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RTBU details flaws in the National Rail Safety Laws

Aug 21, 2011Update

The RTBU has submitted its response to the draft National Rail Safety Laws.

Detailing its concerns about elements of the proposed laws to the National Safety Commission, the union argues that a number of reforms are embracing a ‘race to the bottom’ approach by adopting the lowest state standards on several issues.

The co-regulatory approach to critical safety issues, which is driven by the desire for greater flexibility and less red tape, gives inadequate safety protections, and under a national process may bring about a regime of national inconsistency.

The union also contends that areas of fatigue management, drug and alcohol testing plus competency assessment, stakeholder consultation and a number of other critical safety areas in the draft laws are more likely to reduce rail safety standards than increase them.

The submission recommends that in order to raise standards in the rail industry, the development of strong, prescriptive national laws, under the  guidance of a well-resourced national regulator, is necessary.

The union will closely monitor feedback from the written submission and the public consultations held across Australia, and is awaiting the NTC’s response to RTBU concerns.

Download the entire submission here: RTBU Submission National Rail Safety Law