McCarrey to step down as rail safety CEO

Following a highly successful eight-year tenure spent fostering Australia’s fledgling rail regulator into a nationally recognised safety authority, Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) Chief Executive Sue McCarrey will depart her post at the end of the year.

McCarrey said taking on the role of ONRSR Chief and National Rail Safety Regulator had been a genuine career highlight.

“My time at ONRSR has been such a privilege and it is a job I can honestly say I have not only enjoyed but that has been incredibly rewarding,” she said.

“Creating a truly national organisation with a positive and professional reputation has been a huge team effort and it has been a team I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead.”

Since joining ONRSR in December 2014, McCarrey has not only overseen the full nationalisation of rail safety regulation in Australia, but in doing so established ONRSR as a modern, innovative and resilient organisation with the respect of the wider national transport sector.

Sue McCarrey.
Under her watch ONRSR has honed its risk-based model and developed a national work program driving consistent and effective regulation of Australia’s many and varied rail networks and operations. She has facilitated the introduction of such generational advances as the world’s first heavy-haul, long distance autonomous rail operation in the Pilbara and the advent of driverless passenger trains in metropolitan Sydney.

At the same time, she has been integral in driving ongoing reform of Rail Safety National Law to ensure it serves the interests of all Australians now and into the future.

And she has ensured ONRSR keeps pace with the ever-expanding digital landscape with her time as Chief Executive coinciding with the rapid development of ONRSR’s data systems and the introduction of game-changing innovations such as the National Rail Safety Data Strategy and the National Level Crossing Portal.

All the while she has demanded and maintained absolute vigilance from her team in the field, leadership that has ensured Australia’s railways are safer now than they were a decade ago and seen Australian rail operators record downward trends in a range of major rail safety incident categories in the same period.

McCarrey will formally finish with ONRSR on December 30 at which point Chief Operating Officer Peter Doggett will take on the role of Acting Chief Executive and National Rail Safety Regulator while a comprehensive national and international recruitment process is undertaken.

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