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Delivering with partnerships

Bus Driver Safety Scheme

The Queensland Bus Driver Safety Scheme is a key deliverable under the Queensland Government’s final response to the Bus Driver Safety Review, which was undertaken by Deloitte for TMR.

The scheme, which opened in November 2018, allocates up to $5.47 million in grant funding for urban bus service operators to install driver barriers and anti-shatter window film in eligible fleet vehicles, to reduce the risk and impact of violence against bus drivers and vandalism to property. Under the scheme, eligible operators could apply for a 50 per cent rebate of the cost of driver barriers for buses operating in high risk areas up to a maximum of $2000 per bus, and a 100 per cent rebate of the cost of anti-shatter film up to a maximum of $1200 for a small bus and $2400 for a large bus.

The scheme is administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority. Applications for grant funding closed on 31 March 2019. Operators whose applications are conditionally approved will have until 30 June 2020 to install the safety barriers and anti-shatter film. Following installation, operators will be able to apply for the rebate.

The scheme is part of a suite of measures aimed at addressing known triggers for violence against bus drivers and will contribute to keeping bus travel safe for everyone.

Roads and Transport Alliance

The Roads and Transport Alliance (the Alliance) is an ongoing cooperative governance arrangement between TMR and Queensland’s local governments, to invest in and regionally manage Queensland’s road and transport network.

Established in 2002 to help address shared road and transport challenges of state and local governments, the Alliance seeks to deliver collaborative strategic roads and transport planning and investment through maximising value from all available resources.

The Alliance operates under a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Local Government Association of Queensland Ltd (LGAQ), on behalf of Queensland local governments, and TMR.

The role of Chair rotates annually between the LGAQ and TMR board members.

The MoA was renewed for a further five years in October 2018 and recognises that both TMR and local governments have important roles in the funding, management and delivery of Queensland’s road and transport infrastructure.

In 2018–19, over 255 projects were delivered statewide through this partnership, with joint investment of over $120 million in local roads, safer school drop-off areas and active transport infrastructure.

For more information on the Roads and Transport Alliance

Transport Academic Partnership

The Transport Academic Partnership (TAP) 2015–2020 Agreement is a $3.3 million agreement between Transport and Main Roads, the Motor Accident Insurance Commission, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Griffith University and the University of Queensland (UQ).

The collaborative partnership facilitates innovative transport research and development (R&D) to build mutual capability across government and academic sectors. The agreement supports the shared delivery of a small annual work program of R&D projects across various transport topics. In 2018–19 project topics included travel behaviour research, user surveying and data collection, demand modelling, new technologies research, assessment and estimation methodology development and literature reviews.

The work program for 2019–20 has been collectively developed and will include 11 new R&D projects covering topics such as; behavioural economics, safety research, customer experience evaluation, multi-modal planning methodologies, public transport technologies and more.

The TAP Agreement also facilitates an internal procurement strategy which ensures eligible R&D projects can be delivered quickly and efficiently through the established partnerships, providing prompt and innovative benefits for all parties.

For more information on Transport Academic Partnership


  Departmental staff and university professors at a Transport Academic Partnership event

Associate Professor Matthew Burke, Griffith University, Professor Alexander Paz, QUT, Associate Professor Jonathan Bunker, QUT, Ms Michelle Connolly, TMR and Professor Mark Hickman, UQ.

National Asset Centre of Excellence

Now in its sixth year, the National Asset Centre of Excellence (NACoE) was established by TMR and the Australian Road and Research Board to strengthen specialist technical capability and capacity and achieve cost savings in road infrastructure expenditure through targeted research.

As TMR’s benchmark research and development program, NACoE has a strong focus on pavements, asset management and structures research. It targets international best practice, providing guidance to allow the use of innovative materials and translating new knowledge into best practice for the department.

TMR’s $5 million investment in the 2018–19 NACoE program has enabled a number of multi-year projects to proceed. As NACoE matures and early research objectives are realised, increased emphasis is being placed on collaborative research with other external partners and universities, knowledge sharing and industry engagement to encourage broader implementation of research findings and greater savings.

Some highlights from NACoE research include the:

  • increased use of recycled tyre rubber in road surfacing including Crumbed Rubber Modified (CRM) bitumen now being used on all resealing work in South Western Queensland, based on its demonstrated advantages
  • development of a new technical specification to allow for the use of an alternative to conventional asphalt called EME2 (high modulus asphalt). Based on the success of trails on multiple projects EME2 is rapidly becoming the asphalt of choice for heavy duty pavements
  • release of a draft specification for the use of precast geopolymer elements as an alternative to cement concrete, with a goal of facilitating innovation in the construction industry to improve durability and reduce carbon footprints. Geopolymer concrete uses fly ash instead of cement, and considerably reduced the energy required to manufacture concrete.

Case Study

Sustainable road design, construction and maintenance

TMR continues to be a leader in sustainable road design and construction following our commitment to achieving ‘excellent’ Infrastructure Sustainability ratings for all projects over $100 million in 2017. This commitment has resulted in 43 projects working towards infrastructure sustainability principles. This commitment to sustainability has driven change in a wide range of practices including the incorporation of materials such as low emissions concrete and pavements into projects.

Through the TMR and ARRB National Asset Centre of Excellence 2018–19 Program TMR investigated and quantified greenhouse gas emission reduction opportunities for existing and emerging pavement technologies. The results of this work will be incorporated in the current transport infrastructure program to provide sustainability benefits and assist with projects achieving ‘excellent’ sustainability ratings.

An example of the flow on effects of this commitment is how the trial of 10,000 tonnes of EME2 on the Gateway Upgrade North has paved the way for 200,000 tonnes to be used on the Logan Enhancement Project and other projects are planning to adopt this approach in 2019–20.

Transport Infrastructure Development/Regional Roads and Transport Groups

Regional Roads and Transport Groups (RRTGs) are the foundation of the Alliance, formed through voluntary collaboration between councils and local TMR districts that regionally align. There are 17 RRTGs across Queensland, representing 65 local governments including five Aboriginal Shire Councils. RRTG members include local government elected members and TMR District Directors.

RRTGs determine regional transport infrastructure investment outcomes by collaboratively developing and agreeing to a four-year program of works based on regional investment strategies and priorities, capacity to match Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) funding and ability to deliver within the financial year.

In 2018–19, 257 projects were delivered statewide through the RRTGs, with joint investment of over $120 million in local roads, safer school drop-off areas and active transport infrastructure

Franchised roads - Tolled roads and TransUrban

The state may enter into road franchise agreements under the provisions of the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 to assist and encourage private sector investment in the construction, maintenance and operation of road transport infrastructure. The state has entered into road franchise agreements for the Gateway and Logan motorways and AirportLink operated and maintained by Transurban Queensland, Port Drive operated and maintained by the Port of Brisbane, and Toowoomba Second Range Crossing currently under construction and to be operated and maintained by Nexus Infrastructure.

During 2018 the Transport and Public Works Committee conducted an Inquiry into the Operations of Toll Roads in Queensland. The Committee made five recommendations with a view to improving the toll road user customer experience. Government has supported the Committee’s findings and the department is working with key stakeholders to implement all recommendations.

A Road Franchise Agreement is also held with the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd for Port Drive. This is not a toll road but does provide the only access to the Port of Brisbane precinct.

A major upgrade of Port Drive has been completed by Port of Brisbane in consultation with TMR’s Metropolitan Region. The port financed the $110 million project, which provides duplication of Port Drive, new bridges at Kite Street and Lucinda Drive, and the implementation of Intelligent Transport Systems that are connected to the TMR traffic management system. Through the franchise agreement, this new section of road will be operated as part of the state network but maintained by the Port.

New Generation Rollingstock accessibility upgrades

The $4.4 billion New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) project will deliver 75 new passenger trains for South East Queensland.

Following testing and the investigation of concerns raised by the disability sector, it was confirmed that the trains were not compliant with the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (DSAPT). As a result, the Queensland Government committed to reviewing the design of the NGR fleet and to work collaboratively with the disability sector to further develop proposals for accessibility modifications to the NGR fleet.

The department’s approach was to create a specialist Project Working Group (PWG) made up of six members of the disability sector, representing the diverse interests and needs of passengers with mobility, hearing, and vision impairments.

During 2018 the PWG worked closely with the department’s NGR Project Team to review the train design to not only meet compliance but achieve increased functionality for all train users. Using a collaborative-focused model of consultation, the PWG were given the power to develop a set of recommendations for specific changes to the design of the train carriage layout and toilets on the NGR trains. Out of a total of 30 recommendations made by the PWG, more than 80 per cent were adopted outright into the final design of the trains.

The use of several innovative techniques in the engagement process including Co-Design, and demonstrating compliance through the principal of Equivalent Access, contributed to the success of the engagement process and the outcomes.

There have been high levels of satisfaction with the PWG engagement process from stakeholders in the disability sector. PWG members were able to see their feedback and recommendations become tangible outcomes in real time through the design process.

As a result of this consultation process, in December 2018 the Queensland Government announced the $335.7 million NGR accessibility upgrade program.

These upgrades will provide two accessible toilets on all 75 New Generation Rollingstock six-car trains, increase the size of toilet modules by 10 per cent, add more priority seats and provide new functional improvements for passengers with disabilities.

As the detailed design of the upgrades is progressed, and modifications on the NGR fleet begin in Maryborough in late 2019, the PWG will continue to be key stakeholders in the process. From this engagement process, Queensland will have one of the most inclusive modern train fleets in Australia once the accessibility modifications on all 75 trains in the NGR fleet are complete in 2024.

Draeger drug test instrument

In January 2019, we funded a Draeger Drug Test instrument for use by Water Police in support of on-water drug testing and enforcement. The Police Minister has acknowledged the increasing numbers of vessels on Queensland waterways and the need for the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and their compliance partners to create a safe environment for all to enjoy.

With each Draeger Drug Test unit costing under $8000, it is an expensive exercise but one that will help address the growing issue of illegal and unsafe behaviour on Queensland waterways. Both alcohol and drugs increase the risk of marine incidents, so having the ability to test in more locations with increased frequency sends a clear message that ‘drug drivers of vessels will be caught’. The department will continue to work with Water Police to ensure our waterways are safe for use by all the community.


A Drager drug testing kit

Dräger DrugTest 5000
Source © Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA, Lubeck. All rights reserved.

Heavy Vehicle National Law stewardship

Over the past 12 months, TMR has worked with the National Transport Commission and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to progress nationally agreed heavy vehicle reforms through amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law. As host jurisdiction of the Heavy Vehicle National Law, amendments must first be passed by the Queensland Parliament before it can be applied by participating jurisdictions. Key achievements included the commencement of the Chain of Responsibility reforms on 1 October 2018 and the commencement of amendments supporting the establishment of a national heavy vehicle fleet data set as part of reforms to national heavy vehicle registration on 1 July 2018.

In April 2019, the eighth Heavy Vehicle National Law amendment package was introduced into the Queensland Parliament as the Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2019. This Bill is the output of the ongoing maintenance programs and includes amendments to align with the Commonwealth Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018, provide for the giving of advice as a function of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, and simplify the use of deffect notices, and other amendments to reduce the regulatory burden on industry and the Regulator.

In early 2019 a ‘first principles’ review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law was initiated by the National Transport Commission, following approval from the Transport and Infrastructure Council in May 2018.

This work will provide an opportunity for TMR to contribute to the creation of the new Heavy Vehicle National Law to provide a flexible, safe and efficient approach to heavy vehicle regulation that meets the needs of Queensland communities, industry and government bodies.

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

The department acknowledges the need for a skilled and adaptable transport and logistics workforce to deliver the growing Queensland freight and passenger transport task.

Through its support of the Transport and Logistics Workforce Advisory Committee, TMR facilitated the development of the Queensland Transport and Logistics Workforce Strategy and Action Plan 2018–2023.

Industry and government will work together on practical actions to drive meaningful change across these strategies.

Improvements to national notices for heavy vehicles

TMR have been working with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and industry in the development of several harmonised national notices, replacement notices and the development of a revised livestock loading scheme notice.

The harmonised B-double and Agricultural notices were both significant bodies of work. The Agricultural notice provides significant access efficiency benefits to Queensland’s agricultural industry.

In February 2019, 20 replacement national notices were introduced. These notices either replaced expiring notices or previous TMR guidelines that had transitioned to the NHVR under the Heavy Vehicle National Law. The new Livestock notice was the culmination of a significant policy review process, with Queensland’s livestock industry being extensively consulted during this process.

Addressing transport affordability through the Stadiums Taskforce

In April 2018, the Queensland Government established a Stadium Taskforce to review the pricing and practices of Stadiums Queensland, including reviewing transport costs for hirers of Stadiums Queensland venues.

On 16 July 2018, the Taskforce published its interim recommendations including a number of recommendations to address transport affordability. TMR was responsible for working with stakeholders to deliver the recommendations.

TMR has delivered all the recommendations and has implemented:

  • a new Traffic Management Plan framework for all Stadiums Queensland venues to provide greater consistency
  • upgrades to the traffic management plans for Metricon and Cbus stadiums on the Gold Coast and investigation of additional options around the provision of event train services and access to car-parking
  • reviews of the traffic management plans for The Gabba and Suncorp stadiums
  • completion of a competitive procurement process for the provision of event bus shuttles for events at Metricon and Cbus stadiums on the Gold Coast.

Through these initiatives, the department has helped to identify a range of immediate and longer-term recommendations that provide opportunities for ongoing cost savings for stadium hirers, subject to consideration by stadium management.

Bureau of Meteorology discovery workshop

As part of the partnership between TMR and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), a discovery workshop was held in August 2018 focused on the establishment of partner relationships and process mapping of the key products and services of TMR and BoM. This workshop delivered a priority list of projects to inform the partnership including ongoing relationship development, road and rail flood modelling, site or area specific forecast needs over land and ocean, understanding averages and extremes for project planning and response, and sea level rises and coastal inundation.

In early 2019, BoM delivered an Introduction to Meteorology course to TMR business leads, providing a broad overview of the science of meteorology and delivering training on understanding weather forecasting and atmospheric characteristics. This targeted training provided participants with the knowledge to better inform business planning, manage risk and make critical decisions in areas where weather can and has historically impacted TMR assets and operations.

‘Step Up’ Program

TMR worked with Education Queensland to roll out the ‘Step Up’ education program with the aim of building respectful relationships between bus drivers and students.

Increased education for school students was among the recommendations presented by attendees during the Queensland Government’s Youth Fare Evasion Roundtable, held on 17 April 2019 at Parliament House. With more than 100,000 students catching school buses or regular services each day, the right behaviours are essential to ensuring journeys continue to remain safe and secure.

The program includes assembly presentations delivered to students by a local bus driver, a Queensland Police Service officer and a TransLink Senior Network Officer. The presentations educate students on ticketing and are tailored to address the specific areas of focus for each school.

‘Step Up’ presentations have been presented at schools located on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich and Brisbane, targeting areas with high fare evasion and behavioural offences. TransLink Revenue Protection are currently working on a strategy to expand the ‘Step Up’ program to other schools on the TransLink network.

A TransLink officer, bus driver and TransLink officer standing outside in front of Keebra Park State High School.

TransLink Senior Network Officers and a bus driver from Surfside Buslines roll out the ‘Step Up’ education program at Keebra Park State High School on Gold Coast.