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Develop the Commonwealth's role in rail and safety and investigation

Key strategy Performance indicators Achievement
Develop the Commonwealth's role in rail and safety and investigation.
(Contributing division: Australian Transport Safety Bureau)
  • The proposed Transport Safety Investigation Act and regulations are progressed to enable independent ATSB investigation on the interstate system.
  • Investigation of rail safety occurrences if commissioned by the states/NT.
  • Further development of a national rail safety occurrence database.
Substantially achieved

Key achievements

Transport safety

A major milestone for transport safety was achieved this year when the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 (TSI Act) and the Transport Safety Investigation (Consequential Amendments) Act 2003 (TSI (CA) Act) received royal assent on 11 April 2003. Both Acts and accompanying regulations came into effect on 1 July 2003.

The TSI Act replaces Part 2A of the Air Navigation Act 1920 for aviation safety investigations and the Navigation (Marine Casualty) Regulations 1990 for marine safety investigations. The TSI Act allows for rail safety investigations on the Defined Interstate Rail Network by the ATSB.

In aviation, marine, and now rail, the TSI Act will allow the ATSB to contribute effectively to maintaining and improving transport safety through the conduct of independent, 'no-blame' investigations into transport safety accidents and incidents and industry and public education through communication of the results of those investigations.

Rail safety investigations

The ATSB led six rail safety investigations during 2002-03, undertaken at the request of state governments under state law. The ATSB also participated in two other rail safety investigations and assisted the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Waterfall Rail Accident in NSW.

All ATSB rail safety investigation reports released by state governments during 2002-03 contained recommendations that were endorsed by the appointing authority. These recommendations generally related to technical, management and organisational issues.

National Rail Occurrence Database

In accordance with a November 1999 decision of the Australian Transport Council, the ATSB continued to work on development of a National Rail Occurrence Database.

The database provides national safety statistics on the Australian railway system for the calendar years 2001 and 2002 based on input from state and Northern Territory rail regulators. While progress to broaden the database during 2002-03 was limited, the bureau will continue to work with rail safety regulators to seek to provide additional statistical information on Australian rail occurrences.

Two reports based on the database were released during the year, one on significant occurrences and one on rail transport activity in Australia.

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