Western Australia agrees to national rail regulations


National truck regulations unpopular with WA, but state supports national rail scheme.

Western Australia agrees to national rail regulations
National rail safety measures are now in place throughout most of Australia.

 

It has so far resisted adopting national heavy vehicle regulations, but Western Australia has taken a step toward cross-border uniformity by implementing national rail safety measures.

The Federal Government announced today WA has joined six other jurisdictions as participants in the National Rail Safety Regulation and Investment scheme.

WA’s Parliament passed legislation enacting the Rail Safety National Law, giving the state the power to be part of the scheme with regulatory oversight from the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (NRSR)

South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory are already a part of the scheme.

Federal infrastructure minister Warren Truss says the move marks a significant step forward for national transport reform.

"Rail safety in Australia was once a patchwork of state and territory arrangements, but is now an increasingly seamless and efficient national system," Truss says.

"Western Australian rail operators will enjoy reduced regulatory complexity, more efficient accreditation services under the national law, and enhanced safety through independent accident and incident investigations."

Truss says WA’s decision to join the national framework will lead to efficiency gains and result in lower compliance costs for operators

"This will have flow-on effects for the whole Western Australian economy, including the state's agriculture, tourism and mineral sectors," he says

Truss adds that the NRSR is currently working on the development of national frameworks for drug and alcohol management and fatigue management for rail operations.

He says both measures aim to significantly improve safety and productivity in the rail industry.

 

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