National Rail Regulator Should Be In Sydney

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16th November 2009, 02:45pm - Views: 665





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Rail, Tram and Bus Union 


PRESS RELEASE




                  

Monday 16 November 2009


National Rail Regulator should be in Sydney


A decision by the Australian Transport Council to replace state based rail watchdogs

with a single national regulator in Adelaide would threaten public safety, the NSW

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) warned today.


RTBU President Alex Claassens said the decision by the Australian Transport

Council was risky business, and the most sensible place to have a national rail

regulator was in Sydney.


“By abolishing all state regulators and establishing one single watchdog in Adelaide,

we risk a situation where our rail regulator will be out of sight and out of mind.


“It will only be a matter of time before cracks start to form and mistakes are made.


“Ultimately this decision could put the safety of passengers and the safety of rail

workers at risk,” Mr Claassens said.


Mr Claassens said the union welcomed any reforms to the way the rail industry is

regulated, but said if governments are serious about national safety standards, a strong

watchdog is needed in Sydney, not Adelaide. 


“Due to the vast majority of passenger and freight train movements in the eastern

states, it would be pointless to locate Australia’s only rail safety watchdog thousands

of kilometres away in South Australia.


“The RTBU has a real concern about the ability of the new regulator to monitor the

rail industry and implement safety standards when it is isolated from the bulk of rail

activity in Australia.”


Mr Claassens also cast doubt on the ability of the new regulator to attract the know-

how and resources required to keep the national rail industry honest. 


“States with the most extensive rail systems are naturally going to have the people,

technology, skills and resources to regulate the industry effectively.


“It has taken over six years for the NSW Government to establish a world class rail

regulator following the tragedy in Waterfall, and build up a level of expertise and

knowledge required to regulate the industry.


“It’s therefore foolish to locate the new regulator well away from the resources and

expertise it needs to be effective.


Contact: Alex Claassens, 0419 219 309 or Claire Johnston, 0434 489 533






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