Road data harmonisation

Austroads is undertaking an ambitious project to establish a harmonised road asset data standard for use in Australia and New Zealand.

The Data Standard for Road Management and Investment Project has been initiated in response to requests from stakeholders who increasingly need to share data with other road management agencies but are frustrated by the lack of common data standards.

Austroads is now delivering an implementation program aimed at having the most important data groups adopted and utilised by local, state and federal level organisations in a staged way. The project is developing subsets of the Data Standard, called Priority Harmonisation Subsets through which large proportions of harmonisation benefits can be achieved and seeking to promote their adoption by road managers and the supporting sector.

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Overview Webinar

This webinar explains how the Data Standard is designed, the data definitions it contains, and the multiple ways it can be used; how harmonised data sets are being used to promote benefits at the local and national levels through case studies; and the plans to support data standard adoption through a range of tools and data collaboration ventures. Download the presentation slides and answers to questions asked during the presentation.


Business Case analysis shows significant benefits and cost savings can be obtained by road management and governance agencies being able to readily share common data between each other.

Benefits could include improved understanding of road assets, direct savings to agencies for data management and reporting, consistent and comparable data to support better government decision making and supporting new technology and transport innovation.

Road managers include national, state and local government agencies which each collect information to inform their asset management strategies and to determine expenditure priorities.

The lack of a harmonised road asset data standards means that each road manager collects similar, yet slightly different, information. The minor but consequential differences in road asset data limit the comparability of asset information between road networks, and increases the costs of working across different road networks.

An example of an area where a common data standard is anticipated to be heavy vehicle road reform policy development where more reliable and consistent policy is dependent on having reliable and consistent information about the road network across jurisdictions.

Other types of data to be considered in the project include descriptions and locations of assets, maintenance activities and cost metrics, asset condition and performance and road classification.

Opus International Consultants and GISSA were appointed to deliver the first stage of the project which involved extensive research into existing data requirements and current practice.


Workshop were held in February and March 2016 across Australia and New Zealand to allow practitioners to contribute to the development of the Data Standard for Road Management and Investment.

In April 2016 a further draft of the Standard was released for comment.

In November 2016 the first version of the Standard was published. This first version of the Standard has been prepared to provide information for road managers and the wider road sector.

Version 2 of the Standard has now been published and is available for use. This version of the Standard highlights an initial Priority Harmonisation Subset (PHS) of data, that will be the subject of further review and stakeholder consultation.  The PHS and wider Standard will continue to develop and mature in consultation with stakeholders and in support of national reforms.

The Data Standard continues to evolve and in late 2017 Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) were appointed to develop Version 3 of the Standard. This version will focus on alignment and comparison of road classification, road condition and a range of other data groups noted by stakeholders as requiring further development and harmonisation. This work will also produce an updated set of PHS that will be the focus of data harmonisation implementation efforts. Draft documents are being developed and are scheduled to be released for stakeholder consultation later in 2018.

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