Safe railways for Australia


The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) is an independent body corporate established under the Rail Safety National Law (South Australia) Act 2012.

The primary objectives of ONRSR are to: 

  • encourage and enforce safe railway operations
  • promote and improve national rail safety.

ONRSR has responsibility for regulatory oversight of rail safety in every Australian state and territory.

ONRSR’s corporate goals as set out in its Corporate Plan are to:

  • maintain and improve rail safety through a risk-based approach to regulation
  • reduce regulatory burden on industry
  • under a co-regulatory framework, support industry in its operation of safe railways for Australia
  • promote safety awareness and work with industry on safety improvement and research
  • value and enable our people in pursuit of high performance
  • develop our systems to optimise our performance.

To achieve these goals, ONRSR aims to maintain and improve rail safety through consistent risk-based application of the law across jurisdictions, sharing and improving regulatory practice and developing strong stakeholder relationships and engagement.

Timeline: building a national rail safety regulator


Commencement with ONRSR

South Australia
Northern Territory
New South Wales

Joined ONRSR on 20 January 2013


Joined ONRSR on 19 May 2014

Australian Capital Territory

Joined ONRSR on 20 November 2014

Western Australia

Joined ONRSR on 2 November 2015


Joined ONRSR on 1 July 2017

Last updated: 4 March 2019