New CEO of ONRSR well-placed to improve transparency around rail safety

The announcement of a new CEO for the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) is an important opportunity to focus on better transparency in rail safety, according to the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU).

RTBU National Secretary Mark Diamond today said the new CEO, Dr Natalie Pelham, comes to the role with an impressive career in public service and expertise in rail safety through her former position as Chief Investigator and CEO at Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI)).

“As an experienced safety investigator, Dr Pelham is well-placed to take ONRSR forward as the organisation enters its second decade.

“As the Chief Investogator at OTSI, Dr Pelham proved to be both rigorous and fair, and an excellent communicator.

“The Federal, State and Territory Transport Ministers having already committed to a review of national rail safety laws, so it is timely to have fresh eyes looking over the operation of the rail safety regulator as well.”

Mark Diamond said the RTBU has raised a number of concerns with the way that Australia’s co-regulatory model of rail safety has evolved over the past ten years.

“In particular, we believe that too much emphasis has been put on reducing the so-called ‘red tape burden’ for employers rather than retaining a laser-like focus on improving rail safety.

“A lack of transparency around the outcome on investigations also has undermined confidence in the regulator within the rail workforce.

“We look forward to working constructively with Dr Pelham to address these issues to improve rail safety outcomes into the future.”