Rail services and infrastructure
Transport and Main Roads develops rail policy advice, and is the agency that oversees the provision of rail services and infrastructure. The department also has the following roles in regards to the rail network:
- holds the perpetual lease over all rail corridor land in Queensland and is the custodian and protector of these corridors
- sub-leases the corridor to rail managers such as Queensland Rail Limited, Aurizon, ARTC, Airtrain and heritage railways.
Under the sub-lease arrangements, the manager has a 'duty of care' for the land. The department also approves third-party use of the corridors for things such as telecommunications, advertising, and other commercial and community uses, as well as associated tenure arrangements.
Transport and Main Roads also approves new crossings of the corridor. As owner of the corridor for the purposes of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, the department can give owner’s consent for any development applications that affect the corridor.
The department is a constructing authority for the purposes of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 and can acquire new rail corridors for Queensland Rail Limited and other rail managers — provided all environmental and public purpose issues have been addressed. The department also preserves disused railway corridors in case they are required for future transport use. In the interim, they can be made available for recreational and other community uses such as walking or riding trails.
The Community Service Obligation (CSO) framework
The Queensland Treasury has developed a policy called Community Service Obligations: A Policy Framework, for the provision of CSOs by the Queensland Government.
The Community Service Obligation Framework for Public Transport in South East Queensland has been developed to fulfil the requirements of the policy framework when providing public transport in south east Queensland. This framework is designed to identify those areas where government support of public transport services is appropriate — as well as determining the most effective means of providing this support.
Public Benefit Test of Queensland's Rail Safety Legislation
To ensure that the rail safety provisions of the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 are in the public interest, we have reviewed the relevant provisions by undertaking a short form public benefit test prescribed as part of the government's response to national competition policy.
The review found that Queensland's rail safety framework is cost efficient and the legislation on which it is based sustains rail safety.