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NTC looks set to hit the scrap heap

Jul 13, 2012News

The National Transport Commission looks set to be abolished after the RTBU won cross-factional support within the ALP to replace it with separate bodies covering freight and public transport, with safety issues referred to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The Australian newspaper has reported that the row with the RTBU over shift lengths for train drivers will see Transport Minister Anthony Albanese ordered by the NSW ALP conference to abolish the NTC.

RTBU national secretary Bob Nanva told the Australian that the NTC recommendations to standardise rail safety laws across all states meant the 12-hour shift limit implemented in NSW as a result of the inquiry into the Waterfall and Glenbrook rail disasters would have been scrapped.

He said the NTC has failed to take into account scientific studies by claiming there was “little evidence to support differing fatigue-related safety outcomes if maximum work hours and minimum rest breaks are placed in legislation”.

While the Transport Minister isn’t bound by state conference resolutions, the NTC is up for review next year anyway, so the chances of the RTBU’s recommendations being implemented are very good.

You can read the Australian article here

Read Bob Nanva’s article on the management of fatigue in the the Australian rail industry