public operated or contracted mass transit fleets to stimulate vehicle uptake and development of an initial customer base; introduction of a national light and heavy vehicle CO2 emission standard to encourage zero-emission technology purchase and accelerate the supply of vehicles to Australia; and the development of a zero-emission vehicle infrastructure strategy and development of suitable funding models, including approaches for deployment of hydrogen refuelling stations to support back-to-base mass transit operators. We recommend the above be coordinated by a dedicated office for zero emission vehicles providing a centralised point for all mobility related policy and regulatory matters due to the complexity of this space.
The evidence presented to the Committee indicates that the Australian Government, along with State and Territory Governments, has a significant role to play in the development of automated mass transit and new energy sources in Australia. The evidence also suggests that governments at all levels are already engaged with the issues, looking at automation and electrification from the point of view of policy, planning, regulation and implementation.
The Australian Government has a central role in providing policy leadership and coordination nationally, especially through COAG and the work of agencies such as the National Transport Commission and Austroads. The Australian Government is already coordinating the development of policy in this sphere through the Office of Future Transport Technology, which has demonstrated in its evidence to the Committee a high level of understanding of the requirements of automation.
The Committee is aware of the ongoing work being done by the National Transport Commission and other agencies to identify and resolve regulatory barriers to the introduction of automated and electric vehicles, and supports the Australian Government continuing to pursue regulatory reform through this process. The Committee is also aware of the work being done by Austroads and other agencies to identify the road infrastructure requirements of automated vehicles.
The work that has been done by Infrastructure Victoria to scope the challenges, benefits, requirements and potential costs of automation and alternative energy sources, while focussed on Victoria, has national (and even international) implications. The Australian Government should undertake a study to establish the national implications of Infrastructure Victoria’s work and the requirements its findings have for infrastructure policy and investment.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government undertake a study to establish the national implications of Infrastructure Victoria’s work on automated and zero emissions vehicles infrastructure, and the requirements its findings have for infrastructure policy and investment.
Within this context, the Committee is best placed not so much to offer detailed advice on how automation and new energy sources can be developed, but to set out some guiding principles and offer some more detailed suggestions. It is vital that we identify and overcome regulatory barriers to automated vehicles, particularly trains, trams and buses. The Committee believes that preparing road and rail networks for automation is essential to the smooth transition to the new technology and that governments need to commit to the automation and alternative fuels by designing and building infrastructure around those requirements.
Perhaps the most important thing the Australian Government can provide to the future development of automated transport and new energy sources is vision. A clearly articulated vision of cities and regions, and the connectivity within and between them, is vital to ensuring that automation meets the needs of the people rather than the other way around. This national vision should encompass:
A vision for and planning of the urban and regional environment (see the Committee’s previous report on the development of cities, Building Up & Moving Out) incorporating automated mass transit and new energy sources.
A clear articulation of the optimum design of the urban environment, including mass transit and active transport.
A vision for shared mobility incorporating Mobility as a Service (MaaS).
The goal of fuel security.
Within this vision, the Australian Government can provide leadership and coordination of policy with a focus on consistency and interoperability between jurisdictions. The main responsibility of the Australian Government in this area is to ensure that there is coordination in the development of automation with a view to achieving a high level of compatibility and interoperability across jurisdictions. In this regard, the Committee is sympathetic to the idea of an intergovernmental agreement to look at how we move people in our cities and regions and what that means in the context of long-term integrated land use and transport and infrastructure plans.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government articulate a clear vision for cities and regions and the connectivity within and between them, including:
A vision for and planning of the urban and regional environment incorporating automated mass transit and new energy sources.
A clear articulation of the optimum design of the urban environment, including mass transit and active transport.
A vision for shared mobility incorporating Mobility as a Service (MaaS).
The goal of fuel security.
This vision should be articulated in an intergovernmental agreement focussed on consistency and interoperability between jurisdictions.
The Committee also agrees with the proposition that the development of national standards should be facilitated by the Australian Government. Emphasis should be placed, wherever possible, on adopting relevant international standards to ensure that Australia has easy access to the best technology and is not spending money on reinventing the wheel. The Committee endorses the concept of an integrated standards development roadmap.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government pursue an effective standards based approach to the development of transport automation and electrification, including effective use of international standards and engagement with international standards bodies, and the development of an integrated standards development roadmap to identify gaps in standards and evolving standards requirements.
The importance of energy and communications infrastructure cannot be overstated. With regard to energy, Infrastructure Victoria’s work highlights the increased demand for electricity likely to come from the widespread adoption of electric vehicles; while the work of the Chief Scientist and CSIRO highlights the infrastructure demands of a hydrogen economy. The development of both will entail a commitment to low or zero greenhouse gas emission power generation technologies.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government undertake research to estimate the national requirement for electricity generation under an electric and automated transport future, with a view to ensuring that electricity generation will meet anticipated demand while adhering to national greenhouse gas abatement targets.
Automation will ultimately require the capacity for vehicles to communicate with each other and the surrounding infrastructure. This will necessitate the development of a new generation of communications infrastructure. In this regard, the Committee highlights the importance of the recommendations made in its Smart ICT report. Automation will also require and generate large amounts of data. Access to this data will facilitate operation and innovation, and governments should encourage access to data between the public and private sectors with due regard to individual privacy. Cybersecurity will also be an essential element of automation. Governments and industry are already active in this regard. The Committee recommends the ongoing development of cybersecurity protocols to ensure the safe operation of automated transport systems at all times.
The Committee recommends that the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities conduct an audit of Australia’s existing transport communications infrastructure and requirements for automation at various stages, with a view to developing a national strategy for transport communications infrastructure for full automation of land transport; this audit and strategy to be development in conjunction with the transport and infrastructure industries; and cover:
ICT infrastructure requirements
Data management and sharing
The Australian Government can also seek to facilitate the development of these new technologies through incentives, whether tax breaks for the importation of electric or automated vehicles; support for research and development, such as pilot projects for automated shuttle buses; or fleet purchasing. The key incentive for adoption of electric vehicles is vehicle emissions standards. The adoption of stringent emission standards combined with a movement towards zero-emission requirements will undoubtedly facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles. Activities the Australian Government can facilitate include:
Subsidising zero-emission vehicles
Promoting zero-emission vehicles through vehicle emission standards
Implementing low- or zero-emission zones
Providing public charging infrastructure
Strengthening renewable energy targets
Phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider facilitating the transition to automated and electric vehicles by giving consideration to options such as:
Subsidising zero-emission vehicles
Promoting zero-emission vehicles through vehicle emission standards
Implementing low- or zero-emission zones
Providing public charging infrastructure
Strengthening renewable energy targets
Phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles over the long term.
Managing change is an essential aspect of automation. There is the need to build up public confidence and trust in the new technology and emphasise the benefits that come from it. There is also a need to manage the transition of the transport workforce, to ensure the transport jobs of the future are not at the expense of current employees, and to ensure the retention of corporate memory. There are examples of successful workforce transitions that Australian governments can draw upon as a template for the future here.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government assist in managing change in the transition to automation by making workforce training and development a condition of Commonwealth funding for relevant transport projects.
An important side effect of new energy sources and automation (assuming a transition to shared mobility) will be the decline in fuel excise for road funding. This has potentially very serious implications for transport infrastructure investment. A number of agencies have done work on new forms of road pricing. The Australian Government needs to consider a transition to road user pricing to properly price and adequately fund road infrastructure.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government give early consideration to road pricing models, recognising the inevitable decline of fuel excise revenue due to the increase in alternative energy vehicles.
The Committee notes that in its report on the development of cities, Building Up & Moving Out, the Committee recommended the creation of the Office of Chief Planner. The Committee for the same reason sees the logic in creating an Office of Chief Engineer to advocate for the early and ongoing engagement of engineers in the planning and development of Australia’s infrastructure and to ensure that sound engineering solutions are incorporated into the development of Australia’s transport networks.
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government establish the statutory Office of a National Chief Engineer, to provide independent expert advice on the planning and development of Australia’s infrastructure.
The Committee is also of the view that given the synergies and convergence between automation and electrification of transport that the Office of Future Transport Technology be expanded to cover alternative energy sources such as battery electric power and hydrogen fuel cell power.
The Committee recommends that the Office of Future Transport Technology within the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities be expanded to cover alternative energy sources such as battery electric power and hydrogen fuel cell power.
John Alexander OAM MP
25 March 2019