Safe railways for Australia

Current reviews

Currently the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) is undertaking a number of reviews. These include:

Outcomes of the cost recovery model review

Changes to the cost recovery model took effect for 2017–18. Recommendations to enhance the model, following extensive consultation with government and industry stakeholders, were approved by the Transport and Infrastructure Council in November 2016.

Changes from 1 July 2017 include:

  • Annual fees to be based on actual activity from the previous calendar year, removing the predictive element. This means that the annual fee for an operator in 2017–18 will be calculated from monthly periodic data provided from January to end December 2016. A reconciliation will be undertaken in relation to estimates used to calculate fees for 2016–17 against actual activity but this will not be required in future years.
  • The introduction of major project fees, (with a subsequent reduction of up to $1.12m in the amount to be recovered from industry and government) which will more equitably fund ONRSR resources undertaking the regulatory oversight of major rail projects.
  • There is no longer a requirement for an Annual Return for 2017–18 and onwards. The Monthly Return has been updated to include the requirement for operators to report the number of employees engaged in rail safety work (rather than reporting this via the Annual Return).
    ONRSR has reviewed and updated its Fees Policy. The revised policy commenced on 1 July 2017:
  • Fees Policy

More information and related documents

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Julie Bullas at or (08) 8406 1550 or Melissa Radke via or 0429 044 436.

Review of fatigue risk management arrangements under the Rail Safety National Law

In May 2015, Transport and Infrastructure Council approved the scope of the review of the legislative framework for fatigue risk management, with a view to achieving a nationally consistent legislative framework which best supports the management of fatigue in the rail industry.

In progressing the review to date, ONRSR has engaged with key stakeholders including a reference group comprising members from industry, ARA, RTBU and governments.

ONRSR has now released a discussion paper as part of the review that is open to all stakeholders for comment from Wednesday 30 May to Tuesday 31 July 2018.

The discussion paper will be the focus of workshops across Australia and ONRSR encourages you to attend and provide input to the progression of the review.

The reference group has agreed terms of reference for the review.

Review of the legislative framework for drug and alcohol management

ONRSR conducted public consultation as part of the review it is undertaking on behalf of the Transport and Infrastructure Council of the drug and alcohol provisions within Rail Safety National Law.

More information is available in the review scope and terms of reference, and in the Proposed Introduction of Urine Testing Fact Sheet.

Proposed changes to the NSW drug and alcohol identity card issuing process

ONRSR is proposing changes to the NSW drug and alcohol identity card issuing process and is seeking feedback from NSW rail transport operators and third party testing service providers regarding these changes.

A consultation paper outlining the proposed changes has been released. Consultation is open from Monday 5 August 2019 until close of business Friday 30 August 2019.

This paper follows a number of NSW D&A identity card discussion sessions held with NSW operators and third party service providers in March 2019. ONRSR welcomes your views on the proposed changes via email.

Should you require any further information please contact Melissa Radke (Senior Manager, Safety Policy & Improvement) or via phone on 0429 044 436.

ONRSR will advise stakeholders of the outcomes of consultation in October 2019.

Want to know more?

Any queries about the reviews can be directed to Julie Bullas or Melissa Radke.

Last updated: 5 August 2019