Executive Director's message

The 2005-06 financial year continued to have a substantial
building element for the ATSB as rail investigation further matured
and aviation investigators were trained and prepared for 2006-07
implementation of a new aviation safety database with associated
project and risk management.

The Bureau is continuing its commitment to training its
investigators through the Diploma of Transport Safety
Investigation. In 2005-06, ten staff completed the Transport Safety
Investigation (TSI) Diploma and a further 25 were progressing
through the coursework and mentoring.

In addition to releasing 93 final aviation investigation
reports, ten aviation safety research reports and eight grant
reports, substantial work occurred on the fifteen-fatality Lockhart
River accident investigation, including the issuing of a number of
safety recommendations.

In marine, 13 investigation reports were released including a
major report into the loss of the Department of Immigration and
Multicultural Affairs vessel Malu Sara in Torres Strait which
resulted in five fatalities. The ATSB also continued an education
campaign within the fishing industry on commercial fishing vessel

The ATSB's rail safety investigation team released 11 final
reports under the TSI Act. In October 2005 the Queensland Minister
of Transport released the final report of the joint Queensland
Transport/ATSB investigation into the Tilt Train accident which
occurred north of Bundaberg in November 2004, and in February 2006
the Victorian Minister for Transport released the final ATSB report
on the Benalla level crossing fatal accident.

The ATSB continued to support Ministers with road safety advice
and coordinated input with other jurisdictions. In 2005-06 we
released 22 road safety research and statistical publications
including an Indigenous Road Safety Update. Preparations were also
made for a national indigenous road safety forum later in 2006.

There were two areas of particular disappointment in 2005-06.
First, there was little progress on a road safety education trial
for novice drivers in partnership with NSW and Victorian
governments and industry bodies primarily because of finance, risk
and governance issues with Victoria.

Second, rail regulators advised the ATSB that even the very
basic safety data that had been provided for several years was not
accurate or comparable and broader data promised under an April
2005 memorandum of understanding would be significantly delayed.
Obtaining quality rail safety data from jurisdictions has been a
goal of the ATSB since 1999. The ATSB provided $80,000 late in
2005-06 to rail regulators to support an audit to seek to resolve
data issues and provide a basis to make real progress for the

On 1 March 2006 I became the Chairman of the International
Transportation Safety Association (ITSA), which includes a dozen of
the major independent transport safety investigation bodies from
around the world. The annual ITSA meeting was held in Canberra
later that month and was a very helpful forum for exchanging
information and enabling learning from sharing the good (and less
good) experiences of colleagues.

A number of valued staff members retired during the year or
prior to publication of this Review. I wish to express my
particular appreciation for the long term contribution to marine
and rail safety by Captain Kit Filor PSM who has been the ATSB's
Deputy Director of Surface Transport Investigation since July 1999
and previously the Inspector of Marine Accidents from January 1991.
Kit has made an enormous contribution in Australia and

I am grateful to the Minister for Transport and Regional
Services, the Hon. Warren Truss MP, the Minister for Local
Government, Territories and Roads, the Hon. Jim Lloyd, MP, and to
the Secretary of the Department of Transport and Regional Services,
Mr Mike Taylor for their support throughout the year.

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