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Saturday, June 15, 2024

‘Monumental’ rail safety reform

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Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian has reaffirmed the NSW Government’s view that fatigue management and drug and alcohol testing requirements for train drivers in NSW must not be relaxed when the National Rail Safety Regulator is established in January 2013.

Ms Berejiklian will meet with state and federal transport ministers in South Australia today as part of the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure.

Along with other jurisdictions, NSW has signed the agreement to implement the National Rail Safety Law to standardise rail safety regulation across Australia. However the members of the Standing Council will consider national rules for fatigue management and drug testing at this week’s meeting.

“NSW supports the establishment of the National Rail Safety Regulator and its aims to cut regulatory red tape and provide a consistent national approach, however we will not allow the compromising of safety outcomes around fatigue and drug testing in NSW,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The Australasian Railway Association has congratulated all State and Territory Transport Ministers for the ‘historic move’ to a single National Rail Safety Regulator, which replaces seven state based regulators in Australia.

“This reform is essential for the Australian rail industry, as it will improve productivity and safety on various levels of operations. This is something the industry is passionate about as should the Australian public,” said Mr Bryan Nye, CEO of the Australasian Railway Association.

“National, consistent and uniform regulation is the key to efficient and safe railway operations. However, it is disappointing that the New South Wales Government decided to retain the current fatigue and drug and alcohol management provisions,” he continued.

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