Safe railways for Australia

Accreditation fees

As prescribed by regulation 58, the fees that are payable by rail transport operators are specified in Schedule 3 to the National Regulations. Changes to the methodology for calculating fees were agreed by state and territory ministers in November 2016 and commence from 1 July 2017. For more information about the changes see the cost recovery review page.

The fees relevant to accredited rail transport operators, or those seeking accreditation, are outlined below.

Application fees

Excerpt from Schedule 3 to the National Regulations:

Section Description Fee
64(2)(d) Application for accreditation


68(3)(c) Application for variation of accreditation


71(2) Application for variation of conditions/restrictions of accreditation


205(2)(d) Application for exemption


208(3)(c) Application for variation of exemption


211(2) Application for variation of conditions/restrictions of exemption


64(5)Application (complex operations) fee for accreditation


Annual fees

Annual fees are payable by rail transport operators who are accredited or registered under the Rail Safety National Law.

The annual fee payable by an accredited rail transport operator comprises a fixed and variable component. It is calculated by adding the fixed component (F) to the relevant variable component (V) for each of the ONRSR-regulated jurisdictions in which the accredited rail transport operator operates.

For example, if the accredited person carries out railway operations in 3 jurisdictions in a calendar year, the annual fee payable in respect of that year would be calculated as follows:

Annual fee = F + Vjurisdiction 1 + Vjurisdiction 2 + Vjurisdiction 3

The fixed component (F) is $15,000 and is payable only once each year by an accredited person, regardless of how many jurisdictions in which railway operations are undertaken (within ONRSR-regulated jurisdictions).

The variable component (V) is payable for each jurisdiction in which railway operations are carried out. It is the product of the relevant rates as set out in the table below applied to the following:

(a) In the case of a rail infrastructure manager, the number of kilometres of track over which the manager has effective management and control within the jurisdiction (T)

(b) In the case of a rolling stock operator, the number of kilometres travelled within the jurisdiction by trains over which the operator has effective management and control (t).

and is to be calculated as follows:

Vjurisdiction = (T x RT) + (t x Rt)

Rate per kilometre of track managed by a rail infrastructure manager ($/km) ( RT ) 211.03211.0349.22144.04120.7973.13136.3789.53
Rate per kilometre travelled by trains of a rolling stock operator ($/km) (Rt) 0.0700.0700.1370.0790.0980.1950.0450.044

These rates are effective from 1 July 2018 for the 2018–19 financial year.

Each rail transport operator will receive a single invoice from ONRSR covering accredited and registered operations in the ACT, SA, NSW, NT, QLD, TAS, VIC and WA.

The variable component is calculated using the monthly track and train kilometres reported from January to end December in the previous calendar year.

The prescribed date for the payment of the annual fee is 31 October (in the financial year to which it relates). For operators who are accredited after 1 July, annual fees will be calculated on a pro-rata basis and payable 30 days after the invoice is issued.

A late payment fee of 15% of the annual fee is payable if the fee is not paid on or before the prescribed date. If an operator fails to pay the annual fee ONRSR may suspend their accreditation consistent with section 76 of the RSNL.Annual fees for major projects may also apply (refer to the Fees Policy)

Tourist and heritage operators

Tourist and heritage operators receive discounted application fees and discounted annual fixed accreditation fees, and are not subject to major project fees. The discounted annual fixed accreditation fee is $2,000. Variable fees apply at the normal rates.

State and territory governments have nominated to pay the annual fees (in full or part) of certain tourist and heritage operators in their jurisdictions under a community service obligation arrangement. Governments will be invoiced directly for these fees.

Related information

Fact sheets

Last updated: 14 November 2017