Australia & New Zealand: Stronger together to address rail deaths

8 Nov

LXinfoImage1018-trackSAFE logoAustralia and New Zealand have joined forces to secure reduced risk through education and awareness initiatives. This reflects the merger of New Zealand rail safety charity the Chris Cairns Foundation with Australia’s harm prevention charity TrackSAFE.

The formal launch of TrackSAFE Foundation New Zealand (“TrackSAFE NZ”) was held at New Zealand’s Parliament on October 15th, 2013, with Chairman of TrackSAFE in Australia Mr Bob Herbert saying he is delighted to see a formal collaboration between the two organisations.

Too many people lose their lives in preventable incidents in both New Zealand and Australia,” said Mr Herbert. “I am delighted to be here in New Zealand to support this initiative and show that we are united in addressing the issue of rail safety and working together for a better future for Australians and New Zealanders,” he said.

Chairman of the TrackSAFE NZ Board Mr Jim Quinn acknowledging the Chris Cairns Foundation as being a successful initiative and expressed excitement about formally working together with TrackSAFE to pool ideas, share resources and contribute to mutually beneficial rail safety campaigns. “We can’t afford to be complacent and let this issue fall off the agenda,” said Mr Quinn. “One level crossing collision between a fully loaded passenger train and a heavy vehicle could be potentially catastrophic and every near collision, incident and fatality can also cause severe and lasting trauma for affected rail employees.”

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed to formalise the agreement between the two organisations. Chris Cairns will remain an ambassador to the two TrackSAFE organisations and will continue to actively support and promote charitable initiatives that drive to improve safe behaviour around the rail corridor in both countries.

TrackSAFE in Australia is a registered Harm Prevention Charity that was established in 2012 and based on the model of the Chris Cairns foundation. It aims to reduce incidents on the rail network resulting from suicide and reckless behaviour. In doing so it strives to create a better workplace and minimise trauma caused to rail employees who witness near collisions, injuries and fatalities whilst simply doing their job.

Australia and New Zealand have for a number of years held a joint Rail Safety Week each August.

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