Topics / Rules & compliance / Rail Safety National Law maintenance

Ensuring the law and subordinate regulations remain contemporary, nationally-consistent, efficient, effective and aligned with agreed policy

Rail Safety National Law maintenance

  • Scoping > 
  • Analysing issues > 
  • Analysing options > 
  • Implementing


The purpose of this review is to examine the definition of rail safety work and assess alignment with objects of the Rail Safety National Law (RSNL). We will explore whether there is a case for amending the definition of rail safety work, or alternatively, whether regulatory or administrative amendment options should be pursued. 

Next steps

Consultation on our discussion paper about refining the definition of rail safety work closed on Friday, 14 June 2019.

Feedback from submissions on this paper will be used to develop recommendations for transport ministers to consider in November 2019.


The Australasian Rail Association (ARA) has submitted a proposal to amend the definition of rail safety work. Industry’s view is that the current definition captures work that is adequately covered by work health and safety law and that the burden of managing such work is disproportionate to the risk.

The NTC reviews the RSNL annually and until recently had ownership of all maintenance amendments. This function has been gradually transferred to the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator who now carry the bulk of RSNL maintenance on an annual basis. The NTC continues to undertake ‘substantive maintenance’ of the RSNL. This work includes issues requiring more extensive consultation and policy development. The definition of rail safety work is an example of this work.

Get involved


Contact us

Project Manager Debra Kirk
Last Updated: 14/6/2019