This week, Tasmania’s Parliament became the second jurisdiction to pass legislation to establish Australia’s first National Rail Safety Regulator.
We now have two states – Tasmania and South Australia – in the national rail safety system.
From January 2013, for the first time in Australia’s history, our railways will come under a single safety regulator with one set of national regulations.
Across the board, we are reducing 23 state-based maritime, rail and heavy vehicles regulators to just three.
The national rail safety regulator, headed up by Rob Andrews, will be based in Adelaide and have oversight of the country’s urban passenger rail networks and interstate freight operations.
For over 110 years, our railways have been governed by multiple sets of rules and laws which have created confusing red tape and duplication.
Our transport reforms will boost national income by up to $30 billion over the next 20 years by ending the need for unnecessary paperwork and multiple fees on the industry.
This is a major safety and productivity reform and shows what can be achieved through cooperation between federal, state and territory governments.
The remaining states and territories are expected to deliver legislation through their parliaments to join the new national system in the coming months.