Safe railways for Australia


A rail transport operator may apply to ONRSR for an exemption from designated provisions of the RSNL, in respect to a specified railway operation carried out or which are proposed to be carried out. Given the scalable nature of the RSNL, this will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and when the operator can demonstrate that safety will not be compromised.

A person granted an exemption cannot be exempted from their safety duties under the law to ensure safety ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’. The RSNL requires that rail transport operators must apply for and be granted exemption in accordance with Part 7 of the RSNL, before undertaking railway operations.

To apply for an exemption the rail transport operators must complete the  Application for Exemption Form. This form should be submitted to ONRSR with attached supporting documentation describing their safety management system.

A rail transport operator applying for a variation of an existing exemption or advising of their intent to surrender their exemption is advised to contact ONRSR early in the process to clarify the requirements.

For all enquiries relating to exemptions, please contact or phone 08 8406 1500.

Related documents

Last updated: 9 June 2017