Jun 13, 2012

Appointment of Australia’s First National Safety Regulator

The Federal and South Australian governments have taken another important step towards establishing Australia’s first National Rail Safety Regulator with the appointment of Mr Rob Andrews as Australia’s inaugural National Rail Safety Regulator.

The new National Rail Safety Regulator will be based in Adelaide and will oversee Australia’s urban passenger rail networks and interstate freight operations.

Mr Andrews will play a leading role in making rail transport operate more seamlessly and safely by reducing unnecessary red tape and duplication.

He is a highly experienced rail safety regulator from the United Kingdom, having worked for the Strategic Rail Authority, the Office of Rail Regulation, the Health and Safety Executive, and most recently held positions as Program Director for Crossrail and Thameslink at the London Underground.  He has also been a member of the UK Rail Safety and Standards Board.

Mr Andrew’s appointment follows the passage of the Rail Safety National Law by the South Australian Parliament last month. That law establishes the new national regulator that will replace seven separate regulatory authorities and 46 pieces of legislation.

Other states and territories are expected to deliver the legislation through their parliaments over the coming months, so that the National Rail Safety Regulator will be operational from January 2013.

The Federal Labor Government’s historic transport reforms mean that for the first time in Australia’s history, all railways will come under a single safety regulator with one set of national regulations.

This is a major safety and productivity reform and it shows what can be achieved through cooperation between federal, state and territory governments.

The new national regulator will boost national income by up to $30 billion over the next 20 years by ending the need for mountains of paperwork and multiple fees on the industry.