Financial year 2007-08 was in many respects a watershed year. In
road safety, the November election of the Rudd Government led to
the move of road safety from the ATSB to the Department proper from
the end of March 2008 to better align with the new Government's
priorities. While I was proud to chair the National Road Safety
Strategy Panel from 1999 to 2008, the establishment of a higher
level Commonwealth/State body holds the promise of making further
gains in reducing the nation's unacceptably high road toll.
However, I was personally sad to lose the road safety branch led by
Joe Motha and John Goldsworthy and their dedication and
professionalism from the ATSB and am grateful for all they did
while in the Bureau.

In surface safety investigation, we exceeded our output targets
and are well positioned to improve future timeliness of reports. I
was particularly pleased with the final Pasha Bulker marine
investigation report and the rail investigation report at Ban Ban
Springs and associated work on the safety of very large trucks at
level crossings. I thank Peter Foley in particular for his
leadership in surface safety.

Internationally, we were instrumental in gaining International
Maritime Organization approval of a new marine investigation code
and the role of Patrick Hornby deserves special commendation. Our
contribution to the Government 'ITSAP' assistance program to
Indonesia included substantial input led by Alan Stray in the
finalisation of the Indonesian National Transportation Safety
Committee investigation reports on fatal 737 accidents involving
Garuda and Adam Air. Alan and Kerryn Macaulay also ensured that the
ATSB's part of the 2008 ICAO state audit was very positive. A wide
range of other ATSB outputs, including aviation research, technical
analysis, occurrence notifications, and IT, benefited from Kerryn's

The greatest organisational pressure during 2007-08 was faced by
the aviation investigation branch led by Julian Walsh. It is very
difficult to select up to 80 investigations from the more than
8,000 accidents and incidents reported annually and inevitably
parties associated with occurrences on the margins may not agree
with the selection. There are also competing priorities between
investigating fatal general aviation accidents to a level sought by
state and territory coroners (and the further resources needed in
any ensuing inquests), and doing more investigation of fare-paying
passenger regular public transport incidents where there may be
more future safety value. There is often a further trade-off
between numbers of new investigations and timeliness. I am
extremely grateful for Julian's leadership in managing, with his
team leaders, in this environment. The 'Miller Review' was a
further pressure that required substantial ATSB input. The new
Government's announcement, through portfolio Minister the Hon
Anthony Albanese, of an aviation Green and White Paper process was
seen as a significant opportunity and warmly welcomed by the

I also wish to publicly thank the ATSB training manager, Colin
McNamara, for volunteering to coordinate the ATSB's central office
move from 15 Mort Street to 62 Northbourne Avenue. His planning
during 2007-08 led to a smooth move in September 2008.

Kym Bills, Executive Director

Publication Mode
Publication date
Publication type
978 1 921490 56 9
Publication Number