Leaders from Australia’s transport industry have gathered in Canberra for a national summit focused on decarbonising the transport sector.   

United by their shared commitment to addressing this challenge, the Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand, Roads Australia and the Australasian Railway Association convened the National Decarbonising Transport Summit to agree on a joint response to the Transport and Infrastructure Net Zero Consultation Roadmap and identify priority actions. 

The Federal Government released the consultation roadmap in May, with feedback sought by July 26. 

The interactive Summit brought together over 40 senior government and industry leaders representing the nation’s transport sector.  

It explored how Australia’s governments can work with industry to reduce barriers to implementation, build capability across the supply chain and ensure national consistency across procurement, data collection and performance reporting.   

The supply chain capability framework in the report provides recommendations to industry and government to ensure there is enough domestic capability to support the transition to emerging low and zero emission technologies and improve the competitiveness of the Australian rollingstock supply chain.  

The aim is to work with Australia’s governments to reduce industry barriers to implementation, build capability across the supply chain and ensure national consistency across procurement, data collection and performance reporting. 

The joint initiative comes as Australia’s infrastructure and transport ministers provided in-principle support for the use of a nationally consistent set of carbon values in the assessment of business cases for transport infrastructure projects over $100 million. 

In early June, ministers also approved the Embodied Carbon Measurement for Infrastructure: Technical Guidance developed by Infrastructure NSW, which provides a nationally consistent approach to measuring embodied emissions in infrastructure projects. 

Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand Chair, Sally Stannard, said that Australia is one of the most climate-change exposed countries in the world and it must act now to mitigate risks. 

“The COVID pandemic reminded us that as a sector, we can make rapid, bold changes to the transport system, so we must be innovative to deliver solutions that reduce our reliance on emission producing technology and infrastructure and provide safe, frequent and efficient mobility services,” Ms Stannard said.  

Roads of Australia Chair, Aneetha de Silva, said that if the road transport sector is able to rapidly decarbonise, Australia will have the biggest chance of achieving the national emission reduction targets. 

“This will take a willingness to engage on the barriers to implementation facing the sector and genuine collaboration between government and industry to solve them,” Ms de Silva said.  

Australasian Railway Association CEO, Caroline Wilkie, said that the rail industry is committed to cross-sector collaboration on driving policy change and innovation to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport. 

“Now is the time to act on specific measures to decarbonise across the supply chain to support sustainable transport networks that drive the economy and deliver benefits to the wider community.” 

Image: Travel mania/shutterstock.com  

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