National Rail Safety Investigator established
Transport minister Anthony Albanese introduced legislation to Parliament last Wednesday to establish the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) as the nation’s first National Rail Safety Investigator.
The Transport Safety Investigation Amendment Bill 2012 establishes Australia’s first national rail safety investigator by tasking the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) with responsibility for investigating safety events on all metropolitan passenger and freight rail networks across Australia.
Albanese said the national approach will replace Australia's current “patchwork” of regulators and laws and will see more investigations conducted across a greater range of safety matters.
"It will mean better sharing and implementation of safety findings between states and territories which will save lives and prevent injuries,” Albanese said.
The Federal Government has provided $11.2m to the ATSB to enable it to prepare for its role as Australia’s “no-blame rail and maritime safety investigator”, he said.
“The ATSB has a proven record in conducting independent investigations that achieve practical improvements to transport safety. The findings from the ATSB’s investigations will help improve overall safety and identify areas of improvement.”
The ATSB’s rail safety investigation role will complement the work of the new National Rail Safety Regulator (NRSR).
The Transport Safety Investigation Amendment Bill 2012 continues the government’s historic rail reform. As of January 1, 2013, the existing 23 separate state and federal rail safety regulators, along with their costly and confusing array of regulations will be replaced by just a single NRSR which will administer one set of modern, nationwide laws
The NRSR means interstate rail operators will no longer have to deal with:
- 7 separate regulatory authorities
- 46 pieces of State/Territory and Commonwealth legislation including 7 rail safety Acts, 9 occupational health and safety Acts, and 7 dangerous goods Acts.
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