Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Changes to Immediate Reporting Requirements and RSNL from 1 July

A number of changes to the Rail Safety National Law (RSNL), including some affecting rail transport operators’ reporting requirements, come into effect from 1 July 2019.

Occurrence reporting and drug and alcohol testing requirements:

  • Immediate verbal reports of Category A occurrences must be made to ONRSR via a new phone number 1800 430 888 (24 hrs/ 7 days). The occurrences that must be immediately reported will also include prescribed incidents.
  • Drug and alcohol testing will be mandated following a prescribed incident (note these are unchanged in NSW).

Report type

Before 1 July 2019

From 1 July 2019 at midnight

Category A verbal notification

Report Cat. A occurrences immediately to the ATSB on 1800 011 034.

Report Cat. A occurrences immediately to ONRSR on 1800 430 888

Prescribed incidents verbal notification*


Report prescribed incidents immediately to ONRSR on 1800 430 888

Category A and B written reports

Continue to send written reports of Cat. A and Cat. B occurrences to ONRSR within 72 hours. These should be submitted via the ONRSR Portal.

*Prescribed incident requirements remain unchanged in NSW (regulation 28(2)) and do not apply in Western Australia (pending legislative changes). ONRSR will continue to undertake post-incident testing in relation to Category A occurrences in these jurisdictions.

Other changes to the Rail Safety National Law:

  • Written Reports of Notifiable Occurrences - the ONRSR portal and the Notification of Notifiable Occurrence form have been updated to replace the term ‘railway crossing’ with the amended definition of a ‘level crossing’ - with supporting clarifications of what is reportable at a level crossing.
  • Monthly Returns – the form and the ONRSR portal have been updated to remove the requirement to report refusals and positives (in all states and territories except Western Australia) and to require the number of tests undertaken to be split into those undertaken pre and post-sign on. The changes will apply from your July return (due 21st August).
  • Drug and alcohol testing by the Regulator - the duties of a rail transport operator to facilitate ONRSR’s testing (via our testing provider AusHealth Work) have been clarified (to include entry to the premises, for example), with supporting penalties for persons hindering, threatening or assaulting an authorised person or interfering with a sample. Following the review of drug and alcohol arrangements, ONRSR’s drug and alcohol testing program may now also include urine testing.

For more information on the changes please visit our Amendments to Legislation page.

It is also recommended that you visit the Accreditation Fees page to access the 2019–2020 variable fee rates for track and train kilometres.

All changes to the Rail Safety National Law were approved by state and territory ministers at the Transport and Infrastructure Council.

In Western Australia, changes are subject to a separate parliamentary process and timing. ONRSR will advise when this has taken place.

If you have any questions please contact Belinda Gull, Senior Policy Officer (ONRSR) at belinda.gull@onrsr.com.au or phone (08) 8406 1531.

Last updated: Sep 13, 2021, 3:58:40 PM