The ARA is involved in a range of rail safety policy issues, primarily dealing with the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR). Key areas are:
The rail industry continues to be fully engaged in the ONRSR reform process. The Safety Policy Working Group looks at high level policy issues and industry is represented on a range of ONRSR groups including the ONRSR CEO Industry Reference Group and smaller groups established to provide input to specific issues such as ONRSR costs, the review of drugs and alcohol legislation and a fatigue management review. Membership of these groups is organised by the ARA and is selected to ensure all relevant sectors are represented.
National Rail Safety Law (RSNL)
The final draft legislation underpinning the National Rail Safety Regulator became law in South Australia as the “host” state for the NRSR on 1 May 2012. The legislation is being progressively passed in jurisdictions. The ARA is pushing for national consistency through all jurisdictions adopting the RSNL. The ARA is also involved (with members) on the NTC RSNL Maintenance Group. This group provides feedback to NTC on proposed changes to the RSNL.
National Rail Safety Investigator
Industry continues to engage with the ATSB, primarily through the industry led Safety Managers Group.
The ARA and RISSB are working with Safety Managers to develop a “one industry” approach. This complements the industry’s call for one regulator, one investigator and one law. Working as one industry will mean consistent application of legislation, rules, standards, guidelines and codes of practice across the industry, providing timely and accurate data, ensuring rail safety worker competencies are harmonised across the industry and ensuring there is open communication within industry and externally to key stakeholders.