WA joins national rail safety scheme

Media Release


02 November 2015

Today Western Australia joined South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory as participants in the National Rail Safety Regulation and Investigation scheme; a significant step forward in national transport reform.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the WA Parliament's passage of the Rail Safety National Law last month enables the state to join the scheme, with regulatory oversight by the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator.

“Rail safety in Australia was once a patchwork of state and territory arrangements, but is now an increasingly seamless and efficient national system,” Mr Truss said.

“Western Australian rail operators will enjoy reduced regulatory complexity, more efficient accreditation services under the national law, and enhanced safety through independent accident and incident investigations.

“Efficiency gains through joining the national scheme will result in lower compliance costs for operators.

“This will have flow-on effects for the whole Western Australian economy, including the state's agriculture, tourism and mineral sectors.

“Rail passengers in urban areas will also benefit from the highest national rail safety standards.

“The Australian Transport Safety Bureau's extensive national experience in investigating rail occurrences and identifying safety issues will complement the new regulatory framework—underpinning a clear focus on assuring the safety of the travelling public.

“In addition, as a result of work currently being undertaken by the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, Australia will soon have national frameworks for drug and alcohol management and fatigue management for rail operations.

“These measures, which will complement methods developed by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for studying crew fatigue in incidents and accidents, aim to significantly improve safety based productivity performance for the rail industry.

“I congratulate Western Australia for taking this major step towards national transport and economic reform.”