Last week, the Federal Parliament passed legislation to establish Australia’s first National Rail Safety Investigator. From January 2013, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) will be responsible for investigating incidents on passenger and freight rail networks across Australia.
Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO, Bryan Nye says the passing of the National Rail Safety Investigator Law is a very welcome move which complements the establishment of the National Rail Safety Regulator in January 2013.
“Currently, Australia’s rail safety system has a number of rail safety investigators in operation and this reform will consolidate these into one single national investigator,” he said.
“It is vital that Industry has the best insights to causation of major rail incidents to be able to take those necessary measures to prevent future incidents.”
Creating the ATSB as national investigator will harness the investigatory knowledge and skills built up across Australia to ensure that rail best understands the causes of significant rail incidents.
“A national approach to rail safety investigation will see all national investigations conducted across a range of safety matters in a consistent and coordinated manner,” continued Mr Nye.
“This will will save lives and prevent injuries and damage to property by enabling better sharing of safety findings between Australian states and territories.”
A national Rail Safety Investigator is an essential component in creating a single national rail safety regulatory system which will add value to the rail industry.
“The Rail Industry congratulates all Governments in supporting this vital reform and looks forward to working with the National Rail Safety Investigator as well as the National Rail Safety Regulator to ensure Australia has a very effective national scheme of rail safety regulation,” concluded Mr Nye.
The legislation is formally known as the Transport Safety Investigation Amendment Bill 2012.