Today marks 30 years of independent safety investigations in Australia.
On this day in 1982, the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation (BASI) was created as an operationally independent agency.
Now operating as the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), Australia’s national transport safety investigator has a hard-earned reputation for professionalism, independence and technical expertise, both at home and abroad.
The ATSB’s role was expanded in 1999 to include rail and marine accident investigations.
Over the last three decades, this has led to more than 4,000 transport safety investigations.
Just three years ago, this Federal Labor Government established the ATSB as a separate statutory agency with a full time Chief Commissioner and two part time Commissioners.
In addition, from 18 December 2012, the ATSB will become the main national investigator for rail accidents and incidents, working alongside the new National Rail Safety Regulator, replacing seven state and territory rail safety agencies.
This expanded role has been made possible as part of the Government’s broader transport reform program to create single national transport regulators.
Whether investigating aviation, marine or rail incidents and accidents, the ATSB’s underlying goal has been to promote safer transport for Australians.
Australia has a proud safety record. Ongoing vigilance by our safety agencies is critical to maintaining and building on that record.
I congratulate the ATSB, its commissioners and staff past and present on this achievement.