Top levels of government partner with rail industry to boost the network

Federal and State and Territory Governments will partner with key members of the rail industry to lift the productivity and safety of Australia’s rail network.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the National Transport Commission (NTC) had established three industry and government working groups to deliver the National Rail Action Plan, agreed by the Transport and Infrastructure Council last year.

“Through the National Rail Action Plan, we will ensure we have the skills and labour required to build and operate an efficient and safe rail network,” Mr. McCormack said.

“We are improving Australia’s rail system by continuing to align and harmonise operating rules, infrastructure and operational standards and systems across the national network.”

Mr. McCormack said the working groups were the latest step in implementing the vision as part of the partnership, which includes experienced and respected industry and Government professionals.

“The National Rail Action Plan will complement the 10-year $10 billion National Rail Program, which is designed to help make our cities more liveable and efficient as they grow. The plan also aims to reduce the burden on our roads, provide more reliable transport networks and support our efforts to decentralise our economy and grow regional Australia,” Mr. McCormack said.

He said the national rail plan would also support government work with industry to boost the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an example of these works, an oversight group has been established to investigate the introduction and roll-out of the Advanced Train Management System.

Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Railway Association, Caroline Wilkie, will co-chair a Skills and Labour Working Group with Tony Braxton-Smith, CEO of the South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

Simon Ormsby, Group Executive Strategy at the Australian Rail Track Corporation, will co-chair a group on interoperability with the NTC Chair, Carolyn Walsh.

Deb Spring, CEO of the Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board, will co-chair a working group on harmonising national standards with Ben Phyland from the Victorian Department of Transport.

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