Mar 8, 2010

Appointment to National Transport Safety Body

Appointment to National Transport Safety Body

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

March 8 2010

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) now has its full complement of commissioners following the appointment of Carolyn Walsh.

Ms Walsh will begin her three year term as the organisation’s second part time Commissioner from today, joining Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan and Commissioner Noel Hart.

Ms Walsh has extensive experience in transport safety, accident investigation and high level policy development, most recently as the chief executive of the NSW Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator.

This appointment underscores how just serious we are about recruiting individuals with the expertise, intellectual calibre and energy to enforce the highest of safety standards across the transport industries upon which our economy and communities depend.

While Australia has an enviable record, nothing can be taken for granted.

The appointment of Ms Walsh flows from the landmark legislation passed by the Parliament last year establishing the ATSB as a statutory agency with a full time chief commissioner and two part time commissioners.

As a statutory agency separated entirely from regulators, policy makers and service providers, the ATSB is charged with improving safety and public confidence in the nation’s transport systems (aviation, marine and rail), primarily by conducting independent investigations into accidents and other safety occurrences.

Importantly, it does not investigate for the purpose of apportioning blame or to provide a means for determining liability.

In addition to reforming and refocusing the ATSB as the nation’s premier accident investigator, the Rudd Labor Government is also overhauling the way we as a nation regulate our transport industries, including replacing the existing seven state-based rail safety regulators with one national regulator based in Adelaide.

These reforms were approved by the Council of Australian Government (COAG) in December.