Annual Review 2006


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 safety.

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 future.

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 internationally.

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.

Type: Annual Report
Publication date: 29 September 2006
ISBN: 1 921092 99 8
ISSN: 1444-4798
Last update 07 April 2014
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