Fight for national regs not over yet for rail

Rail lobby urges transport ministers to lobby hard for reforms to cut industry red tape

By Michael House | November 9, 2009

Transport ministers are being urged to lobby their leaders hard for a single safety regulator for rail to cut red tape.

Australasian Railway Association Chief Executive Bryan Nye says ministers need to convince the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to implement reforms proposed by the Australian Transport Council.

Meeting last week, the ATC— made up of the nation’s transport ministers — agreed to a single regulator based in South Australia. COAG will now decide whether to implement the proposal when it meets on December 7.

"We are quietly confident [that COAG will accept the ATC’s findings]. But until it is announced by COAG we are not going to give in," Nye says.

"The ATC has agreed to it before, now the state transport ministers need to make sure they bring their jurisdictions and premiers along [on board the decision].

"It [a national rail regulator] is too important not to get the right decision."

Nye believes Adelaide is the perfect centre for the potential regulator to operate from given its location and the positive attitude shown towards the scheme by the South Australian Government.

Nye says there will be offices Australia wide who will report to the chief executive who will be based in the South Australian capital.

The scheme is similar to the one proposed for a trucking regulator, with New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland expressing interest in being the host jurisdiction.

A national regime is due to be established in 2013.

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