Whilst many councils and other road authorities are professional in the manner in which they manage access to road reserves, a number have imposed significant restrictions and costs on network operators when performing construction or maintenance works. These costs have become an indirect tax on network operators.
While some of these impositions may be legitimate, others appear to be attempts to raise general revenue rather than simply recover reasonable costs. Along with these costs, some consent authorities can impose different conditions on the conduct of works in situations that are essentially the same. This can lead to both costs and an inability to efficiently manage resources.
Finally, there are increasing calls for standards contained in legislation regulating business to be the same throughout Australia. As a result, ENA published ENA Policy Paper—The impacts of local council and government authority obligations on ENA members working in road and rail reserves—December 2008 (the discussion paper) during June 2008.