In May 2021, transport ministers agreed to fund a three-year Harmonisation Plan to deliver a range of standards. The plan aims to:
- reduce inefficiencies caused by inconsistent practices around the country
- increase safety
- stimulate local manufacturing capabilities for railway parts needed in high volumes.
Stimulating domestic manufacturing supports jobs, secures supply chains and helps buyers meet their commitments to sourcing local content.
The Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) is delivering the 12 work packages that make up the three-year plan.
Benefits and priorities
High-level benefits of harmonisation include:
- improved operational efficiency
- higher inherent safety
- lower input costs
- lower training costs
- broader markets for components, providing an incentive for investment in local manufacturing.
The plan’s priorities are driven by the procurement schedule for upcoming projects. The focus is on harmonising standards for components where maximising buying power will have the most value and bring economic benefits.