Roads and Maritime Services

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Roads and Maritime Services
Roads and Maritime Services logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed1 November 2011 (2011-11-01)
Preceding agencies
Type Statutory authority
Jurisdiction New South Wales
Headquarters Milsons Point, Sydney, Australia
Ministers responsible
Agency executive
  • Kenneth Kanofski, Chief Executive Officer

Roads and Maritime Services (also known as Roads & Maritime Services) is an agency of the New South Wales Government responsible for building and maintaining road infrastructure and managing the day-to-day compliance and safety for roads and waterways. [1]

A statutory authority is a body set up by law which is authorised to enact legislation on behalf of the relevant country or state. They are typically found in countries which are governed by a British style of parliamentary democracy such as the UK and British Commonwealth countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India. They are also found in Israel and elsewhere. In Britain, many such bodies are termed QUANGOs because of their semi-autonomous nature.

Government of New South Wales state government of New South Wales, Australia

The Government of New South Wales, also referred to as the New South Wales Government or NSW Government, is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of New South Wales. It is currently held by a coalition of the Liberal Party and the National Party. The Government of New South Wales, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, was formed in 1856 as prescribed in its Constitution, as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, New South Wales has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, New South Wales ceded legislative and judicial supremacy to the Commonwealth, but retained powers in all matters not in conflict with the Commonwealth.


The agency was created on 1 November 2011 from a merger of the Roads & Traffic Authority and NSW Maritime. Planning responsibilities were transferred to Transport for NSW, which was created on the same day. In April 2019, it was revealed that the agency is to cease to exist with all of its functions transferred to Transport for NSW. [2]

Roads & Traffic Authority government agency in New South Wales, Australia

The Roads & Traffic Authority (RTA) is a former Australian government agency in New South Wales that was responsible for major road infrastructure, licensing of drivers, and registration of motor vehicles. The RTA directly managed State roads and provided funding to local councils for regional and local roads. In addition, with assistance from the Federal Government, the RTA also previously managed the NSW national highway system. The agency was abolished in 2011 and replaced by NSW Roads and Maritime Services.

NSW Maritime was an agency in the Government of New South Wales, Australia. NSW Maritime was the State Government Authority responsible for marine safety, regulation of commercial and recreational boating and oversight of port operations. The Authority was also responsible for property management of submerged lands in Sydney Harbour, Newcastle Harbour, Botany Bay and Port Kembla, and for providing strategic advice on ports and maritime matters to the NSW Government.

Transport for NSW statutory authority of the New South Wales Government

Transport for NSW, sometimes abbreviated to TfNSW, and pronounced as Transport for New South Wales, is a statutory authority of the New South Wales Government that was created on 1 November 2011 to manage the transport services in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is the leading transport agency of the state. The authority is a separate entity from the New South Wales Department of Transport, the ultimate parent entity of Transport for NSW


Roads and Maritime Services manages 4,787 bridges and 17,623 km (10,950 mi) of state roads and highways, including 3,105 km (1,929 mi) of national highways, and employs 6,900 staff in more than 180 offices throughout NSW, including 129 Motor Registries Offices.

National Highway (Australia) highway system in Australia

The National Highway is a system of roads connecting all mainland states and territories of Australia, and is the major network of highways and motorways connecting Australia's capital cities and major regional centres.

Vehicle registration

Motor Registry Office with the former Roads & Traffic Authority branding in Wagga Wagga RTA Motor Registry Office.jpg
Motor Registry Office with the former Roads & Traffic Authority branding in Wagga Wagga

Roads and Maritime Services is responsible for the registration of vehicles (including the issuing of registration plates) and the issuing of driver licences in New South Wales, including testing and administering of licences. Additionally, RMS produces photo cards for identification of non-drivers and issues photographic firearms licences and security licences for the New South Wales Police Firearms Registry, Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents cards and Mobility Parking Permits.

Vehicle registration plate metal or plastic identification plate attached to a motor vehicle or trailer

A vehicle registration plate, also known as a number plate or a license plate, is a metal or plastic plate attached to a motor vehicle or trailer for official identification purposes. All countries require registration plates for road vehicles such as cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Whether they are required for other vehicles, such as bicycles, boats, or tractors, may vary by jurisdiction. The registration identifier is a numeric or alphanumeric ID that uniquely identifies the vehicle owner within the issuing region's vehicle register. In some countries, the identifier is unique within the entire country, while in others it is unique within a state or province. Whether the identifier is associated with a vehicle or a person also varies by issuing agency. There are also electronic license plates.

Major incident response

Traffic Emergency Patrol RMS Traffic Emergency Patrol van on Loftus Street in Circular Quay.jpg
Traffic Emergency Patrol

Within NSW, the Transport Management Centre is responsible for managing special events and unplanned incidents and disseminating information to motorists. [3] It is the central point for identifying and directing the response to incidents such as crashes, breakdowns and spills. It passes on information to the public through the media, the RMS call centre and variable message signs along routes. [4]

In 1999 the NSW Transport Management Centre (TMC) established Traffic Commander and Traffic Emergency Patrol (TEP) services throughout the Greater Urban Area of Sydney to provide 24-hour 365-day-a-year coverage to "Manage the traffic arrangements around an incident scene and return the road to normal operating conditions with the utmost urgency." [5]

Traffic Commanders take command of traffic management arrangements at an incident (such as a motor vehicle collision) and liaise with other response agencies such as the Police, and assist in clearing the road and minimising the effects and disruption to traffic. [6] Traffic Commanders exercise command and control of RMS resources at the outer perimeter with regard to traffic management such as the coordination of Traffic Emergency Patrols. [7] Traffic Emergency Patrols vans patrol major road routes and respond to unplanned incidents with the aim of returning the road to normal operating conditions as soon as possible. [5] Both Traffic Commanders and TEP units carry a wide array of traffic management devices such as traffic cones, barrier boards and road signage. [8] Both also are permitted to use and display red and blue emergency lighting and are designated as 'emergency vehicles'. [9]

'Role of the TMC' The current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between various Government agencies in NSW states that the TMC has the following responsibilities: [8]

The TMC will:

Traffic Emergency Patrol assisting with a road closure during a serious motor vehicle collision. KU 221 ^ RTA Emergency Response Iveco Turbo Daily - Flickr - Highway Patrol Images.jpg
Traffic Emergency Patrol assisting with a road closure during a serious motor vehicle collision.

Car ferry services

Wisemans Ferry Wisemans Ferry.jpg
Wisemans Ferry

As part of its duty to provide major road infrastructure, RMS is responsible for the provision of several car ferries. These ferries are all toll-free, and include: [10] [11]


Tacking Point Lighthouse Tacking Point Lighthouse qtl1.jpg
Tacking Point Lighthouse

RMS is responsible for light operation in the following 13 lighthouses: [12]

Key building projects

Key road building projects that Roads and Maritime Services are undertaking either directly, through contractors or via public/private partnerships, include:


Previously Roads and Maritime Services maintained separate offices, which were the most widespread offices of the New South Wales Government in the state. These have almost universally been replaced by Service NSW offices. While the new offices perform most of the functions of Roads and Maritime Services, they also handle other New South Wales Government services, such as Births Deaths and Marriage registrations [13] .

Many functions that required attendance can now be performed online, e.g. vehicle registration renewal. [14]

See also

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  1. "Roads and maritime services agency effective from today" (PDF) (Press release). Government of New South Wales. 1 November 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 June 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  2. NSW road and transport agencies merged; reshuffle in senior bureaucracy Sydney Morning Herald 1 April 2019
  3. Live Traffic NSW Transport for NSW
  4. "Annual Report 2002" (PDF). Roads & Traffic Authority.
  5. 1 2 "Re: Dedicated Major Incident Response Team". National Transportation Operations Coalition. 10 September 2001. Archived from the original on 2 September 2005. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  6. Memorandum of Understanding - Management of Road and Traffic Incidents NSW Government
  7. Up for the challenge|Sydney traffic commander Shane Bentley| RTA Archived 9 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine . (2010-05-07). Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
  8. 1 2 F3 Traffic incident response. Roads and Traffic Authority Services (3 November 2011). Retrieved on 7 September 2013.
  9. Vehicle Standards Information - Flashing Lights and Sirens NSW Government 24 November 2010
  10. "Vehicle ferries". Roads & Maritime Services. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  11. "Contract Notice RTA.07.2547.0089". Roads & Traffic Authority. Archived from the original on 31 March 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
  12. "Lighthouses - NSW Maritime" . Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  13. Service NSW NSW Government
  14. Renew a Vehicle Registration Service NSW

Further reading