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Transport & Logistics

Regulating rail| Interview with Sue McCarrey, ONRSR

19 Feb 2015, by Informa Insights

Sue McCarrey
Sue McCarrey

Sue McCarrey is Chief Executive Officer of The Office of the National Safety Regulator (ONRSR). The ONRSR is an independent body whose primary objectives are to encourage and enforce safe operations and to promote and improve national rail safety.

Sue will be making a keynote presentation at the 2015 RISSB Rail Safety Conference, 24 – 26 March in Melbourne.

You were recently appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of ONRSR. Can you tell us a little about your background?
On 8 December 2014, I joined the ONRSR from my previous position as Deputy Director General – Policy Planning and Investment, Department of Transport WA where I led a review of port authority governance, metropolitan transport planning and the regional freight transport plan.

Prior to this I was Executive Director Safety and Strategic Development at the Public Transport Authority in Western Australia. My involvement in the transport industry goes back nearly 14 years.

In 2009 I was appointed to the position of Vice President of the Western Australia Institute of Public Administration Australia and became President of the Institute in December 2011.

My early career included a number of years in the Department of Education, including Commonwealth-State relations and completion of a law degree as well as post-graduate qualifications in policy and administration.

What are your first priorities in office?
My involvement in the reform to establish the ONRSR over a number of years is supported by my firm belief in the role of the national rail safety regulator and what has been achieved to date. This reform will continue over the next few years as we build on ONRSR’s first two years.

From a rail safety perspective, level crossing safety and asset management continue to be a priority as well as working with industry on further developing high quality standards and the implementation of a quantitative safety risk model. We will continue to work with industry on the many major rail expansion projects occurring around Australia.

 What key progressions have been made in the industry since ONRSR’s inception?
Australia continues to have one of the safest rail industries in the world and it is one of the safest modes of transport. ONRSR has taken on a National role to work with industry to continually identify where improvements can be made and we should never stop trying to identify these improvements.

In a remarkably short timeframe, the ONRSR has built a reputation as a ‘can do’ organisation that takes a collaborative and consultative approach, while keeping safety as it’s key focus.  I strongly believe that the ONRSR will increasingly continue to make a difference in the drive to improve rail transport safety in Australia.

What are you looking forward to at the Rail Safety Conference 2015?
The annual rail safety conference provides an opportunity for organisations to be updated on what is happening across the rail industry, to share good practice and make important contacts to assist in improving safety. Once again, this is an incredibly important outcome.

Don’t miss the 2015 RISSB Rail Safety Conference, 24-26 March in Melbourne. In addition to Sue, this year’s program features an amazing line-up of speakers, including:

  • Mark Wild, CEO, Public Transport Victoria
  • Clement Michel, CEO, Yarra Trams
  • Bob Herbert AM, Chairman, TrackSAFE
  • Dr Todd Bentley, General Manager – Safety, Environment, and Risk, Metro Trains
  • Phil Allan, Director Policy and Advocacy, ARA
  • Steve Bickley, Director, Safety and Risk, ONRSR
  • David Murton, Chief Investigator, Irish Transport Safety Board
  • Kevin Taylor, CEO, RISSB
  • Kevin Thompson, SMS Specialist, RSSB (UK)

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