Rail reporting consultation

The ATSB is inviting comments on proposed regulatory changes covering mandatory reporting of accidents and incidents and confidential reporting of safety concerns in Australia.

The mandatory and confidential reporting proposals are a part of the national rail safety reforms.  By 1 January 2013, Australia's railways are set to have a single national rail safety regulator (the National Rail Safety Regulator - NRSR) and a single national rail safety investigator (the ATSB).

Your comments are sought by Friday, 27 July 2012.

Mandatory Reporting

The new arrangements will see changes to the mandatory reporting requirements for rail notifiable occurrences.

In particular, it is proposed that all Category A notifiable occurrences will be immediately reported to the ATSB by telephone, and in writing within 72 hours to the National Rail Safety Regulator (NRSR). Category B notifiable occurrences will also need to be reported in writing to the NRSR within 72 hours.

Confidential Reporting (REPCON)

New REPCON reporting regulations will also be introduced nationally by 1 January 2013. These regulations will allow any person to voluntarily report safety concerns about rail to the ATSB.  Where a safety concern is reported, the objectives of the scheme require a reporter's identity, and the identities of others, to be protected.

Why we need mandatory and confidential reporting

The information we get from mandatory and confidential reporting helps us determine whether we need to investigate a safety concern, conduct research and identify trends of emerging hazards and risks. This gives us valuable insight into what needs to be done to improve the safety system.  Mandatory and confidential reporting complements the use of other hazard and risk identification and management tools used by industry and the regulator. Ultimately, a report now can save lives and prevent injuries in the future.


Providing feedback

Links to the documents below provide further information about the proposed changes.

Consultation Paper

For a full overview of the proposed changes go to:

Attachement A: Draft Confidential Reporting Regulations

Details concerning the proposed changes for mandatory reporting are contained in the consultation paper.  A draft set of regulations will be prepared after consultation.

If you have any difficulties accessing the package please contact the ATSB and we will forward you a hard copy.

You can e-mail your responses to:

regulation.consultation@atsb.gov.au for comments on mandatory reporting.
repconreform@atsb.gov.au for comments on confidential reporting.

You can also post your comments to:

Reporting and Notifications
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
PO Box 967
Civic Square ACT 2608


If you have any questions or would like a hard copy of the consultation package, please call the manager of notifications and confidential reporting 1800 011 034.