Safe railways for Australia

Welcoming Queensland to the fold from 1 July


26 June 2017

The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator is delighted to welcome Queensland into the national regulatory fold, with the newest branch office to officially open its doors on Monday, 3 July.

Opening the Queensland Branch delivers the final piece of the ONRSR puzzle, with the Brisbane office joining National Office and Central Branch (Adelaide) and the NSW (Sydney), Western Australia (Perth) and Victorian (Melbourne) branches in providing truly national rail safety regulation across Australia.

ONRSR Chief Executive and National Rail Safety Regulator, Sue McCarrey said the establishment of jurisdiction in Queensland is a fantastic result and the culmination of a lot of hard work over many years.

“This is a great milestone for ONRSR and those that have been involved in the national reform to bring about a single national rail safety regulator,” Ms McCarrey said.

“Although we continue working to have the Service Level Agreement arrangement removed in Victoria and have Victorian trams and tourist and heritage included under the national system, 1 July marks the point when we will have responsibility for rail safety regulation in every Australian state and territory.”

The establishment of the new office is the culmination of a lot of hard work within ONRSR and the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), particularly those within the TMR Rail Regulation Unit.

Many of those within the new branch are joining from the Rail Regulation Unit and bring a huge amount of experience and local knowledge. Their history and that of their previous organisation comes with them to form part of a unique ONRSR approach.

Leading the new team will be Mark Fernan, who was recently appointed to the role of Queensland Branch Director. He brings to ONRSR a wealth of practical regulatory experience from his previous position working with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

ONRSR’s Queensland Branch will be located at Level 7, 410 Ann Street, Brisbane and the office phone number is 1800 531 982.

With more than one third of accredited rail operators in Australia conducting their operations in more than one state, ONRSR being truly national provides greater consistency in regulatory approach than what was achievable with separate states’ previously unique rail safety legislation.

Under the national transport reform agenda, with the ONRSR assuming regulatory responsibility in Queensland from 12:01 on 1 July, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) takes on the role of national rail investigator in that state.

Category A occurrences must be verbally reported immediately to ATSB on 1800 011 034.