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Rail regulatory reform: What can Indonesia learn from Australia?

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13 May 2013 - Ken Devencorn, Aurecon’s Rail Leader, will be sharing insights from Australia’s 20-year journey to rail regulatory reform and the lessons Indonesia can draw from its experience at the inaugural Australasian Railway Association (ARA) Heavy Haul Rail Indonesia 2013 conference.

The conference will take place at the Hotel Borobudur, in Jakarta, Indonesia from 15–16 May 2013.

Two decades ago, the Hilmer Report precipitated an economic revolution in Australia leading to fundamental changes in the business of rail, telecommunications, ports, water, local government, and electricity. This regulatory reform has been internationally identified as one of the power-house strategies of Australian international competitiveness.

Professor Frederick Hilmer led the National Competition Policy Review Committee, established in 1992 by then Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating to undertake an independent Inquiry into a national competition policy. Studies by the Australian Productivity Commission have shown that the Hilmer reforms delivered a substantial boost to productivity. Today Indonesian rail is poised where Australia was at the start of this same road to regulatory reform.

Severe road congestion is hampering Indonesia’s economic development with cities choking under the cost and community burden of a road-based economy. Road transport is the predominant freight and passenger mode, accounting for about 70 per cent of freight tonne/km and 82 per cent of passenger/km (Source: World Bank).

A move towards greater use of rail (heavy haul, freight, and passenger) can help significantly reduce road congestion, the cost of goods to market, traffic fatalities, and greenhouse gas production. Indonesia’s newly enacted Railway Law and other regulations provide support for this modal shift to grow rail transport from its current sub 10 per cent base.

But Australia made many false steps in its transport economic development. Ken said: “Indonesia is in a wonderful position to learn from Australia’s mistakes and see the benefits of our competition reform journey from 20 years on.

“There is a strong possibility that  Indonesia will rapidly catch-up and perhaps mature to where Australia is in a four to five year period, with Australian lessons providing a good path to follow and useful insights to sidestepping some of the not-so-obvious obstacles along the way.”

The conference will be held in association with Indonesia’s sole operator, Kereta API and will examine the challenges and opportunities in planning, funding and constructing a heavy haul network for Indonesia, including the unique operational challenges for the region. The conference provides an avenue for the global rail industry to explore significant opportunities that exist off the back of Indonesia’s growing coal trade.

Aurecon is a leading practitioner in rail across delivery, rail infrastructure design, rail economics, simulation and modelling, and operations development. Aurecon prides itself on being able to provide complete design services across all phases of the rail project delivery chain, founded on sound operational deliverables.

A review of Australia’s 20-year journey to rail regulatory reform and the lessons Indonesia can draw from its experience
Presented by: Ken Devencorn 
Conference day one: Wednesday 15 May 2013 at 2.40

If you would like to attend, please visit the conference website.

If you are unable to attend, please visit Aurecon’s rail services page to find out more about our offerings or contact Ken directly.

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