Monday, 1 July 2019
Today Austroads celebrates 30 years of collaboration, harmonisation and innovation, but our history stretches back to the 1930s.
Established on 1 July 1989, Austroads replaced the National Association of Australian State Road Authorities (NAASRA) which was established in 1959. The predecessor to NAASRA was the Conference of State Road Authorities (COSRA) which was established in 1934.
In 1933, a conference was held in Melbourne with the Commonwealth and State Ministers for Transport. It led to a decision to hold an annual conference of state road authority executives. The conference was named COSRA and was first was held in February 1934. It afforded all the states and territories the opportunity to disseminate information, coordinate research, and discuss road finance and legislation. The transparency and collaboration of all the states was seen as a major benefit in problem solving across the country, and the strength and importance of the conference grew each year.
The conferences were held twice a year until 1939, when they were postponed until 1945 due to the Second World War. In 1954 COSRA developed a master plan for a National Route Marking Scheme to produce a consistent navigation system across the entire country. National Route 31, known as the Hume Highway, trialled this system and it was considered a success. From this point forward, all proposals and changes to the National Route system had to be approved by COSRA.
In October 1959 COSRA changed its name to the National Association of Australia State Road Authorities (NAASRA). The new name reflected the evolution of the conference into an organisation.
In 1960 NAASRA established the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) to encourage research into road-making, planning and management.
NAASRA was renamed Austroads in 1989. The name change reflected the moves by many of its member organisations to integrate traffic, safety, registration and licensing with design and construction activities. In the same year, Austroads established the National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System (NEVDIS) which exchanges information about vehicles and driver licenses across state borders, and adopted a road management focus through four programs: Road and Road Transport Policy, Road Use Management, Business Efficiency and Road Technology.
The company became Austroads Incorporated in 1991 and added Road Safety to its programs.
The initial eight state and territory road authority members were joined by the Australian Local Government Association and Transit New Zealand in 1993.
In 2004 Austroads restructured its programs to Assets, Freight, Network, Registration & Licencing, Safety and Technology. In June 2005 the Capability Program was added and ceased to operate in June 2012.
The company changed its name to Austroads Limited on 22 October 2009.
In March 2016 Austroads restructured its programs to Assets, Safety and Network. A Connected and Automated Vehicles Program (CAV) was added in November 2018.
In 2019 Austroads acquired Transport Certification Australia (TCA) which manages the National Telematics Framework and provides assurance in the use of telematics and related intelligent technologies.
Throughout its history, Austroads has provided a collective approach that delivers value for money, encourages shared knowledge and drives consistency for road users.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed to our work over the decades, and to those who continue to invest their expertise and energy in delivering better roads for all.