Message from the Executive Director
August seems to have been safety month for the BIC team. We worked hard to ensure that the Ministerial Roundtable on Bus Safety would be a success and all attendees from the bus and coach industry were comfortable representing our great industry at such a vital forum. The BIC held a pre-Roundtable meeting with participants to walk them through the BIC’s newly developed Bus Safety Initiatives Paper. Feedback from the Ministerial Roundtable has been excellent and we look forward to working with
governments and other stakeholders to progress a range of initiatives.
We also submitted a few funding bids to the National Road Safety Action Grants Program to support the industry. One was for a national awareness and education campaign focusing on safe behavior in and around buses. The other is to support the psychosocial safety of our drivers. Safe drivers mean safe passengers and other road users. Fingers crossed that the government considers these bids favourably.
Finally, we have been fine tuning the many safety focused sessions for the National Industry Conference. These sessions are designed for operators and suppliers and touch on a wide range of important safety issues from preventing fires through to safe workplaces and the latest vehicle technology advancements.
As an industry we have a proud safety history. Together we can ensure that this continues.
Executive Director, Bus Industry Confederation
Important updates from the BIC Council
New BIC Group Formed
The BIC Council are pleased to announce the formation of a new Energy and Infrastructure Group within the BIC. The formation of the new group will result in a new Councillor position on the BIC governing body – the Council.
This decision reflects the changing nature of the bus and coach industry including the implications of the transition to zero emission buses. These changes acknowledge that Energy and Infrastructure providers are a critical partner in the transition and an important part of the wider industry.
The new Group will include businesses providing energy and associated
infrastructure and services to the bus and coach industry. Representatives of member organisations are eligible to nominate for a Council position at the upcoming Council election.
The first meeting of the Group will be held on 29 October at the National Industry Conference.
BIC Council Election
The Bus Industry Confederation Council is the BICs governing body and plays a crucial role in identifying strategic priorities and industry policy and directing the work of the BIC Secretariat. The Council is elected on an annual basis and appointed immediately prior to the Annual General meeting (AGM). This year’s AGM is being held on 29 October in Adelaide to coincide with the National Industry Conference.
The BIC Council currently consists of seventeen voting representatives including the new representative from the Energy and Infrastructure Group. The Council is constructed as follows:
- Operators Group – 3 Council positions from BIC Members of the Bus & Coach Operators Group.
- Chassis Suppliers & Manufacturers Group-2 Council positions from the BIC Members of the Chassis Group.
- Body Suppliers & Manufacturers Group – 2 Councillors from BIC Members of the Body Group.
- Associated Services Providers Group – 2 Council positions from the BIC Members of the
Associated Services Providers Group, this includes the Aircon and Seat manufacturers.
- Energy and Infrastructure Group – 1 Council position from the BIC members of the Energy and Infrastructure Group
- New South Wales – 2 Councillors from BusNSW (Nominated by BusNSW).
- Queensland – 2 Councillors from QBIC (Nominated by QBIC).
- South Australia – 1 Councillor from Bus SA (Nominated by Bus SA).
- Tasmania – 1 Councillor from TasBus (Nominated by TasBus).
- Western Australia – 1 Councillor from BusWA (Nominated by
There are no non-voting positions on the Council.
Nominations for Councillors will open on 18 September and close 24 September. Nomination forms will be sent to BIC members principle contact or by contacting the Secretariat. All nominations must have a seconder from within the relevant membership group. If more nominations are received than positions a ballot will be held.
Interested in becoming a Councilor? Please reach out to the Secretariat or a current Councillor to discuss.
Nominations for the 2023 National Achievers Award and the National Safety Award close on 15 September. The National Achiever Award is open to BIC and APTIA operator members as well as operator members of state bus associations. The National Safety Award is open to both operators and suppliers.
The awards will be presented at the National Conference being held in Adelaide from 29 October to 1 November. Thanks to the award sponsors Sura Australian Bus and Coach and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.
Policy, Advocacy and Technical Updates
Ministerial Roundtable on Bus Safety
The Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Senator Carol Brown convened a Ministerial Roundtable on Bus Safety on 28 August. The Roundtable provided an opportunity to bring key bus industry stakeholders together to discuss practical, regulatory, vehicle design and behavioural changes to reduce the likelihood of future crashes such as the recent Greta and Exford crashes.
This invitation only event which focused on issues such as the use of seatbelts on buses, Australian Design Rules, fatigue, and future safety campaigns, was positive and constructive. The BIC tabled its recently produced Bus Safety Initiatives Paper with Tony Hopkins – BIC Chair and Dean Moule – BIC’s National Technical Manager, speaking on a range of issues along with other industry leaders including Michael Christian (Christian’s Bus Company), Andrew Jakab (Dyson Group), David Burgess (Ventura Bus), Huw Bridges (Transdev John Holland), Dan Smith (Greyhound), Rowena Gilberston (Metro Tas), Ashley McHarry (McHarry’s Buslines), Damian Lee (Murrays Coaches), David Mead (CDC NSW), Brenton McCallum (Volgren), Sean Smith (BLK Auto), Dan Marks (Bustech Group), Sid Rallapalli (Nexport) and Tony Lowrey (Volvo Bus).
Others present at the Roundtable included Tom Brown (RTBU), Mark Dean (AMWU), Jack Boutros (TWU), Paul Salvati (NHVR), Geoff Allan (Austroads), John Gaffney (Bus Safety Taskforce) and department officials from the Commonwealth, NSW, Queensland, Tasmania, and the ACT.
The Senator is convening another Roundtable in the coming weeks with her state colleagues from transport and education. We look forward to learning the outcomes of these deliberations.
Download the Bus Safety Initiatives Paper.
Suppliers Group Roundtable to respond to the NSW Bus Industry Taskforce
A virtual Roundtable was held with over 35 representatives from the Suppliers Group to inform the BIC submission to the NSW Bus Industry Taskforce. Utilizing the successful format of the operator’s roundtable held a few weeks previously, suppliers provided feedback on the procurement process (the Panel), technical standards and specifications, the transition to zero emissions buses and charging technology requirements, and the relationship with Transport for NSW.
Facilitated by Julian Gurney – Chair of the Suppliers Group and Dean Moule – BIC’s National Technical Manager, the Roundtable identified several significant issues and recommendations to help resolve them. Interestingly there was a considerable overlap with issues raised by the Operators Roundtable.
Feedback from both Roundtables is being incorporated into the BIC submission and will be drawn upon when we meet with the Taskforce later this month.
Heavy Vehicle National Law Reforms
Work on the reforms to the Heavy Vehicle National Law is ramping up with weekly meetings with the National Transport Commission (NTC) and other heavy vehicle stakeholders to discuss options that are to be incorporated into the next Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (CRIS). Recent weeks has seen a major focus on Freight Regulated Heavy Vehicles (FRHVs) and enforcement of work and rest breaches, fatigue management and vehicles and access including dimension limits – height and length. Most members of the Secretariat are engaged in this work given how important it is to the industry.
If you want to hear more about this reform, Aaron de Rozario from the NTC is presenting at the upcoming National Industry Conference. The conference is being held in the middle of the consultation period on the CRIS (2 October – 17 November).
We are also concurrently working with the NTC on the regulatory changes arising from the future mandate of EURO VI for heavy vehicles. Issues being discussed include appropriate mass increases for EURO VI, the types of heavy vehicles in scope for the EURO VI increases and potential mitigations for road wear caused by increased mass.
BIC’s new bus safety advisory on electric power train systems
The first in a series of Bus & Coach Safety Advisories on zero emissions has been released. The advisories have been designed to address technical issues to ensure the safe and sustainable adoption of zero emissions technology in the bus industry. The series of Advisories is part of a safety project funded by the federal government through the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative Funding Agreement, administered by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).
Advisory 1 Electric Power Train Systems is a useful reference on standards and specifications to support the implementation of the forthcoming Australian Design Rules 109/00 and 110/00 on zero emissions technology and provides additional information on safe manufacture, operation, and maintenance. The information contained in this Advisory is applicable to heavy vehicle types (Omnibuses ME category) such as diesel electric hybrid, battery electric powered or fuel cell electric powered forms as well as Omnibuses with a GVM under 5 tonnes (MD category).
The primary author of this Advisory was Luke Hardy with assistance from Madonna Woodhead and the BIC thanks them both for their outstanding work and the comprehensive consultation with industry that was undertaken. Thanks also to the BIC’s Zero Emissions Bus Committee who had oversight of this project, and the technical input from the Truck Industry Council.
Go to the dedicated zero emissions section on the BIC website to find out more about the Bus & Coach Safety Advisory Series and to download Advisory 1 and access working forms and templates relating to electric power train systems.
The BIC National Conference – 52 days to go!
The BIC National Conference 2023 is fast approaching – 52 Days to go!
Register today – Conference registrations close midnight, 29 September. Don’t miss your chance to be part of the conversation on topical issues and network at this premium event.
The conference program is nearing finalisation. Download the latest program and check out the presenters featured on the conference website. Conference sessions will include presentations on Reform, Safety, Industrial Relations, Workforce, Future finance and Antisocial behavior.
For the second year in a row there will be a facilitated Government fireside chat, covering a range of issues including Governments’ plans for the transition to zero emissions buses (ZEB’s), the implications that the transition to ZEB’s has for contracts, procurement – social and local content, collaboration to address skills and worker shortages, attracting people back to public transport and dealing with anti-social behaviour. Don’t miss out on hearing what state governments are doing from a public transport and procurement perspective.
Thank you to our conference partners for your support of this event. Our partners are key to helping us deliver a full 2.5day program and multiple social functions. It’s not too late to become a Conference Partner. We have a select number of partnership opportunities still available. Download the Conference partner guide for a full list of packages, benefits and pricing. Reach out to the BIC events team today to secure your involvement at email@example.com.
National Bus & Coach Show 2024
Thank you to everyone who submitted their Show exhibitor expression of Interest (EoI) earlier this year. We were delighted to have received interest from almost all body and chassis and complete bus suppliers currently operating in Australia.
The Show’s exhibitor’s portal is in its final stages of development and will be opened to those who have submitted an EoI (in order of receipt) in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on your inbox. Following this, we will open the portal to the wider industry to secure any remaining spaces.
Download the Show exhibitor guide and exhibitor manual on the show website for a full list of details including exhibition packages, pricing and inclusions.
The latest version of the show’s floor plan can be viewed online. Exhibition site nominations will be allocated based on the date of EoI received and priority (in order) will be extended to:
- Show partners/sponsors
- Current BIC members
- Members/partners of QBIC, BusNSW, TasBus, BusWA, or BusSA
Reminder: Show Partners receive priority in securing their space and location within the exhibition. If you are interested in becoming a partner, download the Show partner guide outlining details on the available packages, pricing, inclusions and benefits. Get in quick to avoid disappointment.
We have teamed up with Accommodation Link to provide Show attendees with discounted accommodation rates on selected Brisbane hotels. Checkout the Accommodation page of the Show website for more information and to book your accommodation today!.
Latest news from APTIA
In this August edition of Everybody Out, APTIA provides an overview of the IR sessions being held at the National Industry Conference. There is a great line-up of speakers and panellists to discuss how to recognise and manage psychosocial issues in the workplace and how industry can collaborate to improve the image of our industry – for bus operators and the manufacturing/supply sector. This edition also includes a review of important decisions around underpayment of wages and who is responsible and the attitude of the FWC to sexual harassment cases, if proven.
Download the full article here.
Welcoming New BIC Members
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SGESCO-MAX has been developing advanced safety solutions for a host of industries, including the bus industry, for over 20 years. SGESCO-MAX is known for being a solutions-driven company creating active and passive vehicle safety devices and warning systems to help solve complex safety challenges. Their research and development team has developed a range of products such as Occupant Safety, Anti-Rollaway, Speed Control, and driver fatigue solutions relevant to the bus industry.
SGESCO have recently released a demonstration video on their MAX-SAFE Seatbelt Warning System. This safety solution has been used in mining transfer buses for the last 7 years and will shortly undergo a small school bus trial in NSW.