The release of the proposed National Rail Safety Law will create a ‘truly national system of rail safety regulation’ for the first time in Australia’s history.
The proposed Law, which will be administered by a new National Rail Safety Regulator to be introduced by 2013, was released for public consultation today by the National Transport Commission (NTC).
NTC Chief Executive, Nick Dimopoulos, said that the proposed Law will slash red tape and boost safety across the industry.
“Australia currently has seven rail safety regulators across eight states and territories, all with their own rail safety laws,” said Mr Dimopoulos.
“With a third of the rail industry operating across state and territory borders, it’s time Australia developed a truly national system of rail safety regulation.
“The proposed Law will streamline the requirements for interstate operators and allow them to spend less time on red tape and more time on managing safety and getting the job done.
“The proposed Law will also provide greater clarity about the requirements for assessing worker competence and create consistency in the communication requirements between train drivers and network control officers across the country.
National Rail Safety Regulator Project Office Director, Julie Bullas, said that the national approach will also benefit intrastate operators and contractors as it will ensure a national approach to data collection and lead to improved benchmarking across the country.
“The National Rail Safety Regulator will support operators to deliver better rail safety outcomes for Australia, as it will draw on a national pool of data, knowledge and resources,” said Ms Bullas.
“The Regulator will become a central point for information and education in rail safety, making it easier to share information on best practice across the country.”
The NTC and the National Rail Safety Regulator Project Office will hold information forums on the proposed Law throughout Australia, including regional cities and towns during July and August.
“As with any major review of transport law, we are keen to hear from the people who will be most affected by these proposed changes,” Mr Dimopoulos said.
To register your attendance at an information forum, visit the website.
The draft National Rail Safety Law and draft regulatory impact statement were developed in consultation with government, industry and union stakeholders.
The public consultation period will close on 12 August 2011.